Slain taxi driver laid to rest after private funeral
For about an hour or so, friends and loved ones of Ricardo Rick Rick Bryan held their emotions in check as they paid final respects to the slain businessman who was gunned down outside Lucky Horseshoe in Warrens, St Michael 18 days ago.
But the pain and sorrow bottled up during the funeral service at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens exploded into weeping and wailing at the gravesite, and could be heard in the distance, seemingly woven into the hymns such as Shall We Gather At The River, Blessed Assurance and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder.
Bryan was a soft-spoken and private individual, according to relative Timothy Smith, and today he received a private funeral, mirroring his life.
“He was a very private person. He wasn’t the type of person that would come and talk any of the family business, ” Smith told the intimate gathering as he delivered the eulogy.
His life was as complex as it was private, Smith suggested as he spoke of a man who lost his mother when he was yet a toddler and whose father left to go abroad while Bryan was still a young boy, leaving the youth and his two siblings to be raised by their grandparents.
They were brought up in the church and were disciplined children, and Bryan, who attended St Stephen’s Primary and St Leonard Boys, demonstrated leadership skills from an early age, as was evident in the way he looked after his siblings, the relative said.
Therefore, Smith said, it came as no surprise when Bryan chose to become a businessman, and enjoyed varying degrees of success, including a store at Independence Square, The City that encountered problems due to the onset of the recession.
“I was not surprised that he then went into business and later into taxiing because he always wanted to improve himself. From an early age you could tell that he would be a responsible person,” Smith said.
The relative painted a picture of a caring man, who did everything possible to ensure his four sons were comfortable, and who gave of himself to those around him who were in need.
In addition, despite his dislike of the limelight, Bryan mingled with friends at
the popular Q in The Community event, he explained.
“Those that knew him know that you could have gotten anything from him. He was that type of fella. People knew that he had a kind heart and they would come and ask him for things. He was a kind person that looked out for the neighbours, family and friends,” Smith said, adding that Bryan had the ability to warm people’s hearts with his smile.
“Knowing the type of person that I just described to you, you would know that he was a very nice person. Yes, a lot of us here might be sorrowed by his passing, but I want you to remember something. All of you are his friends and family and should know that there are always good memories of him. You must focus on the good times and I know that all of us have some good memories that we can focus on. . .,” he said.
It was almost 8 p.m. on September 1, when Bryan was shot multiple times just after he exited his sports vehicle in the car park near Lucky Horseshoe. Four men have since been held in connection with his murder.
In delivering the sermon at today’s funeral service, Reverend Patrick Drakes used strong words to describe the “deceitful and desperately wicked” hearts that led to Bryan’s violent death.
“And we saw it, and we heard about it in the act that brought us here today. Deceitful, desperately wicked, reckless violence; lawlessness,” Drakes said.
However, the man of the cloth said the only hope rested in God who knows the hearts of men and willing to heal those involved in crime. At the same time he stressed that the answers did not lie in “politicking”.
“When God say that ‘I know the heart’ He is not saying that ‘I know the heart’ to destroy us or to condemn us. He is saying ‘I know the heart, I know you need help, I know you long for better life, I know you long for peace, I know the heart, bring it to me, don’t carry it to Dr Ishmael because they are of no use in this context. You don’t need the medical doctor, you need the spiritual doctor and the grand spiritual surgeon there is in the word is the Lord Jesus Christ.
“Our politicians need to understand as well that it is not in politicking, it is not in telling people what they want to hear across the board. Leaders need to get it right,” Drakes said.