Alberto Bert Fabrisco Samuel was the life of any fete he attended, and was admired by those with whom he came into contact.
Therefore, it was no surprise when tears trickled down the cheeks of hundreds who gathered at the Mile and A Quarter Seventh Day Adventist Church today to celebrate the final earthly journey of a young man whose life was cut short on January 20, 2018 in a vehicular accident.
Police said Samuel, 35, was the front seat passenger in a motor car driven by 19-year-old Sara Gibson of Dodds Land, St Philip which collided with a guard wall along Belle Gully Road, St Michael. He died at the scene.
Overcast skies and occasional showers set the sombre mood, as family, friends, members of the popular BlackBarrelBoyz group, Pharmaceutical Plus Mayhill Basketball Team and Wednesday 2000 Kadooment band, to which he belonged, huddled into the church, some trying to “just be cool” as he often said, in coming to grips with his untimely passing.
His sister Claire Clarke spoke in the eulogy of her late brother being a party animal with dance moves that amazed many.
“My brother loved to party. Bert had a movement to every musical instrument that was played. He took me to a party once and when we got back home he said, ‘mummy, my sister waste my money, I am not taking her nowhere again. She can’t wuk up’.
“He was a terrific dancer and was legendary for wukking up. Like all siblings we had our difference but I love my brother to the moon and back,” Clarke said.
Clarke also reminisced on some of the many childhood memories which will be forever etched in her heart.
“As children Bert and I would travelled from St Peter and St George on the back of our dad’s motorcycle, we were always seen together so much that people thought we were a twin. There is no Claire without Bert.”
Another sister, Shernelle Smith, who also paid tribute to Bert, who was the island’s second road fatality for the year, remembered the former Darryl Jordan student as a loving, spirited personality, but who was strict when necessary.
“Bert wore many hats . . . .He was kind, helpful, respectful, hardworking kind of person. If you knew Bert you would know that he was big and tall in stature and his tone of voice commanded respect.
“Bert was strict when it comes to discipline, but still fun-loving. Even though he had no children of his own, he kept his nephews and nieces in line. He had the kind of personality that allowed him to make friends with everyone and this was evident because of the many house parties and family panics he attended throughout the year,” Smith told the mourners, going on to offer some words of advice.
“For us alive and here present today, we have a better chance of asking God to come into our lives; we have to put our lives in order because we have this hope that once we die in Christ we will live again and see our friends and loved ones when Jesus comes again.
“I want to tell everyone here to be the one that touches the lives and hearts of people and live a positive life while also putting a smile on a face everyday.”
After two emotional tributes in words Shawn Husbands topped it off with a rendition of Midnight Cry, causing some of those present to shed tears and shake their heads in disbelief.
One mourner said: “I’m here at this funeral, but I still can’t believe Bert is gone.”
Delivering a short sermon before the mint green casket was ushered out of the sanctuary, Pastor De Vere Lindo urged the congregation to live a meaningful life.
“We know that death is not the end. So to those that are alive if it is one thing we can learn from this is that life is uncertain. It can end at anytime . . . .But we must ask in our lives what is our purpose and what has God put me on this earth for,” Lindo said.