Guyanese immigrant, the late Randolph Holder Jnr. 33, killed while executing his duties as an NYPD officer in Harlem, was laid to rest on home soil after stirring tributes yesterday.
He was accorded a full Military funeral that featured both the Guyana Police Force and New York Police Department. In respect of the departed, NYPD ranks withstood the early morning downpour outside the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Brickdam.
While most remained reserved, one female relative had to be restrained as she desperately attempted to embrace the late detective’s remains amidst sorrowful cries.
Scores of Guyanese turned up at the funeral, some because they knew him as a youth and others out of curiosity, but all to bid farewell to the average Guyanese boy who died a hero and was promoted posthumously to detective in New York.
The celebration of the life of the NYPD detective was officiated by Monsignor Terrence Montrose at the Brickdam Cathedral.
President David Granger was among the attendees to the funeral of the late Guyanese immigrant and a police officer for five years, in the New York City Police Department (NYPD). Also present were US Ambassador Perry Holloway and his wife, Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjatan, and Police Commissioner Seelal Persaud.
President Granger knew Holder’s grandmother, Elizabeth Lovell, since he was a young boy living in the Corentyne.
Tributes were also done by Mayor Hamilton Greene and the APGI USA & Guyana Ex-Police Association. Holder’s relatives remembered him as a brave and respectable young man whose desire was to serve and emulate his father and grandfather, both of whom were police officers in the Guyana Police Force.
They said that he had always requested that his body be returned to Guyana for burial if anything were to happen to him. That wish was granted. His aunt recalled his boyhood days growing up in Lodge and eventually with his grandmother Elizabeth Lovell.
A letter of condolence from Congressman Donald Payne Jnr ,was also read. US based songbird, Lisa Punch, the reigning Miss Guyana World rendered her original Song “One last Time” as part of the service.
After the funeral service, the body was taxied to the Square of the Revolution. Thereafter, the ceremonial march was led by the Guyana Police Force along Vlissengen Road and finally into Le Repentir Cemetery.
Along the route from the Church to the Le Repentir, onlookers were seen waving flags while commending the Guyana Police Force ranks for their representation – musically, and their march in accord. The sentiment most expressed by those in attendance was, “This is a proper military funeral, we boys did us proud.”
Most hair rising at the funeral that could easily be dubbed a celebrated event were the Guyana Police Force’s band delivery of the meditation and tribute; to God be the glory, Beethoven and Chopin numbers which ultimately ended with the Last Post.
Soon after with all ranks in file from both the GPF and NYPD near the graveside, the 21-gun salute was delivered and the NYPD standard was handed over to Randolph Holder senior. Members of the Police Force’s choir in tribute to the fallen rank sang, “I Just can’t give up now.”
A private family gathering followed before the champagne to bronze casket was interred in the area where the Enmore Martyrs lay. (Mondale Smith)
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