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Offline Tallman

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Lively send off for accident victim
« Reply #240 on: December 24, 2019, 12:18:36 PM »
Lively send off for accident victim
By Laurel V Williams (T&T Newsday)


Prayer is a weapon, learn to use it!

This was the advice of Baptist minister Wendy Mitchell on Monday to hundreds of mourners who bade farewell to 21-year-old accident victim Michael Vern Junior Bradshaw.

"The words we speak have power. Be careful what you speak even when they (children) get you vex. I hope this death speaks that time is in God’s hands. The breath we take is God’s. He can take it back at any moment."

In a lively funeral, filled with drumming and loud singing, mourners paid final tributes to Bradshaw at the St Ann’s #1 Independent Baptist Church at Contention Road, Indian Walk, in Moruga.

Bradshaw, a drummer at the church, was one of four people killed on Thursday last week in a fiery car crash at the Solomon Hochoy Highway in Gasparillo. The bodies were burnt beyond recognition.

Mitchell warned that people must walk in wisdom and do things pleasing to God.

Quoting from the Bible, she said John the Baptist was beheaded and other Christians had horrible deaths.

Two photographs of Bradshaw were placed on top of the closed casket.

Mitchell added, "It is not how we die, it is how we live that is important."

Another minister, Carol Cummings, said God has "a hand in this death," adding he has never made a mistake.

She too called on people to turn to Jesus Christ.

"I am not telling you to believe in the picture on the wall. It had very good artists back then. I am telling you to believe in Jesus Christ. Whether young or old, when God says he is ready, you have to go."

Bradshaw, affectionately called Brad, was the son of Vernon Bradshaw and Avion Moore.

Moore was too emotional to read the eulogy and a man did it on her behalf. She described her son as a person with a beautiful personality. His laugh, she said, lit up a room. The family is consoled by the thought that God knows best.

He was buried at Paynter public cemetery in Indian Walk.

The other victims of the crash were 27-year-old national footballer Shahdon Winchester – the driver of the car, and Djenne Hills-Dyer, 28, both of Princes Town, as well as Keston Nicholas, 22, of Moruga.

Nicholas’s mother, Paula Burton, attended the funeral and wept as relatives consoled her. Nicholas, her only child, is expected to be buried on Tuesday.

Bradshaw was the stepson of Burton’s sister, Lucille Burton, of Third Company Road in Moruga.

Hills-Dyer owned a small business titled I CEE Queen Treats. Her funeral is tentatively set for the weekend.

A date for Winchester’s is yet to be confirmed.

At about 5.30 am on Thursday, Winchester was driving his white Nissan SUV when it skidded off the highway and crashed into an electricity pole. The car burst into flames on impact.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Tallman

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They survived the crash, but not the fire
« Reply #241 on: December 24, 2019, 12:29:25 PM »
They survived the crash, but not the fire
By Susan Mohammed (T&T Express)


THE funeral of one of the victims of last week’s fiery highway crash in Gasparillo was held yesterday.

The service for Michael Bradshaw took place in his community of Indian Walk, New Grant, at St Ann’s Baptist Church, and his remains buried at Indian Walk Public Cemetery.

His casket remained sealed.

Bradshaw and the other three victims of the crash suffered extensive burns and died as a result of smoke inhalation, the autopsy reports stated.

Bradshaw, 21, and former national and W Connection footballer Shahdon Winchester, 27, Djenne Hills-Dyer, 30, and Keston Nicholas, 22, died in Winchester’s vehicle after it burst into flames.

Bradshaw was in the back seat of the Nissan Qashqai SUV when it slammed rear-first into a T&TEC pole on the south-bound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, near Gasparillo.

There are no guard rails or cable barriers in that area, which is considered a highway “black spot” where several fatal crashes have occurred over the years.

His father, Vernon Bradshaw, told the Express that the electrical pole which collapsed on the vehicle was not at a safe distance from road traffic, and he is considering seeking legal advice on whether the State can be sued for negligence. Hills-Dyer’s grandmother, Wendy Hills, said all four victims would be given their final farewells in sealed-casket funerals.

