A memorial service was held for Reginald at St Cyrpians Church, Belleville, St Michael in Barbados on December 1, 2015 for few and precious friends. The eulogy was read by his sister Kim. Musical tributes were beautifully sung by Allison Norville who sang Smile by Michael Jackson,"If I Could" by Regina Belle and "Once in Royal David City", his favourite Christmas hymn. An earlier private service for family was held for Reg on November 17th, 2015
Memorial organized by Kim Young, The Church of St Cyprian and Forever Flowers.
EULOGY by Kim young, sister
I do not know if I will be able to get through this but I want to say something about my brother, Reg. I am still coming to terms with his death, even saying that makes no sense. For me, he has just gone on a trip and he will walk through the Church doors any minute now….
For us, it has been a very trying last few years. And I don’t want Reg’s memory in the minds of his friends and family to be one of the last day he lived. I don’t want Reg forgotten, ever!! I will talk about my brother every day and see his beautiful smile in my mind.
I want the memory of my brother to be based on yours and my experiences with him as a boy, as young student , and as a man. Reg was a man of incredible honour and decency, principle and honesty. He was disciplined, loyal, dedicated and truthful. He just wanted to live like you and me….
My baby brother was delivered by my Dad on the bed in the summer of 1966 in West Kensington, London. He couldn’t wait to be born. He was a beautiful baby, I can see him even now. He was like a doll and I treated him more like my pet than a baby brother and that never ended really. I spoiled him rotten in ways because he was my only brother. He asked me not to and I could not help myself. Sometimes I was protective, other times he protected me and our bond cannot be broken in life or in death. Ever.
We moved from London to Barbados and my mum, dad and all of us head to St John. We left a then disquiet London for the calm and balminess of an island in the Sun. Dad made a point of us knowing where we came from, especially since when I landed. I had said in my most proper English Accent, “this place is much too primitive”.
So through the winding roads from Hothersal Turning to Groves to Wilson Hill, smelling the fresh St John air, passing mile trees and cane grounds, my Dad took us a 2 x 4 four gable roof house in St John and introduced us to our beautiful, dark, proud grandmother Ivy Odesssa Young. She fell in love with Reg and we all fell in love with her. She was our introduction to traditional Bajan values, Mission Hall church ground food and coconut water.
We had no idea how this “primitive existence” would make us become so rich in spirit and thanksgiving. He became humble and content, never forgetting his roots. We did everything from picking rabbit meat, playing with pigs and we got on his donkey cart for a short trip as Pa’lite made his way to Wakefield Plantation to pick produce. Yes, we did everything in those summer vacations in the country, we walked from Clifton Hall to Martins Bay and back. Reg had a roller that rolled into the Sargeants Street bus and a trolley that sent him flying into a grass piece. He was your average boy getting stuck in cement mixers where his sister put him, run by men with Collins for ravaging the gooseberry tree, just being troublesome in a cute and exasperating way.
Reg’s best days in St John were the days that we could make kites and fly them all night. He pride himself on having the noisiest bulls and the prettiest kites, made from scratch. He also got on trouble when a girl from the area told us to boil eggs in a milo tot in a grass piece. Anything we did wrong in public, our grandmother never owned up to but in private , we all punished Bajan grandmother style. He also enjoyed every Christmas with our aunt Inez and cousins Cheryl, Trudy, Dawn, Sandy, Derek, Ricky, Peggy, on Mum's side (and many others as well) and our aunts and uncles Highland, May, Lloyd, Edlah, Ermine and life could not be better. Family was everything to us and to Reg.
But there was something about those times in the Country with Dad, Mum and our cousins and grandmother that fashioned Reg into a very grounded person who cherished love, family and not material things which moth and rust destroyed, as Dad would often tell us. I once asked him what was really important to him. He was in the verandah at home looking at the Sunset on the West Coast, he had just returned from London 2007. "Family, my children, my wife, family in general, Mum, Dad, family" and he took a sip of a Heineken beer.
He grew up on solid ground with good Christian values and was content. He did not want a lavish life and would not be forced to live it by anyone. He was smart, bright, loved politics and enjoyed a good joke. He reminded me of our father in many ways - a bit strict, funny, witty and very handsome.
Reg went to Hilltop where his best buddy was Robin Mustor and where, once again, the schooling at Hilltop was basically like being brought up in a family by a very strict Grandmother and Aunt. He got a few swipes from Aunt E’s ruler and Mrs Jordan did not spare a stern warning.
Soon he was at Combermere. Up and on , they say and Mum and Dad were elated, so was I. All Combermerians here will know why. Thank you Combermere Old Scholars Association for coming. Busy giving his class mates entertainment, by blowing up his cheeks like Dizzie Gillespie or (pardon me Reverend), swallowing air to burp out entire sentences in class or Cheffette, he was actually very quiet and somewhat reserved as he was described to us by some people. But Reg was the class clown of 1D and brother to Robert McDonald. He loved Robert and Robert loved him back. Norman Pile spent many days in our home, he was like a brother to Reg. 1D was his new family and I am so thankful that Brenda was able to get a few shots of that reunion. Sadly, he will miss the reunion this year. He loved his school.
