Mourners salute diver ‘Capt Fyzie’ at Mosquito Creek cremation

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Mourners look on at the boat-shaped casket of Fyzal Kurban at his funeral at the Mosquito Creek Cremation Site, La Romaine, on Monday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Dressed in T-shirts with nautical emblems, scores of mourners paid tributes to diver Fyzal “Fyzie” Kurban, 57, at his funeral on Monday.

Kurban was cremated at the Shore of Peace (Mosquito Creek) in La Romaine in a boat-shaped coffin. Before the coffin was set alight, mourners including his wife Celisha and their three adult children saluted him.

Many mourners referred to Kurban as “Captain” because of his love for the sea.

A service streamed live on YouTube was held earlier at the family’s home in Claxton Bay.

Kurban’s son Nicholas remembered his father as a jolly person, saying he is now in heaven.

“I know my Dad is in a better place. He was never really a sad person.”

Kurban’s other son, Michael, also gave brief remarks. “Thank you, Dad. Thank you for everything that you did.”

On the brink of tears, Michael added, “No one can replace this guy. He is everything.”

Kurban was one of four divers who died after being sucked into a 30-inch pipeline at Berth Six at Paria Fuel Trading Co Ltd, off Pointe-a-Pierre, on February 25. The others were Rishi Nagassar, Kazim Ali Jr and Yusuf Henry. The men, who worked for LMCS, a private contractor, were doing underwater maintenance when the incident happened.

Celisha Kurban, centre, wife of diver Fyzal Kurban, with relatives at his funeral at the Mosquito Creek Cremation Site, La Romaine, on Monday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

Michael rescued a fifth diver, Christopher Boodram, that day.

Michael’s sister Britney told mourners that from his early life, it was very clear Fyzal had a connection with the sea. and he later became a certified commercial driver whose work took him over this country and the Caribbean.

She praised him for his incredibly kind heart, saying people like him are in short supply.

Britney said: “Dad, you will forever be loved and always remembered.”

A mourner told the congregation that Kurban, from all reports, lived up to the end as a captain.

Pastors Robert “Chris” Oliver and Dr Victor Jogee of the Living Word Christian Centre officiated at the funeral.

Oliver prayed for the Kurban family as well as the other affected families for God “to touch their hearts and minds and to bless and console them.”

Thirty seconds of silence were observed to remember those who died in the tragedy.

“I know because of the circumstances that many people have questions. It seems there are more questions than answers. But we have to trust God. God is the judge and he said, ‘Vengeance is mine,'” Oliver said.

This tragedy has angered a lot of people and many of them are hurt and bitter, Oliver told mourners.

Mourners look on at the funeral pyre of Fyzal Kurban at the Mosquito Creek Cremation Site, La Romaine, on Monday. – Photo by Marvin Hamilton

“But we should not allow that bitterness to overtake us. It’s a sad day, but it could have been worse. It could have been a sad, sad day. Instead, it is a sad joyous day.

“For those who know Jesus as their Lord and personal saviour, they will understand. We feel sad about the loss, and in our hearts, we know Fyzie made a decision to give his life to Jesus. Because of that, it is a joyous day.”

Saying it is a trying time for the family, he told them they had Jesus to lean on.

Ali’s funeral took place on Saturday. Funeral arrangements are being made for Nagassar and Henry.