FAMILY, friends and colleagues gathered on Monday night to pay tribute to accident victims Christian and Teresa Alleyne-Adams.
The Mt St George couple was crushed to death shortly after 2 pm on May 18 after a truck collided and fell on top of their SUV along the Claude Noel Highway, between Rockley Vale traffic lights and the Botanical Gardens lay-by, Tobago.
Adams was a fireman and his wife an employee in the THA Division of Finance and the Economy. They had three young children.
During a celebration at the THA Division of Community Development, Youth Development and Sport, Glen Road, Scarborough, speakers shared heartfelt testimonies of their experiences with the couple.
The tributes were punctuated with performances by pannist Leandro Noray, Montgomery Drummers and a praise and worship team, among others.
Host Afiya Giles-Baynes, in her opening remarks, said the turnout at the conference hall reflected the couple’s influence on the lives of others.
She said, “This gathering is a testament to the impact Chris and Terry had on our lives. It is not as assignment we wanted but one we understood. But we showed up and we are showing off for them to celebrate them. So I know they would be grateful for this overwhelming outpouring of love and support.”
Giles-Baynes said Teresa would be remembered for her warmth, infectious laughter and pride in her appearance.
Of the latter, she said, “Even in her younger years, she ensured that she was never caught slipping.”
Giles-Baynes read a social media post from a woman named Kimberly, who recalled her meticulousness.
“She (Teresa) fainted during a march past and when she came to on a stretcher, the first thing she requested was a comb to fix her hair.”
She said the couple also loved God and each other.
Giles-Baynes read a comment from Jovanni, who said, “Terry was secure and certain about Chris’ love for her. He made her feel like she was the only woman in the room and that was just one of the many reasons why she loved him.”
Giles-Baynes said the couple also loved their children.
“Their dedication as parents and the importance of creating fun memories and experiences always were prioritised…..They loved their family, immediate, extended and selected.”
She urged attendees, many of whom wore white, to honour the couple’s memory by striving to emulate that love in their everyday lives.
“I know some of us forget and covid(19) gave us a very sober reminder but sometimes we are very caught up with our own challenges that we seldom exercise empathy. And so I throw out this challenge to all of us to exercise that love that we saw Terry and Christian share.”
Speaking on behalf of the class of 2002 at Scarborough Secondary, which Christian attended, Krystal Solomon recalled it was only last year that they comforted each other at the funeral of a classmate.
“But this one (death) was devastating to us all,” she said.
Solomon said the group’s fondest memories are of Christian running to Shaw Park to play cricket and buying pies at one of the school’s vendors.
Marcus Daniel, of the Tobago Cricket Association, recalled Christian’s passion for cricket.
“Christian loved cricket dearly,” he said.
Daniel said although Christian, who captained several sides, was sometimes a middle-order batsman, “he prided himself at coming at number three to control the innings.”
Saying the Tobago cricketing fraternity has lost an outstanding player, Daniel said he and Christian often played on opposing teams.
He added Christian lived by the mantra, “Stay in your wicket, runs will come,” on the playing field.
Daniel, who is affiliated to the Canaan/Bon Accord Sports Club, said one of the Christian’s proudest moments was leading his team to victory during a tour of St Vincent and the Grenadines in 2019.
Akianne, one of Teresa’s former classmates at Bishop’s High School, joked that she often chided Christian about “treating her friend well.”
She added, “Without missing a beat, he was quick to respond to me and it was there our friendly banter began.”
Akianne said although they embarked on different career paths, their friendship never withered.
“In fact, whenever we met we just picked up back where we left off. We shared our different experiences with tackling adulthood, work life and even motherhood.”
She questioned why God felt it necessary to take them.
“Why? I may never get the answer to that question nor understand the workings of God in this situation But I am comforted by the fact that I was a part of their lives when they lived. The memories of them I would guard dearly.”
Akianne said she would miss Teresa’s kindness, unwavering faith and generous heart as well as Christian’s playful banter.
“Take care of my friend over there in the same way that you did when you were with us.”
Several other people also delivered tributes.
Among those attending were THA presiding officer Abby Taylor, Mt St George/Goodwood assemblyman Megan Morrison, PNM senator Laurence Hislop, Minority Leader Kelvon Morris, minority councillor Petal Daniel-Benoit and former chief secretary Ancil Dennis.
The couple will be laid to rest on Thursday after a funeral at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex from 9 am.