“All four of them are unrecognisable so all of the caskets will remain closed. Let us remember them the way they were,” said Hills.

Winchester’s mother, Svetlana Winchester, said the autopsy report on her son stated that he died of smoke inhalation and thermal injuries.

Svetlana Winchester said she had not visited the scene of the crash, nor had she viewed any videos related to it.

“I am trying to do things that will not break me down. I am staying off social media. I just want to remember him how he was,” said the grief-stricken mother.

She said that preparations are being made for a funeral on January 2, and the family has applied to hold it at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando.

The funeral for another victim, Keston Nicholas, is expected to be held today (Christmas Eve) at Third Company London Baptist Church at 1 p.m. His remains are to be buried also at Indian Walk Public Cemetery.

Nicholas’ mother, Paula Burton, and Bradshaw’s step-mother, Lucille Burton, are sisters.

Paula Burton wept on Monday morning as she told the Express that the families were deeply grieved over the loss of the two young men.

“Two days of funerals...this is a lot for our family,” she cried.

La Toya Hills, mother of Hills-Dyer, said the autopsy showed that her daughter died of smoke inhalation and had no physical injuries. Hills-Dyer’s funeral is expected to be held on January 3 at Ethiopian Orthodox Church, at Dallas Avenue in Cocoyea, San Fernando.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Flex

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Re: Shahdon Winchester Thread
« Reply #242 on: December 31, 2019, 05:49:01 PM »
No help from government.
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh(Newsday).


Cudjoe to speak at Winchester’s funeral despite…

THE Ministry of Sport and Youth Affairs is unable to lend any form of assistance to the grieving family of deceased national footballer, Shahdon Winchester.

So says mother of the former T&T striker Svetlana Winchester, who expressed disappointment and shock following two conversations with the ministry’s special advisor, Andre Ferguson. According to the Winchester matriarch, after her son’s passing on December 19, she received a call from Minister of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe, expressing her condolences.

Following their conversation, Winchester presented a letter to the sport minister and her ministry requesting use of the South Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) for Shahdon’s funeral. Winchester was then contacted by Ferguson, on December 23, confirming that she was unsuccessful in her attempt to secure the venue.

It was during this chat, the grieving mother asked the ministry’s special advisor if there was anything the ministry would be contributing to aid with funeral arrangements. According to Svetlana, Ferguson declined. She then asked if it was possible to have a brief discussion with Cudjoe, to which Ferguson also denied.

Nevertheless, Svetlana persisted and again contacted Ferguson, on Monday,to see if there was a change of heart. However, she was again told there would be no assistance forthcoming, even though Cudjoe is scheduled to deliver an address at Shahdon’s funeral ,on Thursday, at Naparima Bowl, San Fernando.

“It’s costing a lot (of money) and based on the person that he was, we would have liked to give him a good send off. I’m a bit upset but I will do what I can for my child. To hear that the Ministry of Sport cannot assist in any way where the funeral is concerned, is a bit disappointing. We didn’t’ even get a box of Crix,” she said following a walkabout at Naparima Bowl on Monday.

Winchester admitted though, she does not want to make a big issue out of the situation. However, she questioned why the ministry would reject her requests after her son had served T&T at almost every level of national football including being part of the Under-15, Under-17, Under-23 and the senior team.

She revealed though, financial aid was received from the TT Football Association while, family members were also “chipping up” to ensure Shahdon received a worthy send-off. His former club, W Connection and her employers at Eastern Credit Union have been significantly assisting with funeral arrangements. Even the Police band, according to her, has offered its services to help with music on Thursday.

“We are tight-knit family and is a love still. I’m still in shock with the ministry’s response. Even the people I talk to, even they can’t believe it. I have friends who are assisting and we will get it done somehow. The funeral is costing a lot but everyone knows what Shahdon did for his country,” she added.

