Lindo Creek victims remembered at special service

DPI, Guyana, Wednesday, June 20, 2018

A sombre atmosphere enveloped the Brickdam Cathedral today when close relatives and friends converged to share memories of the eight men who lost their lives in the tragic Lindo Creek massacre ten years ago.

The men, Bonny Harry, Horace Drakes, Dax Arokium, Cecil Arokium, Nigel Torres, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee and Compton Spiers were killed, then burnt at a mining camp at Lindo Creek, upper Berbice River on or about June 21, 2008.

While few families had held individual memorial services days after the deaths of the men, the service today was a joint occasion.

During the service, Aunt of Horace Drakes said he was one of the most selfless persons. “I always remember Horace on Mother’s Day she said, her voice breaking. She said he joined Arokium’s camp and it was there that he met his demise.”

Yonette Torres, the mother of Nigel Torres, belted out Cheryl Maloney’s “Don’t give up”, moving the congregation to tears.

Dr. Dawn Stuart, from Lyken’s funeral home, gave her assurance to the grieving families that their loved ones were well cared for during the years the human remains were at the funeral home.

“I tried my best to be able to have their funeral separately. I managed to do what I think is humanely right to do the best I could,” Dr Stuart said as she encouraged the family members to “be at peace” during this very difficult time.

Other friends and family members shared special moments about their loved ones.

Tomorrow, June 21, family members will be visiting the Le Repentir Cemetery, to see for the first time, the final resting place of the victims.

While the Presidential Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the men’s death has ended, Head of the COI, Commissioner Justice (retd) Donald Trotman and team are still working on the final report to present to President David Granger at the end of this month.

The COI, established earlier this year, enquired into the circumstances surrounding the killings of the eight miners. It was also established to investigate and make findings of fact on all matters in relation to the killings of the eight miners in the Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice Region in June 2008. It will also make recommendations on actions to be taken against all persons and/or organisations that are deemed responsible for the deaths of those persons.

By: Alexis Rodney.

Images: Jules Gibson.