Pearl had ‘thirst for life’
There was a heavy presence of the young at St Patrick’s Cathedral yesterday as scores of people gathered for a memorial service to celebrate the life of Pearl Amanda Cornelius, one of the six women who perished in the Campus Trendz fire on September 3.
While some gathered at the doors of the packed Bay Street church, others huddled in the yard to lend support to the family of the 18-year-old Guyanese, who was a former student of Deighton Griffith Secondary and Springer Memorial schools.
It was hard for her to get the words out, but Cornelius’ aunt Sabrina Marshall, who delivered the eulogy, described her niece as an individual who had a “thirst for life” and a “hunger for knowledge” and was always fashion-conscious.
“She devoted so much time to dressing and looking pretty that she started a part-time job at the Campus Trendz boutique, where her customers adored her. We jokingly called her the fashion police. She loved singing, but couldn’t hold a note.
“She had numerous friends at the school and they formed an original SCVG group.
“She was always on the computer on Facebook, where she had almost 4 000 friends. One of her favourite greetings when she saw you was, ‘You all right?’.
“She was devoted to her family and one of her wishes was to see them all together. Her wish was about to come true when her entire family was supposed to travel to Guyana to celebrate her grandmother’s birthday.”
In his sermon, Monsignor Vincent Blackett commended the youth present. He used the opportunity to encourage them to make a difference in society through working together with the church to stamp out violence.
After the service, outside the church, family and friends released balloons of various colours into the air. Seconds after the balloons were released, a pink one flew back into the church and settled against the roof.
“One individual immediately observed: “Look at her coming back into the church where she belongs.”
The body of the deceased will be taken back to Guyana to be buried. (AH)
Mother of Pearl Cornelius, Nicola Marshall (third from left) and Monsignor Vincent Blacket (right) sending off balloons in memory of Cornelius.