(Onlookers watch as fire fighters contend with flames that consumed Heaven’s Fesco Service Station, last Friday PHOTO: Ramon Gordon)
Shahaye, a student led choir from Northern Caribbean University in Mandeville, sang tunes of comfort last evening for the families affected by the blaze, which consumed sections of Heaven’s Fesco Service Station last Friday.
A group of sixty students converged by the burn site to sing a collection of classical and contemporary tunes, arranged and directed by second year Religion and Theology Major, Giovanni Brown.
Brown says his team thought that the gesture was timely, especially now in a time of grief.
“It was Bob Marley who said when the music hits you, you feel no pain. I have found that music is a remedy for the toughest of times. When logic and facts can’t help or explain, music has a way of speaking directly to you and comforting you in hard times. We at Shahaye sought to provide hope through what we do best, singing. This choir is a powerful means of ministry and outreach.”
With the students was PNP Vice President, Mikael Phillips, who says it is acts like these that inspire those who need it most.
“An unfortunate incident took place here and as citizens of the parish, it’s good to see others visiting from outside the parish to show support. It’s good to see the love and comradery from the wider community that the Heavens’ have gotten. I’m sure that is what is giving you the strength to rise from the ashes.”
He went on to urge Jamaicans to use Friday’s incident as a tale of caution, charging that too often, safety regulations outlined by businesses are ignored.
“When we go to the service stations and we hear people say ‘Turn off yuh vehicle’ or ‘Stop using your cellphone’ we take it for granted that nothing nah happen. We see what has happened here. I hope that the wider Jamaica learns from this lesson, for it’s one that could have been worse off.”
Owner of Heaven’s Fesco service station, Trevor Heaven, expressed gratitude for the choir’s thoughtfulness and described it as being incredibly moving. Though, amid his praise, he paused to ask that the families of those who suffered great injury not be forgotten, but held in prayer.
“We cannot and should not forget those who have suffered. This really ought not to have happened, but it did. There are still those who are suffering, some are still in hospital and we have to recognize the suffering that they and their families are going through.”
He made special mention of fifty nine year old businessman, Daniel Farquharson, who succumbed to his injuries following last week’s explosion.
“Even more so, there was a fatality. A man who has been with us here (at Fesco) through thick and thin. A man who has helped us in more ways than one. For me, the greatest tragedy wasn’t the fire or destruction. The pain in my heart rests with the family of Daniel Farquharson.”
Farquharson was one day shy of his 60th birthday.
Public Relations Officer for the choir, Rajae Danvers, says his team’s move was a no brainer, as it aligns wholly with all that NCU hopes to teach.
“Northern Caribbean University has always invested in its students a culture of compassion. This compassion was showcased when we, a student lead choir, decided to give our support to the Heaven’s family. This is a difficult time not only for the business owners, but also for those who were affected. Through our compassion we decided to use our talents, our singing, to bless not only the Heaven family, but others who were affected.”
Owner of Heaven’s Fesco service station, Trevor Heaven (left), and the father of a burn victim, who is still in the hospital (center), bow their heads as NCU’s Sefton Brown (right) offers a prayer for those injured following last week’s incident. (PHOTO: Contributed)