Final wave

Big send off for young pro surfer

Sixteen-year-old Alexander Zander Venezia was always one for creating a big splash, and today was no different as hundreds gathered at the Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens for one final wave to the junior pro surfer who died on September 5 doing what he loved best – surfing.

There was not a dry eye in sight, as hundreds mourned the death of the former St Michael School student. 

Today there was no actual seafaring, but an unmistakable and endless ocean of love,  as members of the surfing community and many of Zander’s former schoolmates came together to support his grieving family and friends.

Tears flowed freely; so too did the cherished memories of a jovial, quirky, fun-loving young man, who simply lived and died by the ocean.

His sister Bella was very emotional as she paid tribute to her beloved brother in poetry. A second poem entitled The Wave Of Your Life was read by Daniele Tempro, and written by Simon Warren, recounting the final moments of Zander’s life in which he took on “a raging beast” of a wave from the east  that hitherto had only been “tamed by a few”.

Stricken with grief, the family and friends of 16-year-old junior pro surfer Alexander ‘Zander’ Venezia (inset) carrying his casket out of the Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens. 

“We will forever miss you,” Tempro said.

“. . . Now as we wave goodbye, Knowing, You will forever be happy, Riding your last wave in the sky,” she added.

The former St Winifred and St Michael School student was always one to go after the big waves which is why he was at Box by Box in Cattlewash, St Joseph on September 5.

Unfortunately, he could not boast of conquering the waves on that occasion, but for former pro surfer and surfing instructor Alan Burke  nothing could erase his fond memories of the “little daredevil” whose life, though brief, was impactful and had a positive ripple effect on others.

Delivering the eulogy, an emotional Burke, said that Zander’s kindred spirit and outgoing personality were evidenced by the outpouring of support on social media since his passing.

He also revealed  that following his death, the executive director of the National Scholastics Surfing Association (NSSA) had driven to California to hand over the red contest jersey that Zander was wearing when he recently won the NSSA Open Junior Regional Champion competition.

“I brought this for Lou,” Burke said, while indicating that the jersey would go to Zander’s father Louis Venezia.

“This is the jersey he [Zander] was wearing,” Burke said, while fighting back tears.

“This is what he lived for buddy,” he added in another direct comment intended for the boy’s grieving father.

Even after spending countless hours with Zander, riding waves overseas and in Barbados, Burke said he had not realized how loved the aspiring Olympian was until his death.

“You have raised a world class surfer and an outstanding child that made the surf world feel as though they too personally lost a son,” Burke said for the benefit of both of Zander’s parents, including mother Lisa.

Zander lived an amazing and wonderful life travelling the world, representing his country, while sharing his love and positive presence. For that, I say #LivelikeZander,” Burke added.

In his message, pastor Nicky Marshall told those in attendance that there was no explanation for their loss, but he indicated that God would be with them along the way.

“I don’t think there is any easy answers or explanations for this. Bad things just happen. They happen to good people, to happy 16-year-old kids. In this life we have trouble, but Jesus doesn’t end there. He then says: ‘Take heart, be encouraged. I have overcome this world,’” Marshall added.

“Right now, we are all feeling the trouble of this life. The shock, the gnawing ache of losing a child, brother, friend that no words can ease at the moment. But if you can be encouraged, God weeps with you. But God also did something about our suffering. He defeated it. Death does not have the last word. God’s love and power and forgiveness will have the last word,” he added.

Marshall also reminded the Zander’s family of how impactful and meaningful Zander’s life was to all he interacted with.

“Lou, Lisa, again I am so sorry for your loss. You raised an amazing young man . . . We have all seen how many people Zander touched with his joy and positive attitude, his warmth and friendliness. Not even death can take that away from you,” he said.

