Young Fisherman’s friends say last goodbyes
They were there to celebrate and give thanks for the life of someone who brought them so much joy and laughter, someone taken away so young by the unforgiving sea.
The choruses blended and the tambourines were alive, but this didn’t prevent a few from shedding tears at the Coral Ridge Chapel where scores of young people gathered for the thanksgiving service for 18-year-old Devon Seon Prescod of Fairy Valley, Christ Church who died at sea last month.
The atmosphere was somber as the packed chapel listened to community pastor Frank Yarde plead with them to be like the young man they had come to celebrate and to reflect on the exemplary life that he had lived.
Addressing the attentive congregation which included Member of Parliament for Christ Church East Dr Denis Lowe and caretaker for the Barbados Labour Party Senator Wilfred Abrahams, the Fairy Valley Wesleyan Church pastor emphasized that Prescod’s good manners and impeccable character were worthy of emulation.
Yarde said that at a time when many youths were engaged in negative behaviour, they should take time to make things right with God because they did not know the hour or day that death would come knocking.
“You who knew the young man, he has left an indelible mark in Fairy Valley. The community of Fairy Valley this evening can be what you make it to be. I am praying that from this episode, that young men examine themselves and say, ‘how must I live the kind of life that Devon would want me to live, though young he was?’
“You can chart your course, your life can be much better. I am praying that the holy spirit of God, in this service can bring back memories to you and help you to make that turn. Change is very important.”
Prescod’s body was brought to shore by his uncle around 5:50 a.m. on July 23, two days after he went missing after leaving home to go fishing at Sea Rocks, near Paragon.
Members of the close knit Fairy Valley, Christ Church community where the former St Leonard Boys School student was raised had joined the Barbados Coast Guard in searching for him.
Delivering an appreciation, family friend Erica Yarde-Greenidge urged the packed congregation to remember Prescod as a wonderful person who loved fishing, eating, cooking, playing football and video games, and helping others.
She said his display of good manners and his impeccable character are worthy of emulation.
And even though his physical presence had been erased and his voice stilled by the violent waves off the cliffs where he loved to roam, she encouraged all to let the young man’s radiant smile and pleasant demeanour warm their hearts and stoke their memories.
Yarde-Greenidge stressed that Prescod died doing what he loved most. He would get up on mornings to toss his lines in the yard just to ensure that they were working properly before venturing out, she said.
She recalled that Prescod uttered his first word at age five and he seemed to make up for lost time by subjecting his fishing “buddies” to an unending barrage of bragging about his dominance on the rocks and the fact that he had “washed them in line”.
“Devon was always talking about his numerous catches. Fishing brought to him a joy that none of us could imagine.
“Even though the circumstances in which he died were painful for us there is no doubt in my mind that he found happiness, peace and comfort when fishing,” she said.
The body of Prescod, who often took time away from his busy fishing schedule to help those in need, was cremated.