Family pledge

Campus Trendz victims to be remembered

The families of the six young women who perished in the September 3, 2010 Campus Trendz fire have pledged to continue to observe the anniversary of their deaths and honour their lives.

This sentiment was summed up in a letter read today on behalf of the families by a coordinator of the September 3 Foundation Doriel Skinner at a press conference at the Clement Payne Centre, Crumpton Street, The City.

“You ask why? You frown on the minute of silence held in honour of our six young daughters. You say we should let their spirits rest in peace. So that is why we come to Bridgetown every year, to stand with families across Barbados and the rest of the world that wants more than anything to see that peace return,” she read.

Doriel Skinner and David Comissiong.
Doriel Skinner and David Comissiong.

The letter also recalled that it was on Friday September 3, 2010 that two “loveless, heartless” young men took the lives of Nikkita Belgrave, Tiffany Harding, Shanna Griffith, Kellishaw Ollivierre, Kelly Ann Welch and Pearl Cornelius, in a “senseless killing because of greed”. The families asked Barbadians to join their voices to call for love and peace to return in abundance to the island.

“We have watched in pain as the killings increase and many families have sleepless nights, unanswered questions, and homes torn apart,” it said.

“So yes, we will return every year on the anniversary of the death of these six young ladies and join with the many families to offer a kind word of comfort and stand in solidarity with them in calling for an end [to crime]. We say enough is enough. So fellow Barbadians wherever you are on September 3 we ask that you stop and spare a minute for families that are hurting.” This year the members of the Foundation have asked churches across the island to dedicate their worship services on Sunday August 30 to eradicating violence.

On Thursday September 3 a national minute of silence will be held in Heroes Square where family members will reflect on the lives of the six young women.

The names of those died as a result of violence within the last year will also be read out.

Following the minute of silence and solemn ceremony which will include speeches and relevant songs by prominent entertainers, family members and friends of the victims will make their way to the respective gravesites of the four victims buried here. Cornelius was buried in Guyana, while Ollivierre was laid to rest in St Vincent.

Chairman of the Foundation David Comissiong said commemorating the anniversary was important because never before had an incident of such magnitude taken place in the country and it should be used to wake up the society.

He said the commemoration was also to confront society in a very direct and graphic way, with the unnecessary and tragic loss, pain and suffering caused by violent crimes.

“[We] try to get all Barbadians to reflect on this message and hopefully, by so reflecting, we will do some good. We will cause some young person to think twice and to refrain from engaging in some senseless act,” Comissiong concluded.

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