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GAD LAID TO REST

By KAVELLE ANGLIN-CHRISTIE ,Staff Reporter


A scene at the funeral service for the late Dr. Vernon Carrington Prophet Gad at the Head office of the 12 Tribes of Judah on Hope Road yesterday. Ricardo Makyn

"Gwaan go do it Prophet Gad, gwaan go do it.

Gwaan go do it Prophet Gad, gwaan go do it.

Gwaan go nice up the Israelites a foreign now.

I love you so, Prophet Gad.

Gwaan go spread Selassie name all over the whole world."

THE WORDS TO the song Brother Beji, sang at the funeral of his father, Prophet Gad, could not have been more fitting to encapsulate the work of a man who many saw as their deliverer.

The funeral service of Vernon Carrington, 69, widely known as Prophet Gad, was strangely enough, a refreshing change from the usual depressing funeral. This was literally a celebration of "the Gadman's" life.

Hundreds flocked

Hundreds flocked to the Twelve Tribes of Israel headquarters on Hope Road, St. Andrew, yesterday afternoon to wish their leader farewell. Decked in their Ras Tafari colours, persons of every race, colour and most nationalities came from the four corners of the earth to witness this momentous event.

One man even likened it to the visit of H.I.M. Haile Selassie, or the death of Bob Marley. "Ah only them time there you will see so much rasta innah one place yuh nuh."

There were members of Twelve Tribe houses from Ethiopia, Trinidad, United States, and many other countries. One of the most tender moments of faith, was when four maimed men joined the line to view the body of their Prophet. Two wheeled pass, and two stood with their crutches in the line.

Twelve men ­ dressed in suits of various colours - representing the twelve months of the year, and Sister Dinah, lined the stage. Brother Issachar 1st of Jamaica, Patrick Beckford, in the eulogy said this was a testiment that the work God had given Prophet Gad had succeeded.

"Jah! Ras Tafari!" came the shouts of praise, whenever something being said, touched the followers.

One woman, however, was visibly more excited than the rest. "Jaaah Raaaaaastafari," she yelled long after the others had finished. The light-skinned indian with her hair in an up-do, would not be deterred even as the man standing next to her grabbed her elbow and told her to be quiet.

Representatives from the Twelve Tribes house in London and Ethiopia spoke of Prophet Gad in glowing terms. His daughter Tshai, in a poem read by her mother, Sister Dinah, described her father as "short in stature, but a giant in strength."

The tribute of H.I.H. Zere Yacab, H.I.M. Haile Selassie's son, and his family was read by Brother Levi 1st of Jamaica.

There were numerous musical tributes to the Prophet as the funeral progressed. There were those that your ears would gracefully tune out from, but there were also those who you could sit and listen to for hours on end: Jahmel strummed his way into our hearts, Sister Alethia let loose on the carolling.

Alas! Just when the Prophet's followers were caught up in a musical treat from Zion, Brother Levi 1st called for Param as the next musical guest. The light-skinned indian made a mad dash and started to climb onto the stage. Confused followers looked on.

"I can't help it! I feel the holy spirit within me! I hear Prophet Gad talking to me! I can't help it!," she shouted in what sounded like a heavy Spanish accent. She clutching a beam supporting the roof of the tent, as one of the Ras Tafari men pulled her, trying to get her off the stage.

"Whose voice? What voice are you talking about?" asked a young Caucasian man wearing his rasta tam.

So the mania continued for nearly one minute, until they finally let her go to talk to Sister Dinah on stage. That, however, did not spoil the proceedings.

The event ended with the singing of the Ethiopian Anthem.

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April 8, 2005
 

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