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Advice at funeral of two brothers: Nurture the children

Wednesday, June 11, 2014
Michelle Holder grieves for her sons Jamal Brathwaite (inset top) and Jadel Holder (inset below) during their funeral service at Simpson’s Funeral Home, Eastern Main Road, Laventille yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Instead of criticising and condemning the nation’s children, residents ought to lift them up and encourage them, said the officiating minister at the funeral for murdered brothers Jamal Brathwaite, 15, and his brother Jadel Holder, nine. The brothers had just had lunch at their home at Petunia Avenue, Coconut Drive, Morvant, on June 1 when two men raided their house, police said. The intruders made them lie face down on the floor of the living room then shot each in the back of the head from close range. 



Their 16-year-old cousin, Glendel Alexander, was shot in the right leg. Police said while the gunmen did not appear to target Alexander, they believe he was shot as he tried to leave the room. The attackers then escaped. Speaking at Simpson’s Funeral Home, Eastern Main Road, Laventille, yesterday, Bishop Kelvin Thomas urged the packed chapel to turn away from chastising children and instead nurture them. 


He added that godly lessons and prayers have been taken away from children and the older generation was failing at its job of helping to guide the children. “Now is a sorrowful time. It is a time to get conscious of reality. Malice, hatred and guile caused these children to die. Don’t pass your mouth on people’s children,” Thomas said. 



He urged the children’s mother, Michelle Holder, who throughout the service sang praise songs and danced, to thank God her children were not the killers as she might have been hurt more to learn  they were to be hanged. In his eulogy, the boys’ cousin, Augustus Stanislaus, said Brathwaite was the type to put a smile on his mother’s face at her worst time and spent his last days with his family. 


Of Holder, he said the nine-year old was a sincere, loving young man with a willing heart. The brothers’ sister, Crystal Holder, said Brathwaite, her favourite brother, had gone through a lot, while Holder, who was willing and funny, was anticipating becoming an uncle. 


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