Tributes flow as 14-year-old steel pan player laid to rest

Relatives and friends paid tribute as Kevon Scipio, the 14-year-old steel pannist who died tragically on the eve of Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary in a freak accident, was yesterday laid to rest.

Scipio, a third form student of the Richard Ishmael Secondary School and member of the Pan Wave Steel Orchestra, one of the groups scheduled to play at the flag-raising ceremony, died after a Canter carrying steel pans crushed him when he fell while attempting to get into the tray of the vehicle.

According to reports that were confirmed by the boy’s mother, the young bass player was attempting to climb into the tray of the Canter truck to join two of his friends when he fell to the ground.

 Kevon Scipio
Kevon Scipio

Upon seeing this, the boys attempted to signal the driver to stop the truck by hitting on the roof of the vehicle. However, this was reportedly misinterpreted by

Members of the Pan Wave Steel Orchestra performing a final tribute to their colleague during the funeral service yesterday.
Members of the Pan Wave Steel Orchestra performing a final tribute to their colleague during the funeral service yesterday.

the driver who proceeded to reverse the Canter, driving over Scipio in the process.

The young pannist was rushed to the Georgetown Public Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.

Yesterday, friends and family gathered at the Jesus Deliverance Mission, Thomas and Alexander streets, Kitty, to celebrate his life and achievements as they paid final respects to Scipio.

According to a statement issued by the Ministry of Education, Kevon was remembered as a very enthusiastic young man who enjoyed football, swimming, cricket and steel pan. It acknowledged the efforts of Scipio’s parents who allowed him to participate in the steel band, which was not only a past time but complemented his education and taught him important life skills.

“From all reports, Kevon would have been a good young man, student, pannist and son who led a very disciplined, mannerly and meaningful

Students of Kevon Scipio’s school paying him tribute in song yesterday.
Students of Kevon Scipio’s school paying him tribute in song yesterday.

life. He was considered to be a leader in his own right who at such an early age, despite his early departure, would have given national service before and up to the time of his death,” the statement read.

With this being considered, the ministry expressed the notion of recognizing the young man as steps to expand the steel pan programme in schools throughout the country are made.

The statement said, “While we celebrate his life and mourn his passing, the Ministry DCYS and the Music School will certainly want to use his life and character as we move to dedicate one of the prizes in the Pan-O-Rama to Kevon’s memory. The ministry will also be naming one of the camps in the Pan Minors Programme in his honour and a concert will also be held.”

Apart from family and friends, Minister within the Ministry of Education Nicolette Henry, Permanent Secretary Alfred King and the Director of Sport Christopher Jones also attended the funeral service.

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