Hundreds pay last respects to community worker Joseph Alexander ‘Alex’ Hinds

Some of the mourners at the funeral of Joseph Alexander Hinds.
Photo by Nelson A. King

Hundreds of Vincentians and other Caribbean nationals from all walks of life on Friday paid their last respects to Vincentian community worker Alexander “Alex” Hinds, who suddenly went to the Great Beyond on Jan. 5. He was 72.

Mourners jammed the pews at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, on Farragut Road, Canarsie, Brooklyn, in paying moving tributes to Hinds, a Brooklyn resident, described in the obituary as “the Soca King”, who “looked forward to partaking in the festivities of mas at carnival – whether in New York or in St. Vincent (and the Grenadines).”

The obituary, read by Hinds’ younger son, Jabari, says that Hinds, who was born on July 28, 1951, spent an inordinate amount of time “watching a variety of sports” and was a “freelance commentator in his free time.”

Alex Hinds's younger son, Jabari, reads the obituary.
Alex Hinds’s younger son, Jabari, reads the obituary. Photo by Nelson A. King

Mourners gave oral and written tributes, sang lustily, read scriptures and prayed during the two-hour-long service presided over by the church’s Belizean-born rector, the Rev. Cannon George L. Bonner.

“Tonight, we give you thanks for your child who you called home,” prayed Fr. Bonner before delivering the homily. “The family left behind, we hope you (God) empower them.”

In his homily, he said: “Nothing hurts more than to lose a loved one in death. That’s because death is final. But, when it’s sudden, it’s unexpected, the pain is confounded.”

Fr. Bonner told the family that he felt their pain, stating that he knew what members were going through, “because we have been there before.”

“We live one day at a time,” Rev. Bonner said. “So much is said about prayer tonight, but one thing: You have to pray for yourself.

“In times of these, you feel so much alone,” he added. “You say, ‘why me, Lord?’

“’You ride out the storm because I empower you,’” continued Rev. Bonner, referring to God. “You ride the storm because you’re able. In times of storms, your anchor holds.

“Sudden, devastating, so painful,” he said. “Through all the changing scenes, we continue to sing His praise for life goes on.”

Fr. Rev. Cannon George L. Bonner delivers homily.
Fr. Rev. Cannon George L. Bonner delivers homily. Photo by Nelson A. King

Hinds’s youngest brother, Gordon Hinds, read a poem he wrote and a resolution from the Rev. Dr. Nathaniel J. Wood, pastor of New Providence Missionary Baptist Church in Fuquay-Varina, N.C.

The poem, “God’s Got It…YA”, said in part: “Uniquely planted and positioned in the midst/purposely sandwiched was Alex/A connecting thread enabling smooth of messages back and forth/A unifying force/Now, there’s a disconnect, a void, an empty space/So sudden/Yet real/Is it not/Yes, my sister, my brothers, God’s got it, ya.”

In the resolution, Rev. Wood said it was “befitting to express our sympathy and condolences to the Hinds family during the passing of Brother Joseph A. Hinds…Be it resolved that we bow in humble submission to Him, who never makes a mistake.”

Hinds’s sister, Enid, who resides in Saleem, N.C., said she and her brother had “a bond,” disclosing that they had formed this bond when she was 12.

“Alex loved to sing,” she said, choking up. “We had a bond. He was a praying man. He called me up and asked for prayers.

“I’m going to miss my brother,” she added. “My heart is broken. It’s a void.”

Roslyn “Rosemond” Providence, said she and Hinds grew up together in Paul’s Avenue, Kingstown, St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

“On behalf of my family, although the road is rough, Jesus is always there,” she said. “I want to tell you to hold on and stay in the love God wants us to be.”

Hinds is survived by his wife, Dianne; sons, Joshua, and wife, Jessica; Jabari and significant other, Dominique; grandchildren, Aniyah, Adia, Joshua, Jr., Journee and Damari; sister, Enid; brothers, Dillion, Gordon and Ezekiel; and many other relatives and friends.

His body was interred on Saturday at Rosehill Cemetery in Linden, NJ.