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Brother at funeral of Junior Valentine: Let there be no vengeance
“Vengeance belongs to the Lord,” said Junior Valentine’s brother Curtis at the funeral yesterday. Valentine, 50, a Guardian Media Ltd (GML) employee, was gunned down in front of his Laventille home last week Friday. Curtis, one of the officiating shepherds (priests) at the funeral, asked the congregation to pray for the police to find his brother’s killers. He also asked that none of Junior’s family or friends take the matter into their own hands, in keeping with his brother’s peaceful nature.
“Junior was a man of peace. A man of great heart. He was a man of love. He was a brother,” said Curtis. He was one of many who shed tears for Valentine at the packed-to-capacity Clark & Battoo Chapel on Tragarete Road, Port-of-Spain, where the funeral service took place.
Valentine’s mother, Marjorie Carrington, constantly had to be consoled by relatives and friends as she wailed loudly near the casket before the Baptist rites began. Her cries of “Why they take Junior?” and “They take my son” resounded throughout the chapel. Friends, relatives and colleagues packed the chapel, the stairwell and the courtyard.
Two of Valentine’s children—Junior (JJ) and Sapphire—also shed tears while attempting to give their father’s eulogy. Sapphire could not finish one sentence of the speech, while her brother struggled through it and tried to make light jokes. Both wore airbrushed shirts bearing Valentine’s photo and the words: “In loving memory of my father.”
Quoting the T&T Guardian’s editorial from last Saturday, JJ described his father as hardworking, passionate and honest. He said Valentine loved cologne, never bore grudges and was very talkative. Taking a note from Shakespeare, JJ ended the eulogy by saying: “Life is a stage and this is another great performance that has come to an end.”
The eulogy was followed by Valentine’s favourite hymn, Amazing Grace, which was sung up-tempo with lively clapping, drumming, conch shells and bell-ringing. Curtis said his brother would have wanted the hymn to be sung with joy.
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