Family and friends of 57-year-old Michael Plumber Alleyne today said they were struggling to find the words to describe their shock at the sudden passing of the bar owner.
Alleyne, who would have celebrated his 58th birthday on Sunday, this morning collapsed and died at his Boom’s Bar on Lower Westbury Road, St Michael shortly after complaining of chest pains.
His 26-year-old daughter Jalissa told Barbados TODAY that around 7 a.m. her father complained of a sharp pain in his chest, called out to her, and simply collapsed and died before the ambulance could arrive at the scene.
A devastated Jalissa said everything seemed fine with her dad, with whom she had earlier been joking about garlic spread, and who never showed signs of ill health.
“I never knew my father to be sick at any time of his life. We were laughing and talking this morning in the bar as usual. He asked me if I had eaten his garlic spread, which he usually used on bread, I told him, ‘every time you missed anything from the refrigerator you always assume that I took it,’” she recalled.
As Alleyne’s body was being removed from the bar by officials of Two Sons’ Funeral Home, several patrons and members of the surrounding district looked on in disbelief.
The mood among those present reflected a deep sense of grief over the loss of the “well-liked” Alleyne.
While he ran Boom’s Bar, it was as a plumber that Alleyne apparently made a name for himself in Westbury Road.
He was a well known plumber and “well-liked by many residents” of the district where he grew up, Jalissa said.
Her sentiments were shared by boyhood friend Tyrone Asher Babb, who grew up with Alleyne in Westbury Road, and with whom he last spoke on Monday night.
“The Mighty Plumber was just a fantastic person. I called him the Mighty Plumber because we used to make a lot of sport. If I do not have anything he made sure that I got something to eat. In times when I was down and out he would come and give me work and I helped him work.
“He was a very great person. He was well-loved in the community and he made a lot of sport. My heart is broken today. I think that we have lost a good person . . . . If anybody came and told him they were hungry he would offer them something to eat. A fantastic person has gone. I am so shaken by the death that I have not gone to work today. When I found out that the Plumber had died I just lost all interest in work,” Babb said.
“Like Tyrone, I think that Plumber was a fantastic person. I agree with everything that Babb said about the Plumber. We all grew up in the Westbury Road district and we remained friends until his death today. He will be missed by all of his boyhood friends,” added Parker Phillips, who sat on the steps of the bar reflecting on Alleyne’s sudden passing.
One brother, David, was so overtaken by grief that he merely looked on in disbelief as his brother’s body was being taken away. Another brother, Courtney, jolted by the reality of his brother’s death, said he felt that his head was about to “crack open”.
“I do not have the energy to speak to the press. My head feels like it is going to crack open. I do not know what to say about his sudden passing. I was not looking for anything like this to happen today,” Courtney told Barbados TODAY.
Shortly after Alleyne’s body was removed from the bar, his other daughter, Tanya Cox, who also assisted in the running of the bar, shut it down.
Alleyne leaves his six children and four grand children to mourn his passing.