Svetlana admitted, however, her grief has gotten worse as the days go by. Shahdon was the eldest of three siblings and also had a daughter, who according to Svetlana, is having some trouble sleeping without her dad at her side.

“The family is trying their best to keep me busy. It’s really hard. I’m in tears every ten minutes. After the final wake on New Year’s night, I get ready to send my child home the next day,” she concluded.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline asylumseeker

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Re: Shahdon Winchester Thread
« Reply #243 on: January 01, 2020, 08:29:20 AM »
Not exactly surprising ( I don't mean that negatively). However, "no" should be accompanied by a sensitive explanation.

More generally, a policy statement or drafted policy wouldn't hurt.
"It is not possible to make successful policy in a state of ignorance or indifference to what goes on in the real world." --- Martin Daly.

Offline Tallman

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Shania: Shahdon was living his father's dream
« Reply #244 on: January 03, 2020, 11:12:41 PM »
Shania: Shahdon was living his father's dream
By Walter Alibey (T&T Guardian)


T&T and W Con­nec­tion strik­er Shah­don Win­ches­ter was liv­ing the dream of his fa­ther Der­rick to be a pro­fes­sion­al foot­baller when his life was snuffed out in a mo­tor ve­hi­cle ac­ci­dent on the Sir Solomon Ho­choy High­way last week, mere months be­fore he had planned to mar­ry to his child­hood sweet­heart in Oc­to­ber.

At his fu­ner­al ser­vice on Thurs­day at the Na­pari­ma Bowl in San Fer­nan­do Shah­don was re­mem­bered as an ex­treme tal­ent who loved his fam­i­ly but stayed hum­ble in spite of all his achieve­ments in the sport.

His younger sis­ter Sha­nia said her broth­er was liv­ing the life-long dream of his fa­ther who nur­tured him in the sport, be­fore he passed away in No­vem­ber of 2002, leav­ing his wife Lana (Shah­don's moth­er) and his broth­er to shoul­der the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Sha­nia re­mem­bered be­ing among Shah­don's sib­lings and cousins who he used as prac­tice part­ners dur­ing his child­hood days be­fore his tal­ent was quick­ly recog­nised at San Fer­nan­do Boys Gov­ern­ment School, and then at Na­pari­ma Col­lege where he helped in guid­ing the team to an In­ter­Col ti­tle.

At a ser­vice which was packed to ca­pac­i­ty with mem­bers of his W Con­nec­tion foot­ball club, mem­bers of the T&T team and oth­er dig­ni­taries, Sha­nia said her broth­er went on to rep­re­sent the coun­try at every youth lev­el, be­fore pro­gress­ing to the se­nior na­tion­al team where he scored many goals.

San Fer­nan­do May­or Ju­nior Re­grel­lo, who filled in for Min­is­ter of Sports and Youth Af­fairs Sham­fa Cud­joe, who iron­i­cal­ly could not be there be­cause of a death in her fam­i­ly, said though he did not know Shah­don per­son­al­ly, videos im­ages of his life showed he was ready for his pass­ing, due to the peo­ple whose lives he had touched, his com­mit­ment to God, and his nexus to fam­i­ly and friends.

Be­cause of his love for God, Win­ches­ter who was nick­named 'Jep' car­ried a bible his moth­er had bought for him, any­time he trav­elled abroad. Re­grel­lo called for his mem­o­ry to live on, say­ing there are not too many foot­ballers who can say they scored a goal against CON­CA­CAF gi­ants Mex­i­co.

Mean­while, William Wal­lace, pres­i­dent of the T&T Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion said Shah­don's trag­ic pass­ing was proof that to­mor­row is not promised to us. He not­ed the one thing he learned about Shah­don life, was hu­mil­i­ty. " If it's one thing we can learn from Shah­don's life is hu­mil­i­ty, and for all of us who are charged with gov­ern­ing foot­ball or even to rep­re­sent the coun­try, do what you have to do but re­main hum­ble."

