TEACHER and radio announcer Burton Justin Dookhi, 40, was remembered for the many positive effects he left on the lives of the people who knew him.
Describing him as a friend and an inspiration, mourners at his funeral on Tuesday said his death had been a shock to them and the nation. Many described him as a jovial, carefree and adventurous person who was always true to himself. With a smile always on his face, he dedicated his life to making others around him happy.
Mourners packed the Susamachar Presbyterian Church, San Fernando, to celebrate Dookhi's life. Co-workers, students, family and well wishers shared memories of the energetic teacher and sportsman.
Members of K Rampath Cricket Academy and Brother Cricket Club showed their support and honoured him by putting medals inside his casket.
During the three-part eulogy, his companion Annalise Gopie and longtime friends Richard Baboolal and Tyrone Marcus made clear that Dookhi's "genius gift" was evident in everything he did.
Baboolal told mourners: "He excelled at academics, drama, dance, music and of course sports. Justin was just an over-achiever in everything and it seemed like he was contributing to churning out of scholar after scholar at Holy Name Convent, Port of Spain."
Marcus said: "He was extremely driven and head-focused in everything that he set forward to do and with that strong will, he motivated those around him to the same.
"We have lost one of the most talented and driven person anyone can ask for," Gopie told mourners.
The Rev Kendrick Sooknarine, who officiated, said life was not about how long it was, but what one did with it while here on earth.
He preached that people must be careful about how they lived their lives, as others often looked at them as role models. Dookhi, he said, was a role model to those around him.
Dookhi, who worked at Sweet 100 fm, drowned while trying to swim across a pond at the La Vega Estate in Gran Couva on Sunday.
Sooknarine reassured the congregation that "by God's grace" and with time, they would find the strength to cope with the loss.
After the funeral, close family and friends went to bid final goodbyes in a private ceremony at Guides' Funeral Home at Coffee Street, San Fernando.