Wednesday, April 17, 2024

September 3 ceremony about more than Campus Trendz tragedy

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THURSDAY 3RD SEPTEMBER 2015 is the fifth anniversary of the horrific Campus Trendz criminal tragedy that took the lives of six beautiful young daughters of our nation – Tiffany Harding, Kelly-Ann Welch, Kellishaw Ollivierre, Nikkita Belgrave, Pearl Cornelius, and Shanna Griffith.

And once again, the September 3rd Foundation will be undertaking the responsibility of staging a national commemoration of this tragic, never-to-be-forgotten event.

Just like in previous years, the commemoration will take the form of a “National Minute of Silence” commencing at noon, with relatives of the six victims of the Campus Trendz tragedy and other members of the September 3rd Foundation, from the central and highly symbolic location of National Heroes Square in Bridgetown.

In fact, the observance of the Minute of Silence at the National Heroes Square location will take place within the context of a solemn commemorative ceremony that will commence at 11 a.m.

The ceremony will feature performances of anti-violence songs by such artistes as Adonijah, Chrystal Cummins-Beckles, the Richard Stoute Teen Talent choir, and the duo of Khalid and Najuma, as well as messages of inspiration and brotherhood by Leisel Daisley of the SAVE Foundation and Myrna Belgrave of the Raj Yoga Centre, and prayers for the nation by Rev. Onkphra Wells.

Additionally, a special feature of the ceremony will be the delivery of an “In Memoriam Roll Call” of the names of all Barbadians who lost their lives to violent crime over the past twelve months, and a reading of short biographies of the six young ladies who perished in the Campus Trendz arson on that fateful evening of Friday 3rd September 2010.

Some Barbadians have queried the need to stage this annual commemoration, while others have wondered why the public spirited citizens who established the September 3rd Foundation in the aftermath of the Campus Trendz tragedy are so insistent on their focus on this particular tragedy. And since I am a member, and perhaps the chief coordinator of the September 3rd Foundation, I will undertake the duty to address these two questions.

First of all, it is important to note that our annual commemoration is done with the blessing, consent and involvement of the relatives of the victims of the Campus Trendz tragedy!

It is also important to note that the act of public commemoration brings comfort to the grieving relatives of the victims of a tragedy, and reassures them that their loved ones have not been forgotten. Indeed, it is instructive to note that decades after the first and second World Wars we still stage annual Memorial Day ceremonies in honour of our War dead!

The members of the September 3rd Foundation would, however, like to explain that there is a special additional reason why we make the effort every year to commemorate the Campus Trendz tragedy.

You see, we are very much aware that our country Barbados has a serious and growing problem of violent crime! And we are convinced that if Barbados is to come to terms with and defuse this tragic phenomenon, some-one, or some institution, will have to find a way to penetrate the psyche and consciousness of our people with a powerful anti-crime and pro-brotherhood message.

The horrific Campus Trendz tragedy, in which the lives of six totally blameless and innocent young women were simultaneously destroyed by an act of criminal violence, is in our opinion, the tragedy that has the greatest potential to impact upon the individual and collective consciences of our people. (PR)

DAVID COMISSIONG

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