TRINIDAD – ‘Killers will pay’
Slain nine-year-old laid to rest
PORT OF SPAIN –– “Whoever took his life has to pay and they will pay very soon.”
Those were the words of a man said to be like a grandfather to nine-year-old Cyon Paul during his funeral Thursday.
Clive Francis, who remembered Cyon as a generous, playful child, could not hold back his emotions as he addressed mourners at Guide’s Funeral Home, San Fernando.
“I watched Cyon raise a dog from a pup and let me tell you, anything that child had to eat he would share it with that dog,” Francis told the packed chapel.
“When his mother took out food for him, he would take half out for the dog, anywhere you saw Cyon, you saw that dog.
“Whoever took his life have to pay and they will pay very soon,” he added.
Cyon was struck and killed by a stray bullet last Friday after he left his Byron Street, La Romaine, home to go for hotdogs along the Southern Main Road.
In the eulogy read by his cousin, Sarah Charles, mourners were told that Cyon had the potential to be an Olympian.
“Cyon was the fastest runner at his school. If any of this didn’t happen he could have been a national sportsman or gone on to the Olympics,” she said.
Several people paid tribute to him, including another cousin, Nyoka Daniels, who asked why his life had been snuffed out so soon.
“It’s everyday I have to ask why this innocent child got such a brutal death?” Daniels said. “Cyon used to come by me all the time. He taught my daughter to ride her bike . . . Cyon, I will cherish the time I spent with you.”
Unable to hold herself together any longer, Daniels began screaming Cyon’s name, begging him to come back to his family.
WPC Francelina Jackson, also a La Romaine resident, also spoke highly of Cyon and asked her neighbours to band together in his death, saying the community needs more love.
“He was a joy in the midst of all the madness,” she said of Cyon.
“In his death, La Romaine, let us just be a family, let us love each other, let us be strong together. In his death what can I say, let us love each other and be strong against these elements that are tearing us apart.”
During the sermon, elder John Young echoed Daniels’ question about why Cyon’s life was taken so soon but also posed one of his own.
“Why do we continue to harbour a few miscreants for the love of money?”
Stating he did not care if others disagreed with him, Young said: “We are here because of the actions of heartless people and heartless people who shoot into a crowd is pure idiocy and then to walk away as though it has nothing to do with them . . . so many people are grieving here because of them.”
Like Jackson, Young called for the community to unite.
“My prayer for the community which I serve is that we come to a collective agreement and a conscious decision that only God can bring change where we live. The police patrols can’t bring change, the Government can’t make stricter laws, it can only happen through God.”
Raising their raspy voices to the sky, relatives of Cyon Paul sang to him yesterday as his body lay outside his La Romaine home for the last time.
Although a public service was scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Guide’s Funeral Home, San Fernando, relatives arranged for Cyon to return to the street he loved to play on so those closest to him could say their goodbyes.
Beating African drums, the elder men sang, danced and clapped as Cyon’s young cousins crowded close to his powder-blue casket for their last glance of him.
His grandmother, Janet Charles, held her head and wailed when she saw his body, clad in a white suit with a light blue shirt and blue tie, while his seven-year-old sister, Tyra Williams, just stared at his body until someone took her away from his side.