HUNDREDS of people packed a church to sing farewell to Joromie Lewis, who died after drinking a juice drink laced with cocaine.
Father-of-one Mr Lewis, from Kings Road, in Gosport, was buried after 300 mourners packed St Mary the Virgin, Rowner, in Rowner Lane.
His father Alsdon had travelled from St Vincent to pay tribute during the service, and his brother Kalvin came from Plymouth to pay tribute, as did his sister from America.
It comes as five people were arrested on suspicion of drugs offences.
As reported, Royal Navy veteran Mr Lewis became ill soon after sipping the Cole Cold Pear D drink in Bitterne on December 5 and died in hospital.
Two men and a woman from Southampton, all 37, were arrested on December 23 and have been bailed until April 8 next year.
Another two men, 33 and 39, both from London, were arrested on December 20 and 22.
The 33-year-old was bailed until April 3 and the 39-year-old to April 8.
Detective Superintendent Dick Pearson from the Hampshire Major Investigation Unit said: ‘This is a complex investigation covering the circumstances surrounding Mr Lewis’s death, as well as the drug trafficking offences. Mr Lewis’s family have been kept up to date with developments, including these five arrests.’
The details of the arrests were released yesterday, on the day of Mr Lewis’s funeral.
The News respected his widow Jayrusha’s request not to attend her husband’s funeral.
Pastor David Price, the former leader of Bridgemary Family Church, where Mr Lewis worshipped, spoke to The News after the service.
He said the High Commmissioner for St Vincent and the Grenadines, where Mr Lewis was from, arrived at the service unexpectedly.
He said: ‘It went really well, there were over 300 people there. Folks from Plymouth, Oxford, London and America.
‘The High Commissioner was there, he just turned up. He said when one of their folks die (they) feel the hurt way back in Saint Vincent.
‘He put his condolences on behalf of the government to the family.’
Mr Price added there was heartfelt singing both at the church and at the burial, at Ann’s Hill Cemetery.
He said: ‘It was a celebration. Everyone is in utter shock that this has happened but they are thrilled that he made a decision 18 months ago to become a Christian and get baptised.
‘We sang around the graveyard as well.’