The late Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson
Event Date: December 27, 2007
Posted: December 28, 2007
The funeral for Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson took place on Thursday 27th December, 2007, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on Independence Square, Port of Spain. Carlene was the president of the famous Picton Folk Performing Company. Just 38 years old, she passed away unexpectedly from complications arising from a foot injury on December 12th, 2007, on the way from JFK Airport to visit her family in New York for Christmas. In true Picton style, hundreds of persons gathered at the Cathedral to get a final glimpse of her body and send her off.
Onlookers view the body
As stated in her funeral biography, Carlene was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on March 24, 1969. She attended St. Phillips Elementary School, Belmont Junior Secondary School and then Southeast High School. After graduating, she went on to Servol Trade School where she obtained certificates in nursing and computer technology.
Family and friends outside the Cathedral
During her exceptional life, Carlene played a major role in molding the lives of the young people of the community and they turned out in their numbers to send her off. She was passionate about her contribution to them and held various positions in different community groups. First, she was the secretary and youth coordinator for the Picton Police Youth Club, then, after the disintegration of the club, she formed a small dance group in her yard which has now grown into the well-renowned Picton Folk Performing Company; a group noted for having won several awards (including first place in many categories) in the Best Village Competition.
Members of Picton Folk Performing Company dance in tribute to Carlene
Carlene, who was also famous for her cooking, worked at many restaurants in Trinidad and always dreamed of opening her own one day. Whenever anyone visited Carlene, whether in Trinidad or New York, you can be assured that they would be well-fed before they left. She was well-known for her cooking skills.
Gwendolyn Beckles-James delivers the eulogy
In a tribute to Carlene, her sister Gwendolyn Beckles-James, in an emotional tribute, shared that Carlene saw the potential of the people of Laventille. Working with a vision, she worked hard to overcome the stigma of Laventille. Gwendolyn told the large gathering that Carlene was full of life and used to laugh a lot, as she recalled the life of her sister. Carlene's niece, Peggy, continued the remembrance recalling Carlene's open heart and sweet hand, and the fact that she was a mother figure to many, with her doors never being closed. Peggy expressed that she enriched the lives of many people and although she will be missed, her memories and legacy will live on.
Drums of the Picton Folk Performing Company
As the formal part of the service ended, the drums of the Picton Folk Performing Company began to roll outside of the cathedral as the casket was rolled outside. Under the leadership of Carlos 'Talo' Griffith, Claudia John and Darren Corridon, what followed was truly moving. In true Picton style, Orisha songs filled the cathedral car park as the Picton dancers gave a spirited and emotional tribute to the 'Mother of the Picton Yard', demonstrating that the legacy of Carlene is very much alive. As the heavy rhythms rolled, onlookers wept and comforted each other.
Lowering the casket into the grave
From the cathedral, it was on to the Tunapuna Cemetery, where her friends and family gathered to witness the burial proceedings. As the gravediggers shoveled dirt over the coffin, emotions ran high again, as onlookers wept and broke into a song in tribute to Carlene, expressing her strengths and contribution.
Family and friends at the grave of Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson
The drums rolled loudly again as the singing shifted to several of Ella Andell's Orisha songs. The powerful voices and rhythms were a fitting send-off to the 'Queen' of the Picton Folk Performing Company. The big speakers on a pick-up truck blasted the popular reggae song "She's Royal" as the gathering dispersed.
Members of the community
From the cemetery the gathering moved to the base of the Picton Folk Performing Company, high in the hills of Laventille, where the mood contrasted the somberness at the burial. Members of the community relaxed and chatted, and in true Carlene style several pots of food were bubbling in the kitchen. Food and drink were shared with guests as the music van arrived at the compound playing a selection of music in tribute to Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson, President of the Picton Folk Performing Company.
Executive members of Picton Folk Performing Company
Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson is survived by her children Jemila, Jarrel, Daisha and Destinie; her grandmother, Edith Chatterton; her brothers and sisters Edmund Beckles, Gwendolyn Beckles-James, Allison Jacobs-Joseph and Miguel Jacobs; her nieces and nephews, Peggy Ann, Natalie (Dixie-Ann), Clayton Jr. (Junior), Edmund Jr. (J.J), Allyshia, Ancil, Jelishia, Shawna and Shawnee; her grand-nieces and nephews Quion, Shaquille, Nicoli, Jaylon, T'kia, Dana and Yohan; her In-Laws Renrick James, Anthony Joseph, Veronica Andrews and Dana Jacobs; and others including Cardon, Derek, Winston, numerous aunts, uncles and cousins, members of the Picton Folk Performing Company and the Best Village Community.
Carlene Jacobs-Hendrickson's Send-Off in pictures:
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