A funeral service in full Orisha rights was how friends, family, loved ones, and colleagues in the calypso fraternity, yesterday, bid their final farewell to the soulful and iconic calypsonian Sandra “Singing Sandra” Des Vignes-Millington who died last Thursday at the Mt Hope Hospital.
Officiating the funeral’s ceremony. which was held at the Hirondelle basketball court, Morvant, close to where Des Vignes-Millington grew up, was friend and fellow calypsonian Michael “Sugar Aloes” Osuna, who is also a practitioner of the Orisha faith.
Remembering his old friend, Osuana described Des Vignes-Millington as a fighter for righteousness.
“What can I say about Sandra? Fight…not wicked fight eh…fight for righteousness…good fight. If I tell Sandra, we eh going and do that. She say what happen? I say they didn’t do this and they didn’t do that and they disrespecting kaiso and she say, alright I for that..we eh going to do that,” he recalled.
Telling the gathering there was a way to comfort themselves in her passing, Osuna said when that summoning angel puts in his appearance, you cannot mute your phone.
“You can’t say you not answering that call you know. But comfort yourself with the taught that he that is absent from the body is present with God,” said Osuna. He told them to use that fact as a milestone to comfort themselves.
Speaking about Des Vignes-Millington’s personality and how she treated others, he said she reminded him of a fowl.
“A fowl that sit on some egg only to know when the egg hatch, they were ducklings. She still keep them, she still nurture them, she still feed them, she still groom them. The only thing she did not do was teach them how to swim,” Osuna illustrated.
He said as many believe the most important days in our lives were the day we were born and the day we died—this was further from the truth. Instead, the day one finds one’s purpose was the most significant, he said, as it was only then, one could fulfil one’s purpose.
He assured those mourning Des Vignes-Millington’s death, that all was well with her soul.
Referring to her zodiac sign (Sagittarius), Osuna said Des Vignes-Millington was a woman who spoke her mind, but all in love.
“And the thing about the Sagittarius is that the next time they see you, you would not believe that they give you words because it’s a love…an understanding. It is like nothing did not happen. We doh bear no malice..we doh have time for that..we is lovers. Sagittarius are lovers,” Osuna related.
He said Des Vignes-Millington was also a very giving person—giving her last whether it was food or a cigarette.
As a custom in the religion, several biblical readings were done by members of the faith, and several hymns were sung before a ritualistic blessing of the coffin took place.
Fellow calypsonian, Edwin “Crazy” Ayoung said goodbye to Des Vignes-Millington, singing a short version of Slinger “The Mighty Sparrow” Francisco’s Memories.