April 16, 2014 at 10:01 a.m.
• 6.0 Minutes / The offbeat news beat

Her love sewed a community together

Her love sewed a community together
Her love sewed a community together

By Christopher Famous- | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

Seems like I am becoming addicted to funerals. 

Once again I found myself in a church on a Saturday for a homegoing service. This past weekend I was at Christ Church, Devonshire for the life celebration of Alice Francis Richardson.

The fact that there were no empty seats is a testament to her magnetism. Anyone from Friswells Hill or Parsons Road would know who this legend of a lady was. 

Biologically, she was the mother of Apples, Jimmy Doc, Dawnie Pumpkin and Bigga Richardson. Community-wise, she was the mother of many on Parsons Road and in the Boulevard Community Club.

Many of the original players of Boulevard Community Club escorted her into the church. 

It would have been funny to see the faces of the slave owners, who once occupied Devonshire Church, to see that six of the original Boulevard Community Club Rastamen were sitting at the head of the church as pall bearers. Just imagine Ghostly whispers of  “I see dreadlocks, people”.

The service began with Canon James Francis letting everyone know a few ground rules:

1. His sister’s funeral was not going to be boring as the Francis family are West Indians;

2. Everyone better sing loud because he wants a new roof;

3. This was not to be the usual one-hour Anglican service.

With the amount of laughter in the church, it is clear Canon Francis missed his calling because he is better suited to be a comedian than a priest.

As with all Francis funerals, tribute after tribute poured in from friends and family, all testifying to the love given out by Mrs. Richardson. 

Sometimes that love was in the form of taking in parent-less children, sewing wedding dresses or football jerseys and — at times when it was necessary — via delivery of a broom stick. No one left her presence not feeling loved.

The musical group 5 Keys gave a sterling performance that would have made anyone believe they were the reincarnation of the Temptations. 

My long-time friend, Mr Dwight ‘Payback’ Warren, seems to have transitioned from footballer to singer as he delivered a duet worthy of a Grammy. So powerful was his rendition that Canon Francis closed the service after that.

Devonshire church was filled with so much joy that it was lost on many that this was actually a funeral. At the risk of sounding like I am losing my marbles, I would recommend anyone to attend a funeral of a Francis; they do funerals right. n

Bermuda Squad

Earlier on that same Saturday, I stopped by Shopping Centre to catch a gypsy cab home to get ready for the funeral. 

I noticed a bake sale going on but, trying to stick to a diet, I initially ignored the treats.  Letting the pokey Bermudian get the better part of me, I decided to “pease round d corner”.

There I was captivated by a few young people doing some sales to raise funds for the Bermuda Squad. The Bermuda Sun will do the story more justice than I can but what I will say is that despite obstacles and stereotypes, there are many positive stories that come from “back of town”. The Bermuda Squad is a prime example. 

Thank you

Thank you to all who have commented on my ‘Hug A Hero’ column last week. Too often we wait until someone passes before realizing that we should have spent more time with them. Most of my heroes have passed on so every so often I will write about the ones still here with me. 

Feedback: carib_pro@yahoo.com


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The Bermuda Sun bids farewell...

JUL 30, 2014: It marked the end of an era as our printers and collators produced the very last edition of the Bermuda Sun.

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