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Remembrance service for Janet’s victims

9/20/2010

THE congregation at the Allen Temple African Methodist Episcopal Church commemorated the lives of those who perished in Hurricane Janet, which struck the island in 1955.

Speaking at the remembrance service held yesterday to commemorate the 55th anniversary in memory of families, friends and neighbours who suffered the wrath of Hurricane Janet at the Flagstaff, St. Michael church, Buddy Larrier – who lost his father due to the passage of the hurricane – said that the candle lighting ceremony, during which a candle was lit for each victim who perished, was important.

Larrier said that while Hurricane Janet was not the worst disaster in Barbados’ history, it was “the worst disaster in living memory” and that “no one alive can remember an incident that caused so much pain and suffering as Hurricane Janet”.

At the service, it was recalled that the natural disaster struck the island on September 22, 1955. The death toll was recorded at 33, with an additional two persons missing at sea. 150 people were injured needing hospital treatment. Over 8 000 homes were destroyed and 20 000 people made homeless.

The victims, families and friends of the four fishermen who went missing at sea in 2005; those who died in 2007 in the Joe’s River bus crash in St. Joseph; Mullins, St. Peter and Brittons X Road, St. Michael tragedies and the six young women who perished in the Bridgetown fire at Campus Trendz earlier this month were also remembered.

In his sermon, Reverend Elson Brewster said that is important to have hope despite tragedy. “If we have the light of God in us, we will shine; we should not have anything to fear.” Rev. Brewster reminded those in attendance that they must trust in God and when they need God’s help they should call on him.

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