CHARLOTTE STREET, NEW AMSTERDAM — It was not business as usual in some sections of New Amsterdam yesterday, as hundreds turned out to pay their last respects to the four victims of last Saturday’s fire.
Seventy-year-old Ivor Krishna Persaud, well known businessman and owner of one of the oldest business entities in New Amsterdam – Persaud’s Funeral Home, his wife, Parasite, and two grandchildren — Mellissa Shanie Persaud, and Arman Devindra Persaud — were cremated at the Babu John Crematorium at Port Mourant amid a fountain of tears later in the afternoon.
Earlier in the day, a moving service was held at their Charlotte Street business place, just across the road from where the tragedy occurred.
Charlotte Street in New Amsterdam was closed to vehicular traffic, and so were several offices nearby.
Mrs. Patricia Parbattie Persaud, called ‘Patsy ’, proprietress of the Astor Snackette would have been celebrating her 61st birthday yesterday. The mortal remains of Mellissa and her brother were placed in the same casket, designed by their father.
Tears flowed aplenty and kind words were spoken in great abundance from persons of all walks of life — young and old.
The eulogy was delivered by a relative, Raj Persaud, who said that a week before, no one would have envisaged such a tragedy. He used adjectives such as kind, hardworking, honest and loving among others to describe the qualities the Persauds possessed during their lifetime.
Some of Mellissa’s classmates eulogized her. She and her brother were said to be affectionate, altruistic, always up for fun and good times, and always having won the love and respect of persons.
It was just a few days before their demise that they returned to Guyana from North America.
Tributes were also paid by relatives, friends, fellow Rotarians, and members of a fraternal lodge.
Among the mourners were Labour Minister Manzoor Nadir, who delivered a tribute, Minister within the Ministry of Health, Dr. Bheri Ramsarran, and other dignitaries.
The blaze was discovered at the home of Mr. Ivor Persaud and his wife just after 02:00 hours on Saturday, January 24.
The home in which the Persauds lived was heavily grilled. Eyewitnesses recalled the horror of hearing the victims scream for help until they perished, but were unable to lend that helping hand.
The late Ivor Persaud and his wife are survived by their two children, Anil and Narda, Anil’s wife Sherry, Narda’s husband and Narda’s only child.
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