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Principal pays fitting tribute to hero student

Thursday, January 7, 2016
Mourners during the funeral service for 13-year-old Nathan Barcoo-Campo at Grace Communion Church in Arima, yesterday. Photo: MARCUS GONZALES

The funeral for 13-year-old Nathan Barcoo-Campo was a large and sad event. The church, located in Samaroo Village, Arima, was packed with relatives, friends and Trinity College East schoolmates as they said farewell to the teenager yesterday.

The youngster died after being chopped repeatedly in his head and chest in late December as he tried to protect his mother from an armed bandit.

Both Nathan and his mother, Claudia, were at home when the assailant, armed with a cutlass, attacked them last month. They were both warded at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in critical condition following the incident, but Nathan died shortly after.

School principal Derick West said in his short time at the school, Nathan, who was described as one of the top performers of the Secondary Entrance Assessment before gaining entry to Trinity East,  had demonstrated that he was focused enough to continue to be a top performer. 

West said Nathan also shared that motivation with friends. “We are grateful he chose us to be provider of secondary education. He was quiet, very determined to succeed and he demonstrated that in his short time,” West said.

West described Nathan as a hero because of the boy’s attempt to intervene when hearing his mother’s cries. “I read the newspaper and read about this incident. I did not know who the boy was until I enquired about it. I found out that Nathan was a hero,” he told the congregation. 

“The ultimate sacrifice is to give one’s life for another. Nathan sacrificed his life. That in itself demonstrated in no uncertain terms Nathan was indeed a hero.”  

Nathan’s Sunday School teacher and pastor Wayne Rajaram said one Sunday, weeks before Nathan was attacked, he had read about a 13-year-old who was knocked down on the bus route. He said he asked a group of children, including Nathan, if they were all ready to die. 

“One boy said I understand life is temporary and we are young and you are old, you are closer to death than we are. 

“Then I read to them Psalm 139. I went through that psalm with four of them. After I shared that I asked which one of you would like to receive Jesus as your Lord and saviour.” He said Nathan had answered in the affirmative.

“He received Jesus Christ into his life and then I prayed with him. 

“What was most revealing since that day he received Jesus Christ into his life, Nathan was transformed from a shy timid boy to the point where he was taking responsibility in church.

“After Sunday School he would give snacks and soft drinks to the children. That was the transformation in Nathan's life. He took more responsibility. ... Nathan was given to us for a time and all we could say is thank God.” 

Police apprehended a suspect in the attack and are continuing investigations.


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