A tear­ful Re­nee John-Williams, the W Con­nec­tion CEO said Shah­don was their spoiled child at the club and any­thing he asked for, the pres­i­dent would do his best to give it to him, such was his tal­ent and per­son­al­i­ty.

She de­scribed him as past, present and fu­ture at the Pro League gi­ants, whose death over the past two weeks has seen ques­tion the Almighty God, though they were taught nev­er to do so.
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.

Offline Flex

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Re: Shahdon Winchester Thread
« Reply #245 on: January 04, 2020, 08:03:18 AM »
He had big plans
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (Newsday).


Shahdon’s sister says footballer was preparing for marriage…

The late Shahdon Winchester had big plans for wedding his long-time love, Tineille, on October 10 this year.

Having surprised her in 2019 by getting down on both knees and asking her hand in marriage, Winchester was already preparing for the pair’s big day.

This was revealed by the sister of the former national striker, Shania, as she gave his eulogy in front of an overflowing Naparima Bowl, San Fernando, on Thursday.

Video footage of the ex-W Connection player, ring in hand, and kneeling before his overwhelmed girlfriend, alongside their daughter, Ada-Xyli, touched the hearts of those present. Mourners were unable to hold back the tears.

The 27-year old footballer died with three friends – Djenne Hills-Dyer, 28, Keston Nicholas, 22, and Michael Bradshaw, 21 – in a fiery crash on the Solomon Hochoy Highway in Gasparillo on December 19.

Shania revealed, “'Shadz' was ready to begin his life as a married man and was very sure about it. He planned the most dramatic proposal, with the support of his family. Plans were being made for a wedding on October 10, 2020. He was very particular and would tell her, ‘Tineille, you only getting married once, you know.’”

Hundreds of family members, friends, former and current footballers, past and present students of his former secondary school team Naparima College, TT Football Association (TTFA) executives and members of the public came together to bid a final farewell to the decorated athlete.

Besides his stellar footballing accolades, the former W-Connection skipper was also hailed for his family-oriented lifestyle and close connections with those around him.

In a short address, TTFA president William Wallace expressed condolences to the families of all who died in the crash.

He acknowledged Winchester for his multitude of footballing talents and reflected on their time together when he headed the National Olympic Under-23 team in 2012.

“I followed the career of Shahdon as a standout secondary school football player,” said a sombre Wallace. “When I managed the national Under-23 Olympic team, this is where I observed a very talented but unassuming, humble and respectful young man. Even as his game developed and he went on to represent the senior men’s team, that disposition remained the same.

"For us, gone too soon. Thank you, Shahdon, for your contribution to TT football.”

W-Connection CEO Renee John-Williams fought to compose herself as she delivered a message on behalf of the club. She also brought greetings on behalf of club owner and president, her father David, who is abroad.

John-Williams said Winchester was highly favoured at the club and worked hard to battle through the ranks and become captain of the "Savonetta Boys."

“Shahdon was truly a special young man – our spoilt child, even. You couldn’t tell the president anything about Shahdon, that was his son and he would do anything for him. I’m happy to have witnessed his growth from a young boy into a man that we were proud of. He was Connection through and through,” she said.

She said in 2008, the 16-year old Winchester travelled with the club to Brazil for a three-week pre-season camp. The following year he made his debut playing "big man football” with the TT Pro League, scoring two goals in his opening match. The very next week he made his CONCACAF Champions League debut, at 17.

Winchester went on to represent an array of international clubs but remained grounded at his domestic club, W-Connection.

An emotional but jovial tribute was also presented by his former Naparima College teammates, led by 2007 Intercol-winning striker, Nigel Wright. Winchester and Wright played alongside each other 12 years ago and went on to hoist school’s football most coveted crown. Also reminiscing on happier times at his alma mater were physical education teacher Richard Nagaur, and Winchester's ex-coach Sean Cooper, now at the helm of 2019 Intercol winners Presentation College.