The teenager’s body was due to be cremated following today’s service.

katrinaking@barbadostoday.bb

94 Responses to Final wave

  1. Margaret Thorpe
    Margaret Thorpe September 14, 2017 at 12:04 am

    RIP

    Reply
  2. Divine Duchess
    Divine Duchess September 14, 2017 at 12:21 am

    #sipZander

    Reply
  3. Nikky Daisley
    Nikky Daisley September 14, 2017 at 12:22 am

    R.I.P

    Reply
  4. Philomenah Smiley Wallie
    Philomenah Smiley Wallie September 14, 2017 at 12:22 am

    Rip

    Reply
  5. Adrian Allison
    Adrian Allison September 14, 2017 at 12:33 am

    RIP Zander

    Reply
  6. Wendy Stewart
    Wendy Stewart September 14, 2017 at 12:34 am

    RIP young man

    Reply
  7. Mardene Pemberton
    Mardene Pemberton September 14, 2017 at 12:37 am

    RIP

    Reply
  8. Ãlëxïs Ållêñ
    Ãlëxïs Ållêñ September 14, 2017 at 12:48 am

    Rip

    Reply
  9. Sophia Sobers Ifill
    Sophia Sobers Ifill September 14, 2017 at 12:52 am

    May.he R. I. P

    Reply
  10. Pullhead Davis
    Pullhead Davis September 14, 2017 at 12:55 am

    R.i.p God’s knows best

    Reply
  11. Jasmine Blanchard
    Jasmine Blanchard September 14, 2017 at 1:42 am

    Rest in peace Zander. You brought joy to so many in your time here.

    Reply
  12. Hightower Bajedude
    Hightower Bajedude September 14, 2017 at 1:51 am

    RIP

    Reply
  13. Barbara Alexis
    Barbara Alexis September 14, 2017 at 2:05 am

    Really sad but RIP

    Reply
  14. Mathew Roach
    Mathew Roach September 14, 2017 at 2:13 am

    Ohhhh my heart hurts for you lil brother ❤️❤️❤️ Rest In Peace legend

    Reply
  15. David Alexander September 14, 2017 at 2:32 am

    RIP

    Reply
  16. Suga Pun De Hill
    Suga Pun De Hill September 14, 2017 at 3:07 am

    RIP

    Reply
  17. Nadine Elias
    Nadine Elias September 14, 2017 at 3:22 am

    Goon To Soon Zander..R.I.P

    Reply
  18. Sandra Browne Sampson
    Sandra Browne Sampson September 14, 2017 at 3:36 am

    May he RIP

    Reply
  19. Tina Brianna
    Tina Brianna September 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

    R.I.P

    Reply
  20. Hartley Alleyne
    Hartley Alleyne September 14, 2017 at 4:32 am

    May you RIP young man

    Reply
  21. Stewart Stoute September 14, 2017 at 5:02 am

    #livelikezander

    Reply
  22. Alison Toppin
    Alison Toppin September 14, 2017 at 5:15 am

    RIP

    Reply
  23. Rainz Franklyn
    Rainz Franklyn September 14, 2017 at 5:52 am

    R.I.P

    Reply
  24. Kim Connell
    Kim Connell September 14, 2017 at 5:54 am

    Rip

    Reply
  25. Jill September 14, 2017 at 5:57 am

    So sad, my heart goes out to his family. May he Rest In Peace. May his family find comfort in Jesus’s loving arms.

    Reply
    • Sherlock Holmes. September 14, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Amen.

      Reply
  26. Sherlock Holmes. September 14, 2017 at 5:57 am

    SO sad my condolences to the family ,relatives and friends.

    Reply
  27. Tony Corbin September 14, 2017 at 6:03 am

    Rest In Peace , Mr Zander ,, may GOD bless you with his eternal love ❤️

    Reply
  28. Meldine Williams
    Meldine Williams September 14, 2017 at 6:04 am

    R I P Zander

    Reply
  29. Kathleen Cadogan
    Kathleen Cadogan September 14, 2017 at 6:05 am

    Sincere condolences to Family and Friends. Gone too soon.

    Reply
  30. Heather Hackett
    Heather Hackett September 14, 2017 at 6:10 am

    Rip

    Reply
  31. Mark Rosmar September 14, 2017 at 6:26 am

    So sad. RIP

    Reply
  32. Rosemary Ellis September 14, 2017 at 6:31 am

    I have never met him but my heart aches as though he was my son. You just know that he was a wonderful person. Condolences to his family and friends you are always in my thoughts and I know that I will never forget Zander! May he Rest In Peace.

    Reply
  33. Judith Yvette Greenidge
    Judith Yvette Greenidge September 14, 2017 at 6:37 am

    R.I.P.

