Pastor calls for personal, societal change at murdered Kylie’s funeral

Kylie Meloney's coffin is carried to the hearse after a service at her family's Quash Trace, Sangre Grande home on Wednesday. - ROGER JACOB
Kylie Meloney's coffin is carried to the hearse after a service at her family's Quash Trace, Sangre Grande home on Wednesday. - ROGER JACOB

As relatives continue to mourn the murder of six-year-old Kylie Meloney, they were urged to not let her death pass without reflecting on their own lives and work towards improving themselves and their community.

Kylie was shot when gunmen claiming to be police officers stormed the house of a relative at Blake Avenue, Sangre Grande, on January 8.

Three people, including Kylie's mother, were wounded in the attack.

On Monday a 25-year-old man was charged with murdering the child. He is Aaron London, also known as “Gando” of Damarie Hill, Sangre Grande. London was also charged with three counts of wounding with intent, possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition. He appeared before a Sangre Grande magistrate on Wednesday and was remanded into custody to reappear on February 13.

Mourners gather around the coffin of Kylie Meloney at her funeral on Wednesday. - ROGER JACOB

Even after her death, relatives celebrated what would have been Kylie's seventh birthday with cake and balloons last Friday.

The funeral was held at the family's Quash Trace, Sangre Grande, home on Wednesday afternoon.

From as early as 12 pm, relatives, friends and schoolteachers from the Sangre Grande Seventh Day Adventist Primary School gathered under a tent outside the home to pay their last respects.

The tent was still adorned with pink birthday balloons, and a birthday cake was on display in the gallery of the home.

During his homily, pastor Rev Darrin Parks said despite her young age, Kylie's charm and energy won the hearts of the entire community, noting that young men in the neighbourhood also shed tears after hearing about her murder.

Referring to the outpouring of support for the family, and outrage over Kylie's murder from leaders and the public, Parks said the murder left a lasting effect on the community and the country.

He said the effect of Kylie's murder should not be forgotten and encouraged those gathered to improve their lives and their community.

"She was able to affect a country, I dare say a region, and most of us may not have heard her voice but the effect that this child had on all of us is evident and that's a powerful thing.

"Because of the tragic way in which she left us, it sometimes seems that that is all.

"Let Kylie's passing influence us and push us in a better direction and not just us the family, the neighbourhood, but us as a country.

"It is important because the outpouring that came when the news started to circulate I do believe that it was genuine. And if it is (genuine), then let it be with us after today, let it be with us tomorrow, the next week, the next month, the next year.

"Decades down the road we should be saying this child caused me to take a hard look at myself."

Rev Darrin Parks prays over the coffin of six-year-old murder victim Kylie Meloney at her funeral at Quash Trace, Sangre Grande on Wednesday. - ROGER JACOB

Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation Anil Juteram also attended the funeral and spoke at the end of the service. He challenged leaders to put aside political differences and work together to quell crime.

Juteram said while all segments of society, including religious leaders, have a role to play, he questioned what role politicians played in protecting citizens.

"What part is the 41 representatives in Parliament doing apart from bashing one another and making excuses?

"I call upon the 41 members of Parliament to put aside their symbols. The symbols they have to respect and honour is the red, white and black.

"And until they do that, the law-breakers will continue to have a green light to do what they are doing and get away with it."

Kylie's aunt Sharlene Herrera said Kylie would be remembered for her happy, intelligent nature as she would often request "meetings" with her to work out problems and issues.

At the end of the service, mourners were allowed to view Kylie's body for the last time which drew sobs and cries from relatives.

A group of men carried the small casket to the hearse after a short procession on Quash Trace.

The child was buried at the Foster Road cemetery.


"Pastor calls for personal, societal change at murdered Kylie’s funeral"

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