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Grieving mother bristles at image that son was a ‘gangster’

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Ruby Creary has a photograph she cherishes of her two sons, who were born 20 years and two days apart.

It shows the eldest, Garry Cann, sharing a cuddle with his baby brother Sivaja’ Perinchief, now aged three.

The younger boy lost his elder sibling six days after his second birthday, when Garry was gunned down outside his girlfriend’s home in Sandys.

Sivaja’ still asks for his “baba” every day, according to Ruby. “They had a bond like a father and son,” she tells

The Royal Gazette.

“He spent so much time with his little brother, making sure he would have nothing but the best. Sivaja’ talks on his play phone and has conversations with his baba. You would think that Garry was on the other end of the phone.”

Ruby says the image of “my first born and my last born” depicts the Garry she knew and loved dearly: relaxed, smiling, hugging his little brother.

That’s the person she wants the world to know was cruelly taken from her on December 15, 2009, by a lone gunman who has yet to be caught.

Former motocross champion Garry was not, she insists, the “gangster” described by detectives giving evidence in a recent Supreme Court trial.

A sergeant testified that the 22-year-old, whose nickname was “Fingas”, was high up in Parkside, the Court Street-based gang whose rivalry with the 42 gang is to blame for many of the 16 fatal shootings in Bermuda since May 2009.

Ruby admits her son was known to police and did hang with a group of men that got into trouble “here and there” but she’s adamant they were not gangsters.

She says the definition of a gangster is a “criminal within a violent criminal organisation”. Her son served time in the Co-Ed facility for bike theft as a juvenile but she doesn’t believe he was ever convicted of a crime as an adult.

“How would that make him a gangster?” she says. “Whoever is telling you that are so lost and so wrong. None of you know him or about him or his background.”

Garry was arrested for violent and drug-related offences, including the murder of teenager Jason Lightbourne in 2006.

Ruby says others were arrested for that murder too and since Garry was not charged or convicted “it should not hinder his character”.

The 43-year-old is blunt in her criticism of media reports about her son, his alleged gang involvement and his murder.

She describes them as “utter ignorance” and says they have brought “constant ridicule” on a “hurting family” still struggling to come to terms with the loss of a loved one.

The characterisation of Garry as a “gangster” makes her feel like no one really cares about his death, she says.

It also doesn’t equate to the son with whom she was so close, the boy who “always looked out for family”.

She tells this newspaper it’s hard for a grieving mother to constantly hear her son was a gang member and suggests people should “dig deeper” to understand the challenges he and his friends faced.

Garry, she adds, hung out with a group of friends he loved and considered “brothers”.

The group was like a family, with members supporting one another through difficult times. “Most of them come from a struggle, not only in the street, but within their households.”

A friend of Garry’s, who asked not to be named, says he did want a brighter future and tried to make positive changes in his life “but society and police made it very difficult for him to do so”.

The friend says: “He completed his high school diploma and even tried to better himself by seeking for a higher education abroad, to study architecture.

“However, during his journey to visit schools he was stopped at the airport.”

The friend says Garry, who was 21 at the time, was prevented from travelling to the US yet should not have been on the “stop list” as he had no adult criminal convictions and had travelled there since his time in Co-Ed. “Things like this hurt his heart,” says the friend. “It was situations like this that put him ten steps back. Getting a job was just as difficult.”

In addition to Sivaja’, Garry had three sisters: Garrina Cann, Alvin-ae Landy and Al-shae Landy.

According to Ruby, he “doted” on Garrina, who is just 11 months younger than him, and always made sure his other two sisters were all right.

“He would give the very shirt off his back,” she says. “Garry’s father and I and his sisters and brothers and his precious girlfriend and grandparents are still living with the hurt every day of our lives. We were very close to Fingas and loved him dearly.”

Ruby goes to her son’s grave every day, come “rain, blow or shine”.

“I visit and just talk or cry; whatever I feel at that moment,” she says. “You will not understand if you have not lived or experienced an impact on your life by losing a child this way.

“You won’t know the hurt and pain that a mother, father, sister, brother and grandmother and family feels.”

Ruby says her heart is not at rest while her son’s killer remains at large. But she believes the shooter will get his just rewards when he meets his maker.

“At the end of the day, Fingas is my son and always will be my son. No matter what I do, I can’t bring him back to hold or kiss. His family and friends love him, that’s what matters most. He was well loved.

“To be honest with you, the person who killed my son knows who they are and, as far as I am concerned, Jah [God] does not sleep nor slumber.”

She said her and Garry’s father, Garry Cann Sr, were strong believers in the idea, famously expressed in the cult 1982 Jamaican film ‘Countryman’, that “death is a force of nature, just like lightning” and that “those with evil in their heart fear it”.

The quote from the movie concludes: “That is why there is no need to slay the wicked. Just leave them to face death and they will perish.”

Ruby says: “The person who shot my son and killed him will have his just reward one day. One thing about life: life is like one big circle. What goes around comes around.

“Example? You take a life, just remember that yours will be taken too. It may not be in the same way, not the day or the hour, but your just reward will come.”

Garry Cann and his toddler brother Sivaja', who is now aged three. (Photograph courtesy of Mr Cann's family)
Ruby Creary, mother of murder victim Garry Cann, displays her tattoo of her son as a celebration of his life.

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Published September 06, 2011 at 10:13 am (Updated September 06, 2011 at 10:13 am)

Grieving mother bristles at image that son was a ‘gangster’

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