Memorial Mass for Akeem and Christian
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Thursday, January 16 2014
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STUDENT: Presentation College student, Christian Ramkairsingh.who died January 8....
FAILURES, disappointments and setbacks which are part of one’s daily life can help prepare persons for death said Monsignor Christian Pereira yesterday during a memorial mass in remembrance of two former students of Presentation College, San Fernando.
“We prepare for death by learning each day how to deal with disappointments in our lives. All of us experience, for want of a better word, failure. As young men it is important for us to know that failures, disappointments and setbacks will always be part of our lives,” Pereira said.
He was, at the time, delivering the homily in the school’s auditorium located at Carib Street, San Fernando, where the Mass was held in remembrance of former national footballer, Akeem Adams, 22, as well as Form Six pupil Christian Ramkairsingh, 19.
Pereira, who is the parish priest of the Our Lady of Perpetual Help RC Church told the gathering that regardless of who a person is, and what he/she becomes, death is sure. He assured that death is not the end, but rather is a passage.
He charged that very often people are unprepared and questioned whether it is because some are so busy studying for exams or playing sports. “All of that is part of the journey we must make. A great man is not one who is able to attain success, but one who knows how to live in the midst of failure. Death creeps into our lives, and if Akeem and Christian can leave us with those memories — memories of their goodness — who knows which one of us will be next? ” Pereira said.
Adams, of Point Fortin, died on December 30, 2013, in Hungary from complications due to a heart attack he had suffered three months earlier. He was a football defender at Ferencvaros club in Hungary. Nine days later, on January 8, 2014, school cricketer Ramkairsingh, of reeport, died at hospital. His mother Darlene Ramkairsingh told Newsday based on the death certificate, her son died as a result of major organ failure and lupus ( with a question mark next to the word lupus).
Pereira urged students yesterday to not let their years at Presentation Collge just point them to be great professionals. Instead he suggested that they listen to the deep voice of God calling them to nobility, greatness, righteousness to turn away from following the crowd, for the sake of being in the group.
“Deep down inside there is a call being made of you to be a greater man. Your destiny is not only to be a great public figure, but to be a real man deep within your souls to follow that inner call, and listen to that inner voice,” he added.
Scores of students wore t-shirts bearing the photos of Adams and Ramkairsingh. Relatives and friends shed tears during the Mass as they heard tributes made by various persons.
The school’s principal, Dexter Mitchell, announced that the number four, previously worn by Akeem has been retired, and therefore no other student would ever wear that number on the football team at the college. Mitchell posthumously awarded the principal’s medal to Adams.
Teacher Andre Benjamin, who delivered remarks reminisced that win, lose, or draw Adams always kept a smile on his face.
“You would know when he was in school. He was loud and every lunch time when people were sweating in the fields, Akeem was in the gym. In all his success, he was humble. He was called home, and we cannot explain it. At 22 years old, he succeeded his purpose.
He came here and did what he came to do,” said Benjamin.
Member of the college’s Past Student Association, Anthony Bisnath noted that plans are being made to have a scholarship in Adam’s name, and that the association also intends to work with the Brother Jerome Foundation to honour Ramkairsingh annually.
The funeral for Adams takes place tomorrow morning at Mahaica Oval, Point Fortin.