MAJOR FUNERAL FOR FALLEN ANGUILLIAN CUSTOMS OFFICER

anguillian
By anguillian February 13, 2018 08:35

 

 

He was only 21 years old when he prematurely departed this life but, at his young age, Calan Vandike Vanterpool had amassed for himself, through his noble quality of life and work ethic, a great deal of respect and admiration from many persons. He was not only an accomplished, proud and disciplined citizen of Anguilla, but an upcoming Customs Officer of outstanding merit and dedication.

The first of two sons, born to Calvin (Paper) and Angela Vanterpool, he died on January 8, 2018, following an unfortunate injury he sustained on December 23, 2017, in the course of his surveillance duty at sea, sending shockwaves across the island. His funeral at St. Mary’s Anglican Church was not only described as having been the largest in Anguilla in recent times but, in several respects, was symbolic of a national funeral. A notable feature was a gun salute at his graveside at the Sandy Hill Cemetery. In addition, for several days, flags were flown at half-mast at the main Customs Office and Police Headquarters.

Among the mourners at the funeral were Government officials; large numbers of uniformed Customs Officers from Anguilla, St. Kitts and Montserrat; contingents from the Royal Anguilla Police Force; the Immigration Department; and the Scouts Movement with which he and his family had long been associated; and hundreds of people from all walks of life in the community.
Calan’s Head of Department, Comptroller of Customs, Mr. Travis Carty, spoke to The Anguillian newspaper about the major funeral as follows:
“The Government’s protocols would not have allowed for a national funeral for the officer, but one of the things I highlighted was what the Customs Department does in conjunction with the Immigration and Police Departments in terms of cooperation. The officers in these agencies serve as ambassadors for Anguilla because, on a daily basis, we all protect Anguilla. I spoke to my colleagues in the Royal Anguilla Police Force and the Immigration Department. I told them I would like you to join me in sending home one of our own – not a Customs Officer, but a uniformed officer – who assisted in protecting Anguilla just as the Police and Immigration Officers do. I told them united we stand and that there is strength in numbers.

“The response was both welcoming and warming. The gun salute is the highest honour you can give a fallen officer at a funeral, and I told the Police I want to send home my colleague with the highest honour. In 30 seconds, on the phone, the response was: ‘No problem. We will organise that.’

“I was very proud to see all the organisations that came out and supported the salute theme we had for Mr. Vanterpool from World Customs Day. During the passage of Calan’s casket, to his final resting place, my colleagues and I stood and saluted him. He was later given a gun salute by the Police. I was very happy and his mom, Mrs. Angela Vanterpool, was very happy also. I told her we did whatever we could because the role he played in Anguilla was second to none – and we respected him for that. His legacy will not be forgotten by us.”

The Formal Remembrance for Calan was written by the Customs Department and read by retired Deputy Comptroller, Mr. Glen Hodge. It stated in part: “He joined the Anguilla Customs Department on August 10th, 2015, as an Assistant Customs Officer. Calan was an enthusiastic person who had a passion for his job. He was a creative and innovative person, always willing to help and go the extra mile to ensure his assignments were completed. He displayed great work ethics in his new role and continued to show an understanding from the limited training he absorbed.

“Calan, along with five of his colleagues, left Anguilla on January 28th, 2017, to attend the Junior Officers’ Basic Training Course in St. Kitts for the duration of two-and-a-half months. He successfully completed that course with a Grade B and returned to Anguilla to continue serving his country and the Anguilla Customs Department.
“During his tenure, Calan was assigned to various ports and sections within the department such as Road Bay Customs, Blowing Point Customs, Border Patrol Unit and the Cargo Control Unit. His colleagues in that unit remember his vigilance, dedication and carefulness in performing his duties.
“Calan was a mannerly, humble, helpful and jovial person to his colleagues and the general public. He was always eager to listen and learn. He never complained and was always ready for the next challenge…”

The Customs Department’s Formal Remembrance continued: “On December 23rd, 2017, Calan suffered an injury whilst performing his duties. He was admitted to the Princess Alexandra Hospital and was subsequently flown to Trinidad for further medical attention accompanied by his mother, Mrs. Angela Vanterpool. They returned to Anguilla on January 5th, 2018, and were welcomed at Blowing Point by his colleagues of the Anguilla Customs Department who transported them home and later celebrated his return with family and friends.
“On January 8th, 2018, God came and took Calan home and left us all heartbroken, but we believe that God wanted another jewel for his garden so he took one most precious. We loved him, but Jesus loved him best. Sleep on dear brother until we meet again.
May his soul rest in eternal peace and rise in Glory.”
In his sermon, the Rt. Rev. Errol Brooks said in part: “We thank God for the life of Calan; for all the good he was able to accomplish and for his contribution to this community. It was while he was performing his duty that he suffered an injury. He was engaged in a worthwhile task, seeking to ensure that the peace and wellbeing of our society were being kept intact. He was not engaged in the business of taking another young person’s life.
“My brothers, and sisters, let me say loud and clear: life is a gift from God to be treasured. It is sacred and must be regarded as such. I take this opportunity, with so many young people in attendance at this funeral – and I believe many others listening by radio – to say that as we say farewell to Calan, a young man, [we] appeal to our young people, especially our young men, to get involved in positive activities. Seek ways to build the community and not to destroy the community. Calan’s death, at an early age, is evidence to all of us that death can come at any age, at any moment. Do not fool yourself into thinking that you have all the time in the world to turn to God. Calan was conscious of the presence of God in his life and he identified with the community of faith.

“We are bidden in Scripture, in Ecclesiastics chapter 3, verse 1: ‘Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.’ Don’t wait until you get old. You may never get there. I again appeal to our young people: make the worship of God a vital part of your life.”
The eulogy was written by Calan’s god parents, Mr. Fritz Smith and Ms. Sandra Fahie. It was read by his life-long friend, Jarick Richardson, and Ms. Fahie. The eulogy traced Calan’s early education at St. Mary’s Preschool; the then Stoney Ground Primary School; and the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School. He was described as a model student and a model friend. The eulogy spoke about his love for sport, especially cricket; his representing of Anguilla in the Leeward Islands tournaments in the Under 15 and Under 19 teams and his coaching by Mr. Cardigan Connor. His work as a diligent and conscientious Customs Officer was also referred to. So too was the establishment by the Customs Department of the Calan Vandike Vanterpool Distinguished Award for deserving Customs Officers.

“Calan loved his work but even more important, was his family,” the eulogy continued: “To him his family was paramount…To his parents, Angela and Calvin, he was a child that every parent would wish to have. He died at a young age leaving many of his dreams unfulfilled. But while he was here he greatly impacted the lives of family, friends, co-workers and members of the general public. He lived a happy life and died in an atmosphere of happiness in the presence of some of his cousins. Calan has gone to a better place and will certainly not be forgotten.”

Mr. Cardigan Connor, Parliamentary Secretary, Tourism, Sport, Youth and Culture, also spoke about Calan as having been a young Anguillian cricketer. He was grateful to have had the opportunity to coach him and to have seen him develop in the sport and ably represent Anguilla in the Leeward Islands’ matches.

anguillian
By anguillian February 13, 2018 08:35

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