Reg was a prankster and got on Principal Charlie Pilgrim’s nerves. He, Paul Didier, Warren Mottley, Di Tappin and, yes, Robert McDonald, among others, were considered bandits (not like today’s version) , at Combermere school, so much so when it was time for my sister to do A’Level’s , Reg’s reputation preceded him, much to the ruination of our family name. Dad then told us that Mr Pilgrim, made it clear that he did not want another YOUNG coming through the gates.
Well, we still did well in life, we got solid education and pursued our dreams. But we understand Mr. Pilgrim, we truly did considering that he had to deal with Andrew “Tight” Pilgrim. No disrespect meant.
Reg went on to become a private pilot, valedictorian at Ground school, valedictorian for electric engineering, high grades at the Royal College of Music and generally and all round good guy, bright, funny, shy and non-confrontational who moonwalked around the house pretending to be Michael Jackson and mixing tapes for his friends at school. And he did wear eyeliner and dress like Prince. Yep, purple love and more, that's what you're looking for....and you know it, he'd sing.
Then it was time for girlfriends. When he first got his heart broken a Christmas, he gave his sister the perfume he was going to give this lovely damsel who spurned him and he cried for three weeks. He was so loving, so sensitive, so incredibly soft, so much like my Dad. He was fiercely loyal and protective even to his own detriment at times. he loved Anne-Murie with all his heart and they had a beautiful daughter. Life sent them separate ways but the love remained and especially for their daughter Tandy.
Later, he fell in love with a beautiful girl from the country side, his "Malaree" and soon he was married with three children. He married at the ripe old age of 24 and remained married until the day he died, devoted, loyal to his wife and children. He gave his love, his time and his life to his wife Michelle and children Tandy, Regina and Christian. I pray that God heals especially his devastated children and obviously his wife. I cannot imagine their pain. I only know mine. There is no preparation for sudden death and of one so young, with so much to live for. I am beyond hurt and bereaved.
There is so much I can tell about Reg and so little time but you all have some memory of him. I grew up with him and saw each stage of his development and then, his untimely death. As the eldest, I still cannot come to grips with it. I never will. I don't know why Reg suffered such anguish or how or why my baby brother had to die. I feel so gutted, there are no words.
I remember the day Dad made him a car from a lawn mower engine and a steering wheel bought from the checkered flag, I remember him holding his newborn babies and falling into fatherhood naturally, I watched him also experience phantom pregnancy to deliver nothing but psychosomatic pain while the mum relaxed in childbirth. I remember us playing Jenga, Monopoly and Scrabble, partying every New Year's Eve,hanging out together and then most of his time was naturally spent with his beautiful family. He had a beautiful bride but what happens now?
He had bright eyes, a beautiful smile and a silly, cute laugh that I will never hear again except in my imagination or memories. I have dreamed of him only to wake up crying.
There is not enough time to tell you about Reg. I wish he could tell you himself but those who knew him, knew him to love life, to love travel, other cultures, new people, different adventures. He loved his Dad and he loved his mum. Our Dad died at Christmas a few years ago and Mum died September 2015. Now he has died (October), we are left to grieve unspeakable loss. I feel like a car wreck wiped out my family in less than five years!
When I heard that Reg died, I panicked at work, I collapsed and cried, my life will never be the same. I saw the image of this beautiful little boy signing the solo of Once in Royal David’s City for St Michael’s Cathedral, in a red gown with a frilly white collar and I can still see mum wiping away tears and saying to anyone , “That’s my son”.
I cannot begin to describe the pain of losing my mum and brother in less than six weeks. The last time I saw my brother we were closing Mum’s casket, he was saying his goodbyes and then, sad as he was, (and he was unwell that day), we held hands and he gave God thanks for the life of my mum. He loved his parents so much.
Reg was a big little boy in a grown man’s body and he was also a mature man who cared about the vulnerable, homeless, sad, abused. He loved God, he praised Him, he loved family, he loved us (his sisters), he loved Pedro, Robin, Cedric, Robert, Norman, iParr, Paul and so many of you here and he loved his children so much. He lived and died for his family.
Regina was a national scholar last year and Tandy was a national scholar in Trinidad. We pray that with counseling, Christian (his son) can go on to be a well-adjusted man in as much as it is possible to be well adjusted after a Dad dies and I pray the same for his daughters. I will support them how I can, they are of my brother so they are of me. I am Regina's god mother and I will uphold the vows I took at St Patrick's Cathedral before Father Paul. All of his children are precious to me.
Where is my brother? Why did he have to die? What happened?
I can’t answer, I don’t know the answer but I am broken-hearted. All I can say is that I am asking God for the strength to be a help to his children. I ask God to give me strength to let him go and soar high with the Angels.
My Bible says that joy weeping will endure for a night but joy comes in the morning. It will be a long, long night but the sun will come up tomorrow.
I love you Reg, may you rest in peace and rise in Glory.I love you forever, I always did and the last time we were in the same place, I told you and I said it loud, anyone and everyone could hear...
I love you so much. I will not forget you. I thank God for your life, however short. I thank God for you