Monday 13 July, 2020

Young Chaz Cepal laid to rest amid tears, song, praise and worship

Tears flowed, tributes poured in as over 2000 persons packed the Johnson Charles Stand at the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground for the funeral service of 18-year-old Dhan-Raj Chaz Cepal today, September 8, 2019.

Cepal, who died just over a week ago when the motor vehicle he was driving veered off the road and crashed into a utility pole, was sent off in tribute, song, praise and worship. His mother, Samina, had to be comforted throughout the funeral service as she repeatedly collapsed in tears, calling out her son’s name over and over.

Chaz's 15-year-old brother, Joshua and his dad, Cyrus could not keep the tears way as the funeral service wore on. The service, which went on for more than three hours, was one in which the audience was asked to turn their eyes on Jesus and not on the things of this earth, as the things of this earth were not the answer to a satisfying life in Jesus Christ.

Chaz Cepal Funeral

Officiated by pastors of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, the funeral service was one in which Jesus Christ was uplifted and the life of the late Cepal was highlighted as an amazing one that touched the lives of thousands of young people, many of whom packed the seats at the cricket ground.

Stories of Chaz’s life unfolded as the tributes poured, one coming from the Pathfinder’s Club of the Dominica Seventh Day Adventist Church. Born March 16, 2001, young Cepal was said to be a bundle of joy and the life of most events he was part of.

“He was always ready to go the extra mile in his pathfinder’s duties,” were the words of a member from the Seventh Day Adventist youth club.

“Stay strong in the Lord and in the power of his might,” were the concluding words from a tribute from the Seventh Day Adventist Mission to the family of young Cepal.

Guy Joseph, the Minister with responsibility for Economic Development, Transport and Civil Aviation, said he could not believe his eyes when he entered the Daren Sammy Cricket Ground because of the number of vehicles and people in attendance. He saw this as a reality of the impact Cepal had on people at such a young age.

Cricket was Chaz’s passion, one which was continually highlighted throughout the funeral service, from the tributes to the eulogy, to the homily.

His leadership at both the Seventh Day Adventist Academy and the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College was said to be infectious, strong and enthusiastic. In fact, so compelling was young Cepal’s leadership in the field of cricket and sports in general at the Academy that it was said the face of sports changed at the school after he left.

As the funeral service came to an end and white doves were released in the sunlit skies above the cricket ground at 2.26 pm Sunday afternoon, a thank you message from the family came through the microphones. The late Cepal’s mother, Samina, who found the strength to speak at the end of the funeral service said it was the most difficult telephone call a mother could get at six in the morning to say her son was no more.

“I know what I have lost more than anybody else in the world,” Samina said.

Young Cepal’s father also spoke at the end of the service saying that he did not believe the call he received at six in the morning informing him that his son passed because as far as he was concerned his son was in bed sleeping.

Young Cepal was buried at the Labayee SDA burial ground.

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