Hundreds attended the military funeral for late Chief Petty Officer of the Barbados Defence Force (BDF) David Fitzgerald Craigwell, at the St George Parish Church where he regularly worshipped.
It was a sombre occasion this afternoon as the gathering reflected on the life of the 63-year-old who passed away after experiencing difficulty breathing while in his car on the compound of Pricesmart, Green Hill, St Michael, on September 29.
Members of the BDF joined Craigwell’s family and friends for the almost two-hour long service during which the BDF band played some musical selections.
There were tributes from groups and organizations of which Craigwell was a part, including Lions Club of Bridgetown,
Barbados Photographic Society, The Barbados National Trust, The Barbados Legion and the BDF.
His friend and Retired Warrant Officer 1 Cherrol Deane said Pop or Craigie as he was affectionately called, said one of Craigwell’s brothers described him as “a no-nonsense person who, from an early age, believed in discipline, and even as a cricketer playing for Persuaders this was displayed”.
“In 1976, David, like so many other boys of his era, enlisted in the Barbados Regiment and with the formation of the Barbados Defence Force in November 1979 he transferred and remained there until his retirement. I had a close working relationship with David, as a member of the Barbados Defence Force and I too can attest to his no-nonsense attitude to work. When Craigie told you ‘no’, it was ‘no’,” he said.
Deane pointed out that he was instrumental in sponsoring Craigwell in the Lions Club of Bridgetown where he was installed on April 25, 2015 and subsequently served on several committees.
At the St George Parish Church, he was a member of the 7 a.m. choir and attended church on Sundays, Wednesdays and twice on Fridays.
Craigwell also loved running and photography.
“His early morning tracks to the east of the country to take pictures of the sunset – that bird in the tree, a piece of bark on a tree, or the crashing of the waves on the East Coast – or his late drive to the north of the country to see or take pictures of the sunset, all reminded us of the beauty of creation. David had a love for the beauty of this Earth and opted to reflect it through photography, which he shared with others,” Deane said.
He recalled that Craigwell was always thoughtful and willingly gave of his time, talents and energy to ensure others were happy. In the Barbados Legion, he assisted with the Poppy League; at the church, he assisted with the resurgence of the Church Lads’ and Church Girls’ Brigade in the St John’s Deanery.
Assistant Curate Reverend Yolanda Clarke who spoke about Craigwell’s commitment to the work of God, called on those gathered to let his legacy continue.
She said she admired the fact that he was able to see the touch and presence of Almighty God in people around him.
“He was able to interact with the so-called ‘big ups’ in our society, and the not so ‘big ups’, with the same dignity, with the same respect, and with the same love. In other words, our brother’s life was one of the Lord, it was one of service, it was one of Christian discipline,” Reverend Clarke said.
The BDF paid respects by sounding the Last Post to indicate that it was time to rest from a day’s work. That was followed by the Reveille to remind those gathered that life goes on. [email protected]