Sunday, July 27, 2014

Overwriting the Coup - from the ashes of the 1990 experience

I have never been able to bring myself to love or even look at Disney's  production The Little Mermaid since August 1990.
The light of love that the movie projected had gone out for me on July 27, 1990 and the ensuring days because it came to be associated with the attempted coup. (see Commission's report on 1990 coup here).
I had just left the Guardian's office that Friday afternoon, a rare opportunity to do so while it was still daylight as my friend's dad used to say, as I was not on duty to cover Parliament that day, and was trying to recoup - no pun intended - from the work week, when my landlady pounded on the door to my Picton Street apartment, shouting at me to turn on the television.
I did. The Little Mermaid was running. Why would my land lady want me to look at The Little Mermaid? She walked in, her wrinkled face petrified, as I was about to ask but the question froze on my tongue.
The coup leader flanked by his cohorts came on air, announcing a coup, that the Parliament was under siege as was the television station, and asking people to stay calm!
Stay calm? I called the newspaper office, ready to return to work at the office in Port of Spain.
Yes, the television station and Parliament were under siege. There was also an attempt to enter the Guardian building but the security had warded it off. What could I see at TTT? my editor asked. John, always in control and in command. He transferred that to me. The focus. There was job to do.
My apartment was directly opposite Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT) on the parallel street and on the top floor. From the corridor and its rarely accessed roof there was a clear view of TTT. Too clear. Best to stay put and report from there, my editor advised. He was not the only one with that idea.
For the ensuing days, my apartment would become not only the satellite report station on activities in Woodbrook and TTT for the Guardian. By nightfall, the building and the roof was also occupied by soldiers, who had the same idea of monitoring the television station. Unofficial command station. The midnightly rain of gunfire from the Picton Street apartment ricocheted off the rooftop and other vantage points the soldiers had on the TTT building. Sleepless days. Sleepless nights. The sounds, the smell, the taste of determination of the soldiers were all mixed into what exuded out of those moments, burned permanently into memory, like the nauseating reruns of Walt Disney's The Little Mermaid on the television set.
Perhaps thinking it would appease the children, if not adults, the coup perpetrators stuck The Little Mermaid   into the TTT transmitter and it ran ad nauseum over the next few days, interspersed with the occasional 'updates' when the coup perpetrators wanted to interject a message for the public or for the authorities. Instead, it soured a remarkable imaginative story of reconciliation of differences and love: A feeling that would persist to a quarter of a century, until a few weeks ago when I was treated to The Love Movement Choir's reproduction at Queen's Hall. I found myself immersed in the beauty, the story, the production, the vision, the imagination and imaginativeness, the designs, the costumes, the music, the poetry. Love returned for me that night for The Little Mermaid.
Such is the restorative and regenerative power of art.
Thank you Bernadette Scott and the Love Movement Choir.
Sharing here some of the photos from the Love Movement Choir's Facebook Photo Album where more can be seen and hoping that these would help erase the memory of some of the darkest days of our living history and soothe the dark spirits of those behind the attempted coup so they never contemplate a repeat, and so traumatise a nation, ever again.












Friday, July 18, 2014

Kingdom of the underworld #LettersToLizzie


Dear Lizzie
It must be a great day in some parts of the underworld kingdom, some call it hellyard, when our security system turns on itself; when parliament becomes a place for paternity debates and politicians question the fatherhood of god; when errant little boys can trash leaders in public places without sanction; when scholars look to police free thinkers condoned by the university and the media is so enarmoured in its own self glory that it only sees itself reflected back on the society...
And guess who's laughing at us all...

http://m.guardian.co.tt/news/2014-07-18/acting-cop-instructs-police-officers-arrest-rogue-soldiers

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Salsa fever #worldcup menu

What in the German gastronomic and cuisine heritage could rival salsa ...#arg #ale #worldcup...

