Thanksgiving service to take place in memory of Piccadilly murder victim

Murder victim Jane Finch with son Jareese and pet dog Groucho (Facebook photo)
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by Gemma Handy

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The brutal murder of Jane Finch in her Piccadilly home on October 4 shocked the quiet community – and devastated loved ones of the popular writer, sailor and tour rep who had made Antigua her home four decades earlier.

More than a month later murder charges are still yet to be laid.

But on November 13 the 66-year-old’s friends and family will be turning their attention away from anguish at her death and instead on giving thanks for her life.

A celebration of the life of the mother-of-one and keen animal lover will take place at the Dow’s Hill Interpretation Centre from 3pm to 7pm.

A poignant invitation being circulated on social media encourages attendees to keep Finch’s “light shining”.

“Kind”, “sweet”, “a gentle spirit” and one who was always the life of the party is how friends and family will be remembering Canadian-born Finch, who was also an avid traveller who had visited France and England in the 1970s before moving aboard a yacht for several years to live and work.

Finch sailed throughout the Mediterranean before crossing the Atlantic to Antigua. She worked at the Antigua Yacht Club for four years as a restaurant manager before the birth of her son Jareese in 1986.

She was actively involved in the island’s lively regattas and wrote for the annual Superyacht Services Guide which described her as a “truly special soul”.

“Jane had a beautiful spirit and strong energy for life and living. She was connected to mother earth, to people, to her community and friends all around the world, sharing love and peace always,” a tribute posted on the publication’s Facebook page said.

Jane, often seen out with her cherished dog Groucho, was a well known figure around the English Harbour community.

In the weeks since her death, a Go Fund Me appeal to help with funeral arrangements and other expenses to settle her affairs in Antigua has raised more than US32,000.

Organiser Stephanie Moll wrote on the page that Finch was “always there to help others” and that her “senseless loss” had affected many. Any funds left over will be used to create a memorial for her in her adopted homeland, Moll added.

A post mortem recently concluded that Finch had died of head injuries sustained on the night she was killed. Shortly before she was found dead, she had posted a desperate plea for help on Facebook saying a “deranged” woman was attempting to force her way into her home.

It was the country’s 10th homicide of the year.

Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas told Observer yesterday that while burglary charges have been laid against a suspect – 21-year-old Brittany Jno-Baptiste – the investigation into Finch’s death remains open and ongoing.

He added that the court had ordered a psychological evaluation into the suspect currently being held on remand as the probe continues.

For Finch’s heartbroken loved ones, justice cannot come soon enough.

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