    Reply
  34. Rachel Barbados
    Rachel Barbados September 14, 2017 at 6:54 am

    memorial for zander on the new jersey shore

    Reply
  35. Hermin Boston
    Hermin Boston September 14, 2017 at 6:58 am

    RIP

    Reply
  36. Coombs Soyini
    Coombs Soyini September 14, 2017 at 6:59 am

    So sad …only 16 years old

    Reply
  37. Sylvia Johnson September 14, 2017 at 7:10 am

    With love and special thoughts to Liz, Kent, Lisa and Alex xx

    Reply
  38. Angela Yeoman-King
    Angela Yeoman-King September 14, 2017 at 7:11 am

    RIP

    Reply
  39. Sharin Shepherd
    Sharin Shepherd September 14, 2017 at 7:13 am

    Rip

    Reply
  40. d September 14, 2017 at 7:13 am

    R.I.P

    Reply
  41. Katharine Clarke-Weekes
    Katharine Clarke-Weekes September 14, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Rest in peace

    Reply
  42. Margaret Rose Fenty September 14, 2017 at 7:21 am

    RIP Zander.

    Reply
  43. Ali Baba
    Ali Baba September 14, 2017 at 7:29 am

    MY CONDOLENCES, FAMILY & FRIENDS

    Reply
  44. Georgia Hammitt
    Georgia Hammitt September 14, 2017 at 7:31 am

    Sleep on

    Reply
  45. Mecheal Skeete
    Mecheal Skeete September 14, 2017 at 7:34 am

    R I P Zander

    Reply
  46. Ladii C Spencer-Alleyne
    Ladii C Spencer-Alleyne September 14, 2017 at 7:35 am

    R ip

    Reply
  47. Niel Harper
    Niel Harper September 14, 2017 at 7:36 am

    R.I.P. young man #surftheclouds #eternalwave

    Reply
  48. Gottogetitright R. Greenidge
    Gottogetitright R. Greenidge September 14, 2017 at 7:44 am

    RIP

    Reply
  49. Adelia de Silvia
    Adelia de Silvia September 14, 2017 at 7:47 am

    R.I.P.

    Reply
  50. Kathy Griffith
    Kathy Griffith September 14, 2017 at 7:54 am

    Condolences

    Reply
  51. Jacqueline Maynard
    Jacqueline Maynard September 14, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Rest in peace Zander

    Reply
  52. Nicole Sealy
    Nicole Sealy September 14, 2017 at 8:02 am

    May he rest in peace

    Reply
  53. Veronica Maynard
    Veronica Maynard September 14, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Rip zander

    Reply
  54. Pam Carew
    Pam Carew September 14, 2017 at 8:18 am

    Please accept my deepest condolences family and friends , may he RIP

    Reply
  55. Patricia Cozier da Silva
    Patricia Cozier da Silva September 14, 2017 at 8:37 am

    R I P

    Reply
  56. Yvette Griffith
    Yvette Griffith September 14, 2017 at 8:42 am

    My sympathy goes to his family and friends and may he RIP and RIG

    Reply
  57. Karen Farmer Troulan
    Karen Farmer Troulan September 14, 2017 at 8:44 am

    RIP Zander. Condolences to all friends and family.❤️

    Reply
  58. Natalie Ferguson
    Natalie Ferguson September 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

    Sending my condolences to the family, may they find comfort somehow to deal with this loss. Such a sad passing.

    Reply
  59. Tissot Flower
    Tissot Flower September 14, 2017 at 8:53 am

    RIP

    Reply
  60. Tissot Flower
    Tissot Flower September 14, 2017 at 8:55 am

    My prayers are with family and friends

    Reply
  61. Davie Etwaroo
    Davie Etwaroo September 14, 2017 at 9:26 am

    RIP

    Reply
  62. Richard Johnston September 14, 2017 at 9:30 am

    So sad, and only white people appear to care.

    Reply
  63. King Bubba September 14, 2017 at 9:49 am

    My condolences to everyone , RIP

    Reply
  64. Shirley Beharre Procope
    Shirley Beharre Procope September 14, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Rest peacefully Zander.

    Reply
  65. Joanne Spencer September 14, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Please accept my deepest condolences family and friends. My prayers are with you.

