Calling for an end to talk, an Anglican priest used the funeral of slain student Temario Holder to call for a national effort to quell violent crime that has claimed a record number of lives this year.
As he delivered the sermon for the 16-year-old Frederick Smith student who was killed by a peer last month, Canon Curtis Goodridge called on Barbadians not to allow the teenager’s death, which sent shockwaves throughout the nation, to be in vain, but rather a wakeup call for action.
He told a packed St Lucy Parish Church that Barbadians staying in their corners and worrying about the crime rate won’t resolve the issue.
Canon Goodridge said: “The home, the school, the church, the Government, the private sector, all in the positions of authority, indeed all heads from the lowest to the highest must come together and seek the solution.
“For I say to you, with God’s help, we shall come up with the solution. For God will provide us, once we put our heads together, with the wisdom, the knowledge and the understanding.
“It must be arrested and arrested now. And I want to say to you this evening that if we are to deal with the violence in our schools we must first deal with it in society.
“We must get to the root of this violence and those roots are spreading far and wide in this nation.
“If it is to be dealt with in a serious manner, then the time for talk has long passed.
“While we are talking, it is getting out of hand. We no longer need a lot of long talk; the time for action is now.”
He said many of the nation’s children were in crisis and have been crying out for help and attention.
He told the St Lucy’s congregation that Barbados could not afford to allow the future of the nation to fall by the wayside. He noted that all in society must play a role in rescuing them.
Canon Goodridge said: “We all know that our country today is faced with many problems.
“And no doubt, these problems are in some way impacting on the lives of our children.
“ As a result, we have a lot of troubled, disturbed, angry and wrestles children with emotional problems.
“And some seem to believe that the only way out is to act in a rash manner, to display deviant behaviour, a behaviour that was once foreign to this fair land.”
The Anglican cleric also said that he believed the nation was suffering as a result of too many parents neglecting their parental responsibility and not taking their children to church.
He charged parents to take the responsibility of raising their children more seriously.
He declared: “Sometimes I wonder who is controlling who? Is [it] the parents controlling the children, or the children controlling the parents? There are some parents in this land who seem to be afraid of their children and instead of being in control; they are being controlled by the children.
“Some parents are afraid to correct their children and that ought not to be.
“Parents take charge of the children. Parents take charge of the home.”
Canon Goodridge also criticised parents for rushing to their children’s defence even though they know they were in the wrong, describing it as a trend that should not be tolerated.
He then advised the nation’s youth not to give others reason to speak ill of them.
He advised: “Young people, don’t let nobody wash them mouth on you. Live a Godly life. Live a good life.
“Your conduct must be impeccable. It must be of the highest standard.
“If today’s young people would live out that advice given by St Paul, life in this country would be a lot better.
“If only our young people would live out Paul’s advice to them, there will be respect for law and order in this country.
“There will be respect for the sanctity of human life.
“People will do to others as they would have others do to them.
And believe me, brothers and sisters, we would have a little heaven down here.”
Canon Goodridge also remarked that there were too many selfish people in society who only think about themselves and those close to them while remaining unbothered by what does not affect them directly. [email protected]