Winchester’s funeral was chaired by Joel Joseph and opened with two musical items courtesy the Sand City Steel Orchestra. Tributes were also paid by the North West Laventille Cultural Movement, the Prisons Band, W-Connection chairman David Martin, Heaven Sent and his uncle Peter Winchester. The sermon was given by Gladstone Cuffie of the Princes Town Restoration Centre.

After the service, Winchester was laid to rest at the Holy Cross RC Churchyard Cemetery on Buen Intento Road, Princes Town.

The real measure of a man's character is what he would do if he knew he would never be found out.

Offline Tallman

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Winchester was Naps' 'secret weapon'
« Reply #246 on: January 06, 2020, 05:36:34 PM »
Winchester was Naps' 'secret weapon'
By Jonathan Ramnanansingh (T&T Newsday)


“No matter where we roam, if near or far from home, let us be always one Naparima.”

Taken from the Naparima College anthem, these words were the final sentiments shared to the late Shahdon Winchester by his former school/teammate, Nigel Wright, during his tribute at the ex-footballer’s funeral on Thursday.

Wright was joined on stage by several former Naparima teammates, former coach Sean Cooper and the college’s Physical Education tutor, Richard Nagaur, who shared their memories of Winchester’s youthful days.

Given the aliases "Redo" and "Jep" for his light-coloured skin and speed on the pitch, the 27-year old striker was a favourite at his alma mater. During his early years at Naps, a pint-sized Winchester was often made fun of by his schoolmates. However, what he lacked in physical appearance, he made up for both on and off the field of play.

Wright and Winchester played alongside each other on the Naparima frontline and shared many good times competing in the Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL), South Zone and National Intercol tournaments.

“On the field, a warrior, fighter and backing down was not an option for him,” said Wright in his emotional tribute. “Off the field, however, little Shahdon made it his business to frustrate the older guys. We would get back at him by making sure we held his hand when crossing the road. We understood and tolerated him and that was his way of showing affection to us. He was family, one of us, and we made it our business to take care of him while in school.”

On their way to lifting the National Intercol title in 2007, Wright was unable to play after a broken leg suffered in the South Zone final. His fondest memory of Winchester came after being dropped to bench by Cooper for a couple games prior, and then substituted on against Moruga Secondary during the Intercol competition.

“Coach Cooper told me if I didn’t score three goals I was going to be on the bench for the rest of the season. As I came on, I begged for assistance: ‘Please fellas, help me score,’ I pleaded with my teammates. Jep assisted me in all three goals I scored that day. He was a team player and was loved by all,” Wright reminisced.

Dubbing Winchester as Naparima’s "secret weapon", Wright said the former talismanic striker showed more fight than most of the players on the team. Wright also recalled countless memories of Winchester’s natural goal-scoring ability. One particular instance came during a training game against San Fernando Giants (semi-pro team).

“Jep got a ball at the edge of the box, first touch chest-trapped, the defender rushed in and he put it over his head, and before the ball dropped, he volleyed into the goal. Coach Cooper ran onto the pitch and told the referee to blow off the game. We ran onto the field and lifted him up and ran off with him as if we’d won the final. He always trained hard and it didn’t matter who he came up against. He always gave one hundred per cent and demanded the same from us.”

Nagaur also reflected on Winchester’s decorated school career and also hailed his academic pursuit. According to the PE teacher, the ex-striker was ably assisted with his homework and projects by schoolmates throughout the SSFL season (September-December).

During his time at Naps, Winchester won numerous titles donning the blue and white uniform. From 2005 to 2008, Naparima were crowned South Zone league champions. They also copped the South Intercol (2005, 2007, 2008), National Big Five league champions (2005, 2008) and the National Intercol (2007).

“We worshipped him,” said Nagaur to mourners. “Scoring goals with both his head and feet. The one I remember the most was against Mayaro Secondary, he was about 14 at the time. With five minutes to go, they had marked Shahdon throughout the game. He collected a pass, beat two defenders to produce a 2-1 victory and silence the whole of Mayaro. That day, we lifted him up. I remember it like yesterday and was there for his entire career at Naparima College.”
The Conquering Lion of Judah shall break every chain.