With some pommecythere/june plum chow

#trinistyle

Saturday, July 12, 2014

ThingsToDoInBrazilWhenYourTeamGetsKickedOutOfTheWorldCup

Muy Obrigado #Brazil. The people of Brazil must b commended for so graciously hosting the world and the #worldcup setting aside your own needs in some instances. THANK YOU #BRAZIL MUY OBRIGADO and thanks to #BRA team for setting high standards in the game and forcing others to improve their act and up their game My #brazil2014 flag still flies high and #Brasilia is still among my top picks among #UNESCO #WorldHeritageCities and indeed among all cities.
May the Argentinian Pope shower immense blessings on today's games and on the Latin American and Caribbean reion in tomorrow's finals and for the #MessiMomentsAtTheWirldCup that are about to humble the haughty #GER #LACrulesatWorldCup. Viva Brazil. Viva Latina America and the Caribbean

Things to Do in Brazil When Your Team is kicked out of the World Cup. Explore Brasilia's superb architecture, landscapes, skylines and horizon. This is the skyline just opposite the football stadium at sunset....have any of the millions of fans at football seen this?



Related Links:
More Things to Do in Brazil

Brasilia is on of Brazil's UNESCO World Heritage City of Arts and Culture...Here's some #ThingsToDoInBrazilWhenYurTeamsKickedOutOfDWorldCup #10
What the carpet remembers #LettersToLizzie

More Things to Do in Brazil

 .Kris Rampersad travel activity book ...more


See: When Politics Become Poetry 


Dear Lizzie,
Reporting back, Your Majesty, that the carpet you donated to Brasilia #WorldHeritage and #WorldCup City, is still pretty much in tact and that is so because Brasilians take care of their carpets. I know that because I stumbled upon the cleaners thoroughly airing the said  artefact in prep for some #MessiMoments at #Fifa #WorldCup 2014.- as messy as the mud bath of Shakira's La La La , all as politics ascended to the heights of poetry in the vision of JK to build a new city to rock and roll, samba style... more ...#LettersToLizzie


Catedral Metropolitana:
Inner and outer tribute to godliness of human artistry... more on Glocal Knowledge Pot:

Sarah's Park
A park in tribute to the wife of the city's founder is itself littered with artwork and sculptures and architectural contours that thread through the city

Itamaraty
An Oscar Niemeyer masterpiece inside and out from its reflective circumference to its free standing ceiling and everything in between  more on Glocal Knowledge Pot:

JK Memorial: Monument o the politician whose political will brought Brasilia into being

Planatarium
Like walking inside a spaceship, the planetarium overlooks the national stadium contrasting in its surreal outer worldliness with the stolidity of the stadium   more on Glocal Knowledge Pot:

Presidential Palace: pays tribute to art and artistry

Museum
Like walking inside a piece of art, here you are inside the dome and part of the canvas of history and creation of the city... more on Glocal Knowledge Pot:

Chuch of Fatima
This Church to womanhood in the city suburbs is appealing in its simplicity more on Glocal Knowledge Pot:

Parco Zoologico: Elephante, and picnic area.

Ponte JK Bridge: more on Glocal Knowledge Pot: www.brasil.gov.br/brasilia/conteudo/historia/2002/ponte-jk 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Things to do in Brazil when your Team's kicked out of the World Cup 1

Brasilia is
Brazil's UNESCO World Heritage City of Arts and Culture...Here's some #ThingsToDoInBrazilWhenYurTeamsKickedOutOfDWorldCup #10
What the carpet remembers #LettersToLizzie


 .Kris Rampersad travel activity book ...more 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Dana Seetahal on the law: The Law as an Ass ...view..

 Frank and fearless was assassinated Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal but what did she truly think and how did she really feel about the law, her profession and those around her, the judiciary, politics and politicians, the senate, security, crime, family and life in Stronger than Silk Postscript to Assassination

The May 4 2014 assassination of Dana S. Seetahal, Senior Counsel shocked not just Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean but the Commonwealth and legal fraternity of the wider world.
Stronger than Silk: Postscript to Assassination is a 90-minute up close and personal video by Dr Kris Rampersad with Ms Seetahal. ...Coming Soon. Visit our social media for more and stay tuned...visit www.krisrampersad.com; www.kris-rampersad.blogspot.com,  If you would like to book showings for your organisation, community or country and for other enquiries and support email lolleaves@gmail.com.
Soundtrack: Song of Songs from Album Sweet Salt by Neville Yorke, St Maarten.
A Leaves of Life Production. (c)KrisRampersad2014 All Rights Reserved

See Also...

