Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles has said the bravery deceased Chrislon Walters displayed in trying save the life of his friend Kharisha Thompson will not go unrewarded.
He made the statement on Tuesday while addressing mourners at the funeral service for Walters at the Argyle Community Centre.
Walters, 19, and Thompson, 15, drowned at the Argyle waterfall on November 17 during a birthday celebration.
It is said Walters' twin brother, Christon, had pulled him from the raging waters. However, on realising Thompson had also gotten into difficulties in the water, Walters tried to save her but, sadly, both drowned.
Thompson's funeral service was held a short distance away from Walters' farewell ceremony, at the Cyd Gray Sporting Complex, Roxborough.
Charles said from all accounts, Walters, aka "Junior" and "Twinny" was well-loved and respected in his community.
"The information that I have gathered suggest he was a well-loved young man, that he was quite an individual, one with very sterling qualities and I want to take this opportunity to pay tribute to him today and particularly, I want to commend him for his act of bravery. And I shall say to you that act will not go unrewarded," he said amid loud applause from mourners.
Alluding to Walters' courage, Charles waxed poetic.
"I would like to say, in a very real sense, that what we would have witnessed recently is not the extinguishing of a light, although the light did not shine long enough and bright enough. But what we would have witnessed really was the turning out of a lamp because the dawn has come."
Charles urged the gathering to not question the work of the Almighty because "he (Walters) is in a place that perhaps is a little better than the one we are in now."
He added: "As short as his stewardship may have been, we want to give Almighty God all the praise and all the credit for what this young man was able to do and to achieve in his short time on earth."
In an earlier tribute, Rev Sonia Whitlock, manager of Belgroves Funeral Home, had called on the THA to honour Walters' life and legacy "that the family can say, Chrislon died for a cause."
She added: "I declare that right now in the House. Do I have a witness? His name should and must be written in the Hall of Fame.
Walters' farewell service was attended by members of the assembly's executive council, former THA presiding officer Dr Denise Tsoiafatt Angus and Progressive Democratic Patriots political leader Watson Duke, in whose electoral district Argyle falls.
Family members and close friends wore green polo jerseys, bearing images of Walters. The words, "Junior, until we meet again" were also inscribed on the jerseys.
There was also a large gathering of young people from Argyle, neighbouring communities and his alma mater, Roxborough Secondary.
Argyle resident and cameraman Marlon Gottsleben noted the turnout of young people, saying many of them had to receive counselling to cope with the tragedy.
He said the young people have decided to establish a mural on a wall in the community in tribute to Walters and Thompson.
He said the mural must be a symbol of hope, bringing the communities together.
"This funeral could never be the end. Junior cannot die for nothing," he said.
In the eulogy, Walters was remembered as selfless, quiet, respectable, helpful and meticulous about his clothes and appearance. He also dreamt of making it big in football and loved his family unconditionally.
Pastor Joseph Nero, delivering the sermon, noted Walters and Thompson's deaths shook not only the people of Argyle and its environs but the entire country.
He urged mourners to repent and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour.
"Make sure and give your heart to Jesus," he said.
Walters and Thompson were laid to rest at the Argyle Public Cemetery.