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Ralph Lincoln “Uncle Linky” Yearwood

In a simple 20-minute service dedicated to honour the life of swimming giant Ralph Lincoln Yearwood fondly called “Uncle Linky” at the Long Circular Crematorium Site in St James, he was remembered as a humble man, “full of jokes” and with a love for music.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the family followed the government’s restrictions to curb the spread of the virus so, in the mid-day service on Wednesday, his brother Roderick Yearwood creatively highlighted the above and also remembered Uncle Linky’s passion for water-sport activities.

In the two-minute eulogy, Yearwood said: “He was a true big brother and mentor to me. I remember he would take us to the beach on Saturdays to pretend we were drowning for the lifeguards to train to save us. He would often attract big crowds to tell jokes and perform magic tricks.

“He also loved music, but he said music didn’t like him. I remembered I got my guitar and went to sing to him and he thoroughly enjoyed it. I promised to return and do it again but I never got a chance to as he had requested.”

Yearwood shared that Uncle Linky was an avid contributor and played a major part in the lives of many budding swimmers in the country at the service which was officiated by Deacon Michal Smith.

He noted Uncle Linky’s last stint in the sport of swimming after forming his own swim school in Maraval, led him to manage the Tsunami Swim Club at St Michael’s Swimming Pool in San Fernando, then coaching recreational swimmers and the University of T&T’s (UTT) sports students at the Cocoyea Community Swimming Pool.

Yearwood said: “He could not stay away from swimming. He lectured at UTT and coached national teams. He couldn’t give up swimming, even when he was confined to bed you would see him on his laptop collaborating with other coaches.”

Uncle Linky was the fifth of 14 children and he had four of his own. He had been ailing for a while but succumbed to his ailment on April 29. He leaves to mourn, wife Carol and children, Ryan, Lisa and Rory. His other son Ricardo also passed some time ago.