Who Did It? Dana Seetahal's voice reaches out in her accustomed search for justice for all....
 from  Stronger than Silk: Post Script to Assassination   an exclusive heart to heart on all that matters to her including her relentless search for clues, connecting the dots and piecing together the evidence to solve a murder. To listen to clip click on the images.... To request a showing for your district, community or country email lolleaves@gmail.com.







Stronger than Silk: PostScript to Assassination: In an Exclusive Interview Dana Seetahal describes how she treated with the dangerous underworld and the hard core world of criminal enterprise where she functioned as a Prosecutor, Magistrate,along with the more mundane elements of her life.Click image on right to play Video

The May 4, 2014 assassination of Dana S. Seetahal, Senior Council and State Prosecutor shocked not only Trinidad and Tobago, but the the legal world of the Commonwealth and beyond.
This interview gets inside the heart and mind of the woman who was a legal giant in the Commonwealth through her description of the range of her activities, interests, thoughts and beliefs ...



...coming in July. Visit our social media for more and stay tuned...Coming in July, 2014. Enquiries and support email lolleaves@gmail.com.

Leaves of Life Production. (c)KrisRampersad2014 All Rights Reserved. 



To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.

For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:click here 
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.


All proceeds go towards our Glocal open public education, awareness and outreach initiatives





Contact:
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
To Support our efforts click here
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Shouldnt we b shuddering Best taken from us..ode 2 a young soldier

Shouldn't we shudder that the best r being taken from us .... who's next now a young soldier....then a senior counsel. Who Did It? Dana Seetahal words echo from her gra…: http://youtu.be/siuD-r3wpKs


Who Did It? Dana Seetahal's voice reaches out in her accustomed search for justice for all....
 from  Stronger than Silk: Post Script to Assassination   an exclusive heart to heart on all that matters to her including her relentless search for clues, connecting the dots and piecing together the evidence to solve a murder. To listen to clip click on the images.... To request a showing for your district, community or country email lolleaves@gmail.com.



Stronger than Silk: PostScript to Assassination: In an Exclusive Interview Dana Seetahal describes how she treated with the dangerous underworld and the hard core world of criminal enterprise where she functioned as a Prosecutor, Magistrate,along with the more mundane elements of her life.Click image on right to play Video
The May 4, 2014 assassination of Dana S. Seetahal, Senior Council and State Prosecutor shocked not only Trinidad and Tobago, but the the legal world of the Commonwealth and beyond.
This interview gets inside the heart and mind of the woman who was a legal giant in the Commonwealth through her description of the range of her activities, interests, thoughts and beliefs ...

...coming in July. Visit our social media for more and stay tuned...Coming in July, 2014. Enquiries and support email lolleaves@gmail.com.
Leaves of Life Production. (c)KrisRampersad2014 All Rights Reserved. 


To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:click here 
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

All proceeds go towards our Glocal open public education, awareness and outreach initiatives


Contact:
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
To Support our efforts click here
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Who Did It? Dana Seetahal words echo from her grave from this exclusive ...












Fact or Fiction? Where's the truth and who did it? Dana Seetahal's preoccupation with law and justice to get at the truth --- inside the heart and mind of the Senior Counsel... stay tuned...coming in July. To Request a showing in your district, country or orgnisation email lolleaves@gmail.com

...see also:




Who Did It? Dana Seetahal's voice reaches out in her accustomed search for justice for all....
 from  Stronger than Silk: Post Script to Assassination   an exclusive heart to heart on all that matters to her including her relentless search for clues, connecting the dots and piecing together the evidence to solve a murder. To listen to clip click on the images.... To request a showing for your district, community or country email lolleaves@gmail.com.



