Two parents, a devoted companion and two children along with scores of friends and colleagues from the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF) laid to rest a woman of many firsts today. Station Sergeant Juan Icilma Walrond was heralded as a history-making member of the force where she served for the past 34 years.
The 54-year-old Walrond, who was among the first females to join the Police Band, also had the distinction of being the first female to reach supervisory and management levels in the Band. She died on October 29 after a battle with cancer, nine days after her 54th birthday.
Today, during a funeral service at the Abundant Life Assembly, acting Assistant Superintendent Dexter Norville who is also the acting Assistant Director of Music for the band, said Walrond topped off her Best Pistol and Best Rifle Shot on her graduation from training school with an exemplary career in the force during which she gave her all to the popular band.
“She has left an indelible legacy,” he added. He recalled that while she served, she also furthered her academic studies in music and attained advanced grades in both theory and in practical, from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music London.
Walrond was the Band Office Manager and played both the flute and the pito.
Today, her band colleagues carried her and played for her, filling the large church with the instruments for which the band has become renowned. Their music included a very touching tribute of “It is well with my soul.”
Walrond was also a Senior Tutor with the Barbados Cadet Corps, and the subordinate Police Officer in charge of the summer music camps of the Pineland’s Creative Workshop, where she and other Band members taught young persons to play musical instruments.
Her best friend Margot Odwin remembered Walrond as “a queen inside and out” and one who took care of those she treasured up until the last.
“She knew she was faithfully and wonderfully made by God. Her infectious smile was all the cosmetics she needed,” Odwin said.
Delivering the eulogy at the two-hour-service, Odwin described her friend as a great cook and baker who put her family above everything. “Juan was a private and confidential person, who spoke only when she was spoken to. Juan’s life was centred on family and work.
“She also had a love for netball and her hobbies included gardening, dressmaking, crochet, bookbinding and basket making.”
Leading the large uniformed police contingent attending the official funeral was acting Commissioner of Police Erwin Boyce. He was joined by other members of the top brass.
Walrond’s companion Leonard Blackman, their son Kyle, and adopted daughter Selena Elcock, stuck close to each other throughout the service. Her parents Emril Walrond, and Alfonso Walker, were present to say goodbye to their first-born.
Odwin said her friend will not be remembered as a person of flair and fashion, but her simplicity and elegance, would never be forgotten.
“She bore her illness in quietness, which was one of her attributes. Never once did she complain, or ask why me. Her passing has left an aching void,” Odwin added.
The former Alleyne student was laid to rest at the St. Peter’s Church Cemetery, a stone’s throw from where she lived at Battaley’s St. Peter.