She touched the lives of so many but only few family members and friends were allowed to say a final farewell to TT’s songbird Hazel Rambaransingh on Thursday morning owing to covid19 restrictions.
Rambaransingh was cremated at the JE Guide Funeral Home and Crematorium Ltd, Coffee Street, in her hometown of San Fernando after an hour-long service conducted by lay minister Cecil Colthrust.
She died last Friday after a short battle with cancer.
Colthrust, observing the empty pews told the family, in a different time, the chapel would have been overflowing as a reflection of the life she lived. He said the restriction would have brought additional pain for loved ones who would have wanted to be there to pay their final respect.
However, he comforted them by saying Rambaransingh was now using her beautiful voice to sing to her creator.
A video production, done by one of her brothers, Neil Lee Luck, who is in India and watched the live stream with tears in his eyes, captured images of her over the years while her many hits, ranging from pop, folk, gospel, traditional songs and Parang, played in the background.
Another brother, guitarist Lars, accompanied their sister Sandra Dopson who sang Amazing Grace to mark the start of the service and, Smile, at the end.
Brother Ray Lee Luck who eulogised Rambaransingh, remembered her as the first of six children for their parents, Andrew and Lucille Lee Luck.
He said their parents taught them to love and respect others.
“These virtues became the foundation for Hazel’s life. Those who knew her can attest to Hazel’s compassion, going on the streets of Port of Spain and Scarborough helping others.”
He gave an example of her caring spirit recalling three weeks before she died, with a respirator on her face, she was still able to sing the happy birthday song for their cousin Gail.
He said her outspokenness often caused conflict, but her spoken word was most times informed by a sense of justice.
Ray recalled that upon graduating from St Joseph’s Convent, San Fernando, she began working at Royal Bank, but her passion for music took her centre stage both locally and abroad.
He said she also had a “sweet hand” which led her to supervisory positions at Crews Inn, Hilton, Tobago and other hotels.
While her life may have sounded exciting, he said Rambaransingh had her share of tragedy, losing her only daughter Kelly Ann in 2016.
“I don’t think she ever recovered from Kelly Ann’s death or the tragic death of her dear friends, Richard and Grace Wheeler.”
She suffered a heart attack and other complications shortly after.
He said she found solace in the church and attended mass until she was unable to do so.
Sister Lynne Lee Luck Dowsing also remembered her as a “decent human being who was essentially a child of God.”