The usual fierce competition among vendors at the Bridgetown Fisheries Complex was replaced with both sombre and celebratory scenes of a market adorned in purple, white and black balloons and posters as fisherfolk mourned the violent death of one of their own.
Those who worked with Stephen Molly Small joined with family to hold a candlelight vigil. Tears flowed freely as members of the fishing community remembered the life of the man that they had come to call brother for the last two decades.
The vigil began at his boat and proceeded to his stall where colleagues shared memories of their comrade. But then switched to a carnival-like block party, as according to those who knew him best, Molly always wanted a lively send off.
Fish vendor Sharon Bellamy, who organized the vigil, described her friend and colleague as a man who was generous to a fault.
“This is a man that would give you his
last and do without. I remember times when I put in my order for fish and when Molly went out and come back with the boat all the fish sell out before I could get any. Molly would give me his fish that he had to sell and do without,” she said while struggling to hold back tears.
But sadness soon gave way to anger friends and family recalled the circumstances leading to the stabbing death of the fisherman-vendor.
“This is a man that would get angry and would give you anything once you asked. So I don’t understand why they had to do this to him,” a woman exclaimed.
“They kill my best child. They cut out my belly, he don’t trouble nobody. I am not questioning God but I don’t why they would want to kill my child,” said his mother, Elsa Small, between sobs.
Small was robbed and killed last Thursday evening and co-workers still seem haunted by their last conversation with the man the fish market fixture known to buyers and sellers alike simply as Molly.
“I still can’t believe he is gone. He left here like he does every evening and I expected to see the next morning. Up to now I can’t believe that he really gone for true. It is really a shock and every day I go to work still expecting to see him, said one worker at the market, who did not want his identity revealed.
After tonight’s vigil, the market is to be closed on Friday for the funeral service and a wake. [email protected]