There was hardly an empty seat in the All Souls Anglican Church, Bank Hall, St Michael this morning, as a large crowd gathered to bid farewell to Paula Deon Worrell-Corbin.
Tears also flowed freely as family, friends, colleagues and students gathered for the two-hour long solemn funeral service of the late Lawrence T Gay Memorial School teacher and Lions Club of Barbados member who died tragically on March 25.
Worrell-Corbin, whose remains were carried today in a brown mahogany casket, was the passenger in a car driven by 42-year-old Troy Trotman, of Chapman Lane, St Michael, when it collided with another motorcar along the Adams Section of the ABC Highway.
She later died while receiving treatment for her injuries in the Accident & Emergency Department of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
Today, there was hardly a dry eye in the church during the singing of the hymn How Great Thou Art with members of the congregation still seemingly in shock and very torn up over Worrell-Corbin’s untimely death.
Presenting the eulogy, an emotional Lisa Broomes, who met Worrell-Corbin at the Erdison Teachers Training College, described her as a close friend and a gem of an educator who always had her pupils’ best interest at heart.
“She was loving, protective and supportive. Paula was a very dependable person who [put others above] herself. Paula was a dedicated and committed teacher. She was always thinking of ways in which she could instruct her students so that they understood or grasped the concepts being taught.
“She would read and research various methods because she always wanted the best for her students and Paula loved teaching Class three and four. That was her delight. She seems to have the knack for getting children ready for the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Exam. She was really interested in getting students to the top schools, and she wanted each child to achieve his or her best at that time. As long as the child did their best she was overjoyed,” Broomes said.
She also described 45-year-old Worrell-Corbin – a former Alleyne School student – as “awesome, strong, selfless and upbeat, even in life’s dark moments.
“As a friend she was so kind, warm and generous. She devoted a lot of time to her friends and she would share her knowledge with all of us. She was always willing to offer guidance to all of us.
“She was a mixer and everything she did, she committed to it wholeheartedly. Paula was full of life even in her darkest times in life.”
In her sermon, officiating minister Kim Welch touched on the recent Easter holiday celebration and its meaning, comparing the late teacher’s life to that of Jesus Christ in which he did several miraculous things before dying on the cross at the age of 33.
“My question to us is how do you achieve so much in so little time?” she asked while suggesting to members of the congregation that they should “live a life that is so authentic and true . . . so that we can achieve much in whatever time we have left and be celebrated by all who knew us”.
Welch also had a message for Worrell-Corbin’s students.
“I want to encourage her students especially to always be yourself as you remember Ms. Corbin. As you grow and develop, you will hear a lot of voices telling you about who you should be and what you should do, but I want you to honour Ms Corbin by being yourself. Remember that she was always herself.”
The burial took place at the Westbury Cemetery.