Tears flowed freely Tuesday afternoon as family and friends gathered at the Sharon Moravian Church, Sharon, St Thomas to bid farewell to their beloved Andrew King Boy King, who was shot to death in the wee hours of February 18, while out liming with friends in Holetown, St James.
Tuesday, several persons wept openly as they reflected on the life of a “bright spark” who, for them, was simply gone too soon.
However, King Boy’s mother Veronica Leacock kept her composure throughout the two hour-long funeral service. She even took time, just as his mahogany casket was about to be closed, to make sure her son’s black suit and his favourite sweet – a red lollipop – were both in place, before kissing him goodbye one last time.
Leacock’s voice could also be heard singing above all others. But while King Boy’s mother did not shed a single tear, the grief proved way too much for his brother, Andre, and his sister, Ashley, to bear. They took turns simply moving in and out of the church, as they battled to control their restless emotions, while King Boy’s dad, Aubrey, sat quietly, with dark sunglasses covering his eyes and his every feeling.
During a very moving eulogy, read by his aunt Maria, King Boy was remembered as a loyal, independent, extremely polite and caring young man. But those were just a few of the adjectives used to describe the outgoing 26-year-old, who simply loved life, and found expression in sports such as swimming and cricket and social clubs, such as the Cub Scouts movement.
He also loved travelling – his most memorable trip being to Washington, DC, to witness the inauguration of America’s 44th president Barack Obama back in 2009.
A former employee of the popular Mapp’s food establishment at Eagle Hall, King Boy was pursuing a degree in Economics at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill at the time of his death.
His cousin and best friend Ramon Leacock evoked laughter from the congregation when he recalled how King Boy used to finish his meals for him.
“He always loved his belly and I was glad he did. In order for me to go outside and play, I had to finish my food, and everyone knew I was never a big eater, so little did my grandmother know, that a good few times he [King Boy] came up by me and help me eat, so I could go outside,” recalled Leacock, who was one of the last persons to see his beloved relative alive.
“I will always be glad to know that I got to spend his last moments on earth with him. I know today you are looking down on us and smiling. I love and miss you brother and your positive spirit will always remain with me,” said Leacock, who was overcome with tears.
In delivering the sermon, Reverend Ezra Parris urged the congregation to let the 26-year-old’s death be a catalyst for change in Barbados.
“Allow his death to be a wake up call. We cannot accept gun violence. We cannot accept this as the new norm. I don’t see how anyone can be happy with this current trend,” he said.
Parris also called on the gathering to seek peace rather than vengeance.