Eulogy for the late Hazel Rambaransingh (nee LeeLuck).
On behalf of Hazel’s family, the LeeLucks, and the Dindayals, I thank everyone for the love and support Hazel received in the difficult period before she left for a higher plane. Thank you for the e-mails, texts, flowers, visits and prayers. She was deeply comforted.
I am Ray, Hazel’s second sibling. She was the first of six children born to the late Andrew and Lucille LeeLuck of Duncan Village, San Fernando. We grew up in a loving atmosphere in which we learned to respect and appreciate others. These virtues became the foundation for Hazel’s life later on.
For those who truly knew her, they could attest to her compassionate nature. For years she regularly fed vagrants on the streets of Port of Spain, and willingly helped those in difficulty. Feisty as she was, though, her outspokenness sometimes led her into conflict, but it was most times informed by a sense of justice. Small in stature she was; but enormous in presence.
She graduated from St Joseph’s Convent in San Fernando and found employment at Royal Bank in San Fernando. But her real passion was music. From an early age, she shone as a vocalist. Together with our cousins, the Dindayals and Krishna Kallicharan, we formed the band The Young Ones, which enjoyed tremendous popularity.
Hazel’s career took off, winning Scouting for Talent and performing locally and abroad. Her more well-known songs include “Lonely Tonight”, “Loving Arms” and the perennial Yuletide favourite, “The Cherry Tree Carol”.
Hazel collaborated with luminaries such as Daisy Voisin, Clive Zanda, Nappy Myers, Ron Reid, Neil Payne and Robert Bailey to produce some of the best local music ever.
She performed a lot in England and recorded with the British band Heavy Shift. In Barbados she worked with Night Life, and she enjoyed a long stint in Hong Kong. I performed alongside my sister a few times and it was always a pleasure.
That girl could cook, as some of us know. It was easy to gain a few pounds around her. She excelled, occasionally catering for regular customers, and eventually managed and supervised in institutions such as Davis’ in Port of Spain, Crews Inn and Hilton, Tobago. On family occasions, we all looked forward to her “sweet hand”. My favourite was rice noodles with seafood and vegetables.
She collected art work and tropical plants.
Exciting as her life sounds, she had some rough times. She lost her only child, her daughter Kelly Ann, in 2016, and later Richard and Grace Wheeler in Tobago, under tragic circumstances. I do not think she ever fully recovered from those losses. These events were followed by a heart attack and other various complications. She found solace in the church, and attended Mass until she was unable to do so.
To give you a clear picture of who she was, even when lying immobile with a respirator in her nostrils less than three weeks ago, she sang “Happy Birthday” to our cousin, Gail.
To the very end, she kept her faith. Her passing is a reminder of how fragile we are.
A few people come to mind who should be mentioned. They stood with her through all her challenges for many years. The Dindayal family, our cousins; Jackie, another relative; Wally, “The Healer”; our own Florence Nightingale, nurse Liz Nelson; Judy Jemmot, Wendy Innis and Vanessa, from Antigua.
So, my dear sister, your siblings, relatives and friends mourn your passing, but we know this is not the end. Amen.