Sixteen-year-old boy drowns at North Union
Front Page
September 1, 2006
Sixteen-year-old boy drowns at North Union

Dion Burke celebrated his 16th birthday Wednesday, August 23. Six days later, his lifeless body was recovered by his elder brother just offshore the North Union coastline.

Burke was with other villagers when tragedy struck in swift and fatal fashion.{{more}}

At about 4 p.m., Burke and at least one other person were “surfing” on an old freezer door. According to a Chesique Pope, a 13-year-old North Union Secondary School student, “We were having fun. A wave pulled them in the sea. A second wave heavy. We ain’t see Didi no more. We just saw his feet in the air,” Pope outlined.

Akelia Jack, Burke’s sister, could not describe her feelings. “It’s tough,” Akelia said. She was the only sister.

“I don’t want to hear anybody talk about it. It (is) giving me pressure,” Akelia said.

She remembered him as a lover of rap music.

“He loved rap music. Rap music was his passion,” Akelia mentioned.

“His thing was to get into music,” the sister added.

She recalled his life from his first day home in the village of Stubbs where the family resided then.

Burke returned home from Canada four weeks ago and was expected to enter the North Union Secondary School from Monday September 4. A former New Grounds Primary School student, Burke migrated to Canada where he spent three years. While in Canada he attended the Central Commerce Collegiate Institute. Akelia played a supervisory role in Dion’s life. “I was like his mother,” she stated.

She described him as a lover of baseball, and was also skilled on computer.

His grandmother Mary Daniel characterized him as one who loved to go to the beach. “He was quite cool, Everybody loved him,” Daniel added.

Speculations continue as to what caused Burke’s death. Another eyewitness Tonica Spencer recalled: “The wave was carrying him out. Something been like sucking him or something,” Spencer surmised. “He was trying to struggle with the wave.”