Fallen soldier Lance Corporal Pablo Kinch was supposed to be taking home bread to his elderly mother Silvadeen Kinch, around the same time he was killed on the compound of the District “A” Police Station on April 6.
He never got the chance to deliver the bread to his mother whom relatives said he loved dearly and would go above and beyond to ensure she got whatever she needed.
But today, while having to be comforted by relatives, and held by senior Barbados Defence Force (BDF) officers, Silvadeen said goodbye to Pablo who was laid to rest, three months after his untimely death.
Hundreds gathered at the Kingdom Life Assembly Church in Inch Marlow, Christ Church, for an emotional and moving farewell service, where many shed tears, but smiled occasionally when they heard about the lighter side to the man who gave five years of his life to the army.
His sister Hannah Barrow, who spoke highly about her sibling, told those who attended the military service, including Chief of Staff Colonel Glyne Grannum and Member of Parliament for the area Wilfred Abrahams, that Pablo was a momma’s boy.
She said the relationship the mother and son shared was like none other.
“She would always tell you how handsome you were and introduce you as her big sweet son to all her friends and you would rub her head or kiss her nose and tell her if she needed anything to don’t hesitate to call. Many times you would walk around the house late at night and make sure all was well with us and knowing that brought me a sense of comfort and protection.
“Mummy could always depend on you whether it was to cut down a tree, or run an errand, you would never tell her no. If you were unable to come yourself you would always send someone, this included helping with our grandmother who we have yet to tell about your passing,” she said.
The sister said she had intended to relocate overseas to pursue studies in September, and the plan was for Pablo to move back home to live with his mother when she leaves so she would not be in the house alone.
Barrow said she had “a funny feeling” something wasn’t right days before Pablo died. However, she said every day before his passing, the soldier did something for his mother.
“You would have taken mummy to see our grandmother the Wednesday and my heart raced like none other that evening. I sighed in relief when I saw the car pull back up at the house. The Thursday you took her grocery shopping and even offered us Chefette as you had eaten too much at work which shocked me because I know how much you love your belly.
“The Saturday you passed in the car and said you were going to work but didn’t stop to come in the house. Sunday night you stopped while on patrol to bring a chicken for mummy. I can still see you vividly in your uniform coming through the house. We didn’t talk, but it was okay because I know I would see you the Monday.”
Barrow recalled that Monday, April 6 came and while the day started off like any other, little did her family know that their lives would have been altered.
“I remember mummy saying you coming to bring bread for us after work. Six-thirty came and mummy turned and said ‘well Hannah, Pablo taking very long to bring this bread, this ain’t like he.’ I said to her he probably made a stop on his way.
“After 7 p.m. our house phone began to ring and mummy answered talking as normal. It was only after she began saying she hadn’t heard anything happen and the person couldn’t be Pablo because she not too long talked to him and he was supposed to bring her bread, that my ears perked.
“Simultaneously my phone began to ring and I answered, the words I heard would forever echo in my mind. ‘Hannah something happen to your brother’ I began to scream at the other person on the line and dropped my phone and said ‘mummy something indeed happen to Pablo because the jeeps outside’. Our world shattered right then and there,” she recalled.
On the verge of tears, Barrow declared that since that horrid day her family has been living a nightmare. She said she wished she was there to protect her sibling, hold his hand and tell him things would be alright, as he has done so many times for her.
“I am sorry you had to go. I am sorry we won’t get to say goodbye. I am sorry we wouldn’t get to hug you for the last. You know my love and loyalty for you will never falter. We will not stop until we get you across that finish line.
“Though we will never get to see you grow old or grey or tease you about how much you were starting to look like daddy . . . We thank God for the 26 years we were granted with you. We want you to sleep in peace and get the justice you deserve,” she said.
Pablo, who is attached to the army’s Paragon Base, was shot around 5:35 p.m. Investigations indicate that the Lance Corporal and three of his colleagues from the BDF (BDF) had just returned from a joint patrol with police officers and were awaiting transportation back to their base when the incident occurred.
He was shot in the right sternum and succumbed to his injury despite valiant efforts to resuscitate him by two police constables – Farley and Manning, both emergency medical technicians.
In delivering the sermon, Pastor Selwyn Brathwaite said the Inch Marlow community was in mourning around this same time last year when hearing-impaired 43-year-old Rupert Patrick Stoute was beaten to death, at the entrance to the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal on July 6.
Brathwaite said the two young men suffered major tragedies that devastated the Inch Marlow community, leaving sorrowing mothers Cecilia Stoute and Silvadeen. Their sons’ lives matter too, he noted.
“We are a part of a hurting community. There are more questions than answers and the more we find out, is the less we know. We ask the question time and time again, why is there so little love among men. But what is life? How do we live? What should we take? And how much should we give? There are more questions than answers, pictures in our minds,” Brathwaite said, as he encouraged those grieving to look to God for comfort at this time.
Meanwhile, Captain Jamal Samrodia, Acting Officer Commanding, Special Operations Company, Barbados Regiment (BDF), said the deceased’s personality made him a well-respected person within the unit and the wider force where he was loved and appreciated.
He said Pablo was often referred to as the life of the party and there was never a dull moment once he was around. He said the BDF is richer for having Pablo’s presence and extremely poorer as a result of his untimely passing.
“Through my interactions with him, he would always focus on the positives. He exemplified the Barbados Defence Force’s core values; courage, discipline, respect for others, loyalty, integrity, selfless service and commitment to duty.
“I am sure many soldiers, officers, friends and family share happy and meaningful moments with Pablo. His jovial spirit lives on in the memories of those who had the honour and privilege to know him. Even now, as a result of his passing, we are forced to recognize how frail and finite life can be and it is better to take the time to appreciate those who pass in and out of our lives as we never know when that opportunity would be lost,” Captain Samrodia said.
The Lance Corporal was laid to rest at Coral Ridge Cemetery, Christ Church.
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