    Reply
  66. Sheryaññ Bowen
    Sheryaññ Bowen September 14, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Rip zander

    Reply
  67. Tracy Williams
    Tracy Williams September 14, 2017 at 10:19 am

    Rip

    Reply
  68. Juan Waithe-Lashley
    Juan Waithe-Lashley September 14, 2017 at 10:26 am

    RIP Zander

    Reply
  69. Kim Marshall
    Kim Marshall September 14, 2017 at 10:41 am

    RIP little angel

    Reply
  70. Sonia Stoute
    Sonia Stoute September 14, 2017 at 11:15 am

    So sorry about his passing my condolences to the Family RIP

    Reply
  71. Cherri Seepa
    Cherri Seepa September 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Rest in Peace

    Reply
  72. Deion Johnson September 14, 2017 at 11:30 am

    Bye bye zander still riding the wave.

    Reply
  73. Veda Phillips September 14, 2017 at 11:38 am

    May he RIP

    Reply
  74. GoodGirl GoneBad
    GoodGirl GoneBad September 14, 2017 at 11:46 am

    RIP young man.

    Reply
  75. Sweets Archer
    Sweets Archer September 14, 2017 at 11:56 am

    R.I.P

    Reply
  76. Anndell Deane
    Anndell Deane September 14, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    R.I.P

    Reply
  77. Winfield Sobers
    Winfield Sobers September 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    Condolence to the family and friend may he R.I.P

    Reply
  78. Marissa Gregg
    Marissa Gregg September 14, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    Rip

    Reply
  79. Antoinette Hannah
    Antoinette Hannah September 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm

    Wishing that peace and comfort will find his friends and family during this difficult time. So sorry for your loss.

    Reply
  80. Victor Wilson September 14, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    RIP

    Reply
  81. Antonia Walrond
    Antonia Walrond September 14, 2017 at 2:43 pm

    Rip

    Reply
  82. Rubertha Blackman
    Rubertha Blackman September 14, 2017 at 4:38 pm

    RIP

    Reply
  83. Marilyn Ross-Boyd September 14, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    I do not know this young man, but reading this article brought tears. My sincere condolences to his friends n entire family circle! So young, gone too soon, but God knows best!

    Reply
  84. Marley Braids At Town
    Marley Braids At Town September 14, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    R I p

    Reply
  85. Angela Crichlow
    Angela Crichlow September 14, 2017 at 6:29 pm

    May his soul rest in peace and rise in glory
    To his family my condolences

    Reply
  86. Lisa Farmer Halcovitch
    Lisa Farmer Halcovitch September 14, 2017 at 6:39 pm

    RIP just so sad thinking of his family

    Reply
  87. Marc Goodridge
    Marc Goodridge September 14, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    My sympathy to the family

    Reply
  88. Mark Ivan Boyce
    Mark Ivan Boyce September 14, 2017 at 7:09 pm

    RIEP

    Reply
  89. Zedlayson September 14, 2017 at 7:37 pm

    RIP Zander. My heart hurts for louis and Lisa… no words can express their sorrow . I hope you find peace soonest. Rest assured your little boy is with the best of all creation reserved for the pure of heart.
    Zander sure has become the catalyst that has brought the surfing community together again and we owe it to him to fix all that is wrong within. We all share a common goal and a common source of joy. #livelikezander

    Reply
  90. Dan September 14, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    May you forever surf the perfect wave.
    A brief life, well lived.

    Reply
  91. Miriam De-Wever September 15, 2017 at 2:02 pm

    Embraced in the tender Loving Arms of the Holy Spirit whilst riding the waves he loved….gone too soon. My deepest condolences to family and friends from >>and to the surfing world

    Reply
  92. Isabell Christie September 16, 2017 at 8:44 am

    Words cannot express the sadness I feel for the passing of Zander. Only knew him as a baby but obviously he grew into a wonderful caring young man. My condolences to Louis, Lisa, Bella, Liz and Kent and the rest of his family and friends.
    #livelikezander.

    Reply
  93. Frieda Zamba September 18, 2017 at 11:13 am

    Forever in our hearts Zander and you touched our soul with the Stoke to Surf, Live, Love, Laugh.

    Reply

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