Friday, Oct 18, 2019
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‘Mutiny from wtihin’

Tyronne Perpall remembered his brother, Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Petty Officer Percival Philip Perpall, as a kind-hearted and generous man who was let down by the very organization he dedicated his life to.

Tyronne Perpall accused the RBDF of trying to brush his brother’s murder under the rug and questioned security protocols within the organization.

“Church, I want you to know I had a brother,” Perpall said.

“He had five children: Maleek, Miguel, Lakell, Michaella and Latoya.

“My brother took a bullet for each of his children.”

He continued, “This is a national disaster.

“This is mutiny from within the ranks with no instantaneous reactions from his colleagues, a demoralizing blow to the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

“It can be seen as a terrorist act, a serious security breach questioning their system integrity, and the appearance of a cop out with the hope that it will quickly go away.

“This family is watching. The nation is watching. The world is watching.”

Philip Perpall was shot and killed while on duty at Government House on April 28.

Rain fell unrelentingly outside the Church of God Auditorium on Joe Farrington Road as uniformed RBDF members escorted Perpall’s casket to the front of the room.

Shades of purple filled the rows behind the casket, where his family members sat.

Across the aisle sat Perpall’s RBDF colleagues, forming a sea of white and green.

Governor General Dame Marguerite Pindling, RBDF Commodore Tellis Bethel and Education Minister Jeffrey Lloyd, who offered condolences on behalf of Minister of National Security Marvin Dames, were in attendance at the ceremony.

Tyronne Perpall said, “My brother’s senseless death must have some purpose and must have some meaning.

“God requires us to give thanks in all things.

“This is a hard one, but as a family we must take heed and be obedient.

“There must be a clarion call for a thorough investigation into his death and the matters arising. But there are some shortcomings, including security systems, and operational procedures also at the morgue, which hurt our family.”

Perpall said his brother endured years of being mistreated and overlooked by the defense force.

He said his brother was harshly punished for disobeying a rule that restricted him from working a second job during the day.
“But he told me many senior officers and many junior officers, they did their own thing and kisses went by favor,” he said.
“This same defense force sent him out to repair Bahamian citizens in distress.

“When he went on the Family Islands, people knew good work. People knew quality people and it was those same people who came back and insisted for him to work for them.

“The defense force banished him and threw him on extra mop duties and detention duties while others, not so decorated, were put forth.”

He also said that during the time leading up to their mother’s death, the defense force restricted his brother from spending time with his family.

“This same defense force gave me and my sister a hard fight in 1988 when we came to you to ask you to let him out of the training to mourn his mother’s death,” he said.

“He was in training and they thought maybe he was going to jump ship, but mummy died in the middle of that training. She never knew him as a defense force officer.

“He felt slighted that he was not standing by during mummy’s final minutes.”

Perpall described his brother as a humble, law-abiding community servant who had a difficult time telling people “no”, and who dedicated his time and talents to helping others.
 
Decorated

During his tribute, RBDF Commodore Bethel praised Philip Perpall’s 30 years of decorated service to the RBDF.

Bethel said Perpall had a colorful career in the defense force, holding multiple roles, including being a part of the UN’s peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

“Petty Officer Perpall, like so many of us today, was a proud member of the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, who spent most of his life contributing in a real way to the development of our vibrant organization and most certainly to the maintenance of peace and security of our nation and the region,” Bethel said.

“Words alone cannot describe the grief and sorrow we all felt upon learning of his demise.”

A peacekeeping stint in Haiti, and his time with the defense force’s commando squadron were listed among the high points of Perpall’s career.

Choking back tears, Maleek Perpall expressed the same sentiments and described his father as his role model.

“Daddy was such a great man,” he said.

“He was honest. He was true. He was a man of his word. He never once, that I can remember, disappointed me or let me down.

“He was my role model. He was my everything that I tried to embody and emulate.”

The young man broke into tears as he said his final goodbye to his father.

“Daddy, I loved you,” he said, his words punctuated by sobs.

“I just know that you are here with us, and I thank you for who you were, who you are to me.”
 

Rachel Knowles

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Rachel joined The Nassau Guardian in January 2019. Rachel covers national issues.
Education: Virginia in Charlottesville, BA in Foreign Affairs and Spanish
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