Deceased lawmAn gets military send off
There was no recalling the tragic circumstances in which Shayne Vincent Welch lost his life last month, only an outpouring of love and support today as family members joined with Deputy Commissioner of Police Oral Williams, Assistant Commissioner Erwin Boyce and several other members of the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) in paying final tribute to the deceased 31-year-old police constable.
Welch’s life came to an abrupt and violent end on March 26, when he was apparently stabbed to death outside his Kingsland, Christ Church home – the victim of a love triangle which turned fatally ugly.
However, today family members and friends fought off the horrible memories of the still nationally discussed and debated tragedy, as they gathered at the People’s Cathedral on Bishop’s Court Hill, St Michael under overcast skies and amid intermittent showers, in a strong show of empathy for Welch, who was given a military send-off of a lifetime.
Delivering a tribute on behalf of Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith, Acting Superintendent John Maxwell described Welch as “a true lawman” who was “dedicated” to his job and “very brave”.
“He could be called out for duty even when he was off and . . . during his short time as a member of the Royal Barbados Police Force he served the Force and his country with distinction.
“He understood many of the commands and instructions given at drill sessions and performed them well, causing him to gain the respect of his colleagues. On many occasions during free periods he could be seen demonstrating the current movements to orders given.
“In addition he had a love for information technology and possessed certain technical skills that he did not keep to himself. He even offered his assistance and carried out repairs on several computers at the Regional Police Training Centre,” Maxwell recalled.
Welch’s cousin Jason Alleyne, in a very touching and emotional eulogy, began by reciting a poem reminiscing on the passion and love Welch had for his job as a law enforcement officer:
You chose to be a police officer
It was duty and your call
You served no matter the crisis, both big and small
The thin blue line of courage is the symbol that reflects your depth
Your strength to conquer fear, your commitment and respect
Shayne I give you this heart to share, holding memories of family and friends
Your loss so hard to bear.
Alleyne also described his late cousin as “a man of unwavering character, spirit and a professional who stood for his job no matter what.
“You would never run short of adjectives to describe the attributes that made Shayne who he was . . . . Shayne loved his family and friends deeply.”
In her address to the packed congregation, Reverend Wilma Gill assured that despite death, God was in control, while pleading with them to be prepared when death calls.
“Sometimes life itself seems so hopeless, but I’m here to let you know that no matter the situation there is always hope because God is still in control of this world and he rules in the affairs of men.
“I want you to believe that as long as there is God, there is hope and there will always be God.
“God can use this circumstance this evening to speak to us concerning the importance of facing death as a reality, because death is real and can happen at any time, and because life is brief and fragile and uncertain we should live in a state of preparation,” she said.
In keeping with military tradition the funeral service ended with a 21-gun salute, followed by the playing of the Last Post as Welch’s body was lowered into its final resting place at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens, amid the wailing of mournerss.