Moving tributes as London laid to rest
July 18, 2002
Moving tributes and outpourings of grief marked the funeral of slain police corporal, Adrian Roland London at the Church of the Transfiguration yesterday.
London, 31, was gunned down execution style by armed bandits on Joseph Pollydore Street, at about 11 pm on July 11 as he was riding home. He was the sixth cop to be killed in the last three months. His killers are still at large.
The church was filled to capacity and many mourners were forced to remain outside where speakers were erected to facilitate them.
Heavily armed ranks in riot gear who occupied strategic positions in the churchyard offered an extra measure of protection to mourners many of whom were members of the disciplined services.
The body of the slain policeman lay in a white casket, which was draped with the flag of the police force. It was taken to the front of the church shortly after being brought from the Merriman's Funeral Home. In a stirring eulogy, attorney-at-law, Carol Martindale-Howard described London as a decent individual who was respectful and was known to have a jovial spirit.
According to the Martindale-Howard, whom the deceased referred to as 'Auntie Carol', his love for the military saw him serving a stint in the national service, the Guyana Defence Force and later the police force where he remained until his unfortunate death.
It was because of his discipline and dedication to duty that he was awarded best cop for both the force and `A' Division in the same year along with receiving an on-the-spot promotion.
Prior to his unfortunate end he had been part of a special anti crime unit set up to aid in the recapture of the five prison escapees who broke out of the Camp Street facility on February 23.
London, whom his colleagues called 'Wesley Snipes' after the famous actor, was a model police officer who earned the respect of both senior and juniors in the force as well as members of civil society to whom he became acquainted.
His stepmother Hetty London, in whose care he grew up after losing his own at the tender age of three, described him as a loving child, who had always expressed a desire to be part of the military. She spoke of his ability to bring joy to those in whose company he was and his zest for life.
Acting Commissioner of Police Floyd McDonald saw the demise of one whom he said was one of the best young detectives as a blow to the force. He pointed to his aggressive and no nonsense nature which he said might have been one of the reasons why he was targeted for death.
McDonald again appealed to members of the public to work with the law enforcement authorities in ridding the society of bandits.
Home Affairs Minister, Ronald Gajraj saw the death of London, whom he said had his roots planted in the same soil as him, as perhaps a ploy to demoralise the force. But he said law and order will be maintained.
Officiating Pastor, Oscar Bazil, recalled the blessings he had given to a newly-wed London and his bride in the very Transfiguration Church on their New Year's wedding day this year.
He called on members of society to cease appropriating blame and while accepting responsibility for the current situation work together to find solutions.
Healing and reconciliation in society, according to Bazil, is the best tribute that could be paid to the memory of London.
Prior to the end of the service London's son, seven-year-old Adrian Jr performed a music tribute to his father.
Tears flowed from all quarters as the final hymn was sung and the bell tolled as his remains was borne from the church to the waiting hearse. Officers marched through North/East La Penitence to Le Repentir, where he was buried with full military honours. (Oscar P. Clarke)