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Las Cuevas boating accident: ‘Sleeping beauty’ laid to rest
A week before she died in a Las Cuevas boating accident, 14-year-old Lily Blaides, who loved to steal naps in class, won an award at school for being the most improved student. This was revealed by Blaides’ best friends—Tamara Aaron and Stacy Ann Mohammed—who spoke during her funeral at the Third Exodus Assembly Church, Longdenville, yesterday. Blaides, who attended El Dorado West Secondary School, was described as a sleeping beauty who loved to read by night and sleep by day. “Lily enjoyed downloading books online. She was always reading on her laptop. She was such an avid reader that the librarian reserved a computer especially for her,” Aaron said.
She added that Blaides’ friends were always excited to know details of her next book. Mohammed described Blaides as a “champion laugher” who even went to school with a neck pillow and blanket for her daytime naps. “She was carefree and a good entrepreneur because she made a mat and would charge her friends $2 an hour to sleep on it,” Mohammed said. Blaides’ parents—Lyric and Arlene Tang Choon-Blaides—laughed while the friends recalled their last moments with their daughter. “She was dancing around and saying ‘I’m going Las Cuevas and where you all going? Home.’” Mohammed said. Blaides’ sister, Jonquille Adaina Blaides, who delivered the eulogy, said she had many facial expressions and was so hilarious that her father believed she would become a comedienne. “She was industrious and full of ideas. She loved water and swimming and was instrumental in saving some girls who were surfing four months before that tragic accident,” Jonquille said.
She said Blaides helped out at the family’s business and won awards for paintings and portrait-drawings. Some of her pieces were showcased for the mourners. Pastor Vin Dayal, who delivered the sermon, urged mourners to have faith in God. He said thousands of girls died every day because of the sex trade, drug trade, poverty and starvation. However, he said, Blaides’ family knew she was not really dead and they would be reunited with her one day. He said God had a greater purpose for Blaides and that was why she met an untimely death. Quoting the Book of Job from the Old Testament, Dayal said because of tragic circumstances people often misunderstood God and failed to see His true purpose.
After the funeral, Blaides was laid to rest at the St Joseph public cemetery. She died of massive head injuries after a pirogue, driven by a Las Cuevas fisherman, struck her on June 23. Witnesses said she was bathing not too far from the shoreline when the pirogue’s propeller cut the back of her head and parts of her body. Lifeguards on duty pulled Blaides out of the water and took her to the Port-of-Spain General Hospital where she later died. Police have not yet laid any charges relating to the incident.