The funeral of Blair John on Saturday. Photo: Shawn Hanna/Tribune staff
By MORGAN ADDERLEY
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE family of Blair John, one of the two young men found dead in Italy last month, has raised concerns that authorities initially attempted to sweep the investigation into their deaths “under the carpet”.
The bodies of John and Alrae Ramsey were found in the Po River in Turin, Italy, on June 4 and 5 respectively. Results of the autopsies conducted in Italy earlier this month state drowning as the cause of death. Both young men were buried after separate funeral services held on Saturday in New Providence.
In John’s obituary, the family expressed thanks to his sister and two other individuals “for traveling to Italy to find our sons”, in the wake of the tragedy.
“Their actions are what drew attention to the entire matter,” the obituary continues. “Something the authorities appeared to want to dismiss and casually sweep under the carpet.”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield delivered remarks at both services.
Ramsey, 29, was a foreign service officer who was on study leave in Vienna.
“From the time we heard of his tragic demise, Alrae’s family at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs have been deeply saddened and remain in shock at his sudden passing,” Mr Henfield said. “I say family, because he was not only a colleague but our very own Alrae. Our hearts are full because we cannot imagine he is now gone.
“Alrae was among several foreign service officers to join the Ministry on December 9, 2013. Alrae showed promise to excel at the highest level. He was loved by all within the ministry. He provided so many with comfort through humorous conversations and was an admirable example of what it meant to be a gentleman,” he said.
Mr Henfield also lauded John, who he noted obtained his PhD in industrial/organisational psychology posthumously.
“Dr Blair John was a son, brother, coworker, a son of the soil, and from all accounts a true gentleman and scholar,” he said. “He was blessed academically and athletically, however despite his many achievements Blair remained humble and personable. Blair knew what his purpose was in life and he remained dedicated to what God had called him to do, even until his untimely demise.
“Blair had ambition, he had determination and he had a hunger for excellence. Dr Blair John represented the Bahamas well. He was a gift to us all.”