MUSICAL medleys comprising of parang, live tassa and religious songs, were played interchangeably on Sunday at the funeral service for Ronald Narinesingh, 39, whose body washed ashore on Monday.
Narinesingh worked in the public health department of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Health Authority and was well-known for playing Santa Claus. It was no surprise that at the Waterloo Cremation site, a music truck blasted the parang including the classic Soca Santa by Machel Montano featuring Daisy Voisin and the band.
Hundreds of mourners earlier gathered at the family’s home at Calcutta No 2 in Freeport for the service officiated by pundit Mukesh Maharaj. Maharaj told the gathering that is important that they get their minds under control despite the tragic deaths.
Narinesingh’s body and that of his friend, Chunilal Gyandass, 53, washed ashore at Carli Bay, Couva, on Monday — one day after a fishing expedition turned fatal when their flat-bottomed boat overturned.
Two of the men, Kumar Lalla, 49, and Glen "Dave" Prahalad, 32, swam to safety. Two others- Gyandass’ brother and Siewnarine Gyandass, 51, and Vinesh Marlo, 23, are still missing. They are from Beaucarro Road in Freeport.
The pundit said prayers for the missing men and their relatives, some of whom attended the funeral. There was a street procession, with live tassa, from the house to the road.
Councilor Allan "Taxi" Seepersad said Narinesingh’s death is a "big, big loss to the community" and children have been asking him about Narinesingh.
"Ronald was very close to all of us. Apart from working at the corporation and doing a lot of agricultural work, he played Santa Claus at my annual treat. The children are asking for him because they heard their Santa died," Seepersad said.
Couva South MP Rudranath Indarsingh described Narinesingh as a "well-respected young man who served his family and community." Indarsingh criticised the response from the Coast Guard and community police saying they are still not communicating with the families.
"What is really worrying for me is the inhumane, lackadaisical, laid-back attitude of the TT Coast Guard and even the community police. Up till today, no one has reached out, from a community policing point of view, to offer any kind of support to the bereaved families especially to the those who are still missing."
Indarsingh, Seepersad and another councillor, Arlene Solomon-Ramesar, consoled mourners.
Indarsingh said the families are doing their own searches for the missing men.
"They are being told they have to find X amount of dollars if they want to hire a helicopter to do any type of aerial surveillance of the coastline. Probably $40,000 have been forked out by the Gyandass family in search of their loved one."
The Gyandass family are holding out hope of either finding his brother Siewnarine Gyandass, 51, alive or recovering his body in time for a joint funeral.