Stronger than Silk: PostScript to Assassination: In an Exclusive Interview Dana Seetahal describes how she treated with the dangerous underworld and the hard core world of criminal enterprise where she functioned as a Prosecutor, Magistrate,along with the more mundane elements of her life.Click image on right to play Video
The May 4, 2014 assassination of Dana S. Seetahal, Senior Council and State Prosecutor shocked not only Trinidad and Tobago, but the the legal world of the Commonwealth and beyond.
This interview gets inside the heart and mind of the woman who was a legal giant in the Commonwealth through her description of the range of her activities, interests, thoughts and beliefs ...

...coming in July. Visit our social media for more and stay tuned...Coming in July, 2014. Enquiries and support email lolleaves@gmail.com.
Leaves of Life Production. (c)KrisRampersad2014 All Rights Reserved. 


To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:click here 
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

All proceeds go towards our Glocal open public education, awareness and outreach initiatives


Contact:
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
To Support our efforts click here
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.
http://newsday.co.tt/news/0,196766.html
DANA MURDER PLOT
By Nalinee Seelal Thursday, June 26 2014
click on pic to zoom in
The Dana Seetahal murder investigation reached a critical high point yesterday with the revelation that two men — one of them a witness to the killing — coming forward to provide details of the plot and the actual assassination of the prominent attorney.
In fact, Newsday has been told by highly credible sources the statements that were given by the two men to a special team of investigators, and which were recorded, will enable police to bring closure quite soon to the probe which is already 53 days old. A $3.5 million reward has been posted for information from anyone which could lead to an arrest and conviction in the matter.

The two witnesses, one of them from Tobago and the other associated with a Trinidad-based religious organisation, are said to have provided investigators with a clear picture of why Seetahal was assassinated, who ordered the hit, who executed the killing and how many persons were involved.

Sources confirmed to Newsday yesterday that the two men decided to come forward and assist the police because they felt that their lives are now in danger. Newsday also sought to ascertain if the two men who are now providing the information are in protective custody but it has been confirmed that they have opted to not seek any protection.

Newsday was told that one of the men went as far as confessing to the officers that he was actually present when Seetahal was murdered, but he is reported to have said that he was not the shooter. The other indicated to investigators that while he was not on the scene on the night of the killing, he was privy to the plot to execute the Senior Counsel.

According to well-placed sources, the shooter in Seetahal’s killing is not in hiding but is under constant surveillance by law enforcement officers.

Newsday reported exclusively last week that the United States Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) are in the process of cleaning up video footage capturing the killing. Crime investigation officers of the United Kingdom are also assisting local authorities in their efforts to solve the murder. Minister of National Security Gary Griffith has already stated that the police have no problem using foreign assistance to bring closure to this investigation.

Most of the investigations is said to have already been completed, and Newsday has been reliably informed that when the processed video footage is delivered to ACP Wayne Dick at least seven persons are to be detained in connection with the high profile murder.

Seetahal was driving her vehicle along Hamilton Holder Street in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, after midnight on May 4 following a casino night out when she was attacked and killed. Her vehicle was sandwiched between a panel van and a Wingroad wagon. A gunman is said to have alighted from one of the vehicles and fired four shots which ended the Senior Counsel’s life. Late yesterday sources revealed to Newsday that Seetahal’s killing had no international connection. 

Dana Seetahal Murder

Obama envoy: Dana’s hit ordered by foreign drug cartel

Published: 
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
 
Flashback: United States Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield, second from right, chats with Inspector Matthew Ovid, left, head of the Canine Unit, at the Piarco International Airport during his visit to T&T in April, where he attended the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police Conference at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain. With them are Keith Gilges political chief, right, and James Story, director of International Western Hemisphere Programmes. PHOTO COURTESY US EMBASSY, PORT-OF-SPAIN
Special state prosecutor Dana Seetahal was murdered by a trans-national drug organisation with operations in T&T, says the United States Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield. Speaking from Washington, DC, in a teleconference with Caribbean journalists yesterday, Ambassador Brownfield said: “Those in Trinidad would know that I visited your country two months ago and two days after I left there was the brutal murder of Ms Dana Seetahal. She was murdered by a trans-national drug organisation.”


Asked by the T&T Guardian to elaborate on this suggestion, Brownfield, who has responsibility for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, said: “I stand by everything I have said. This was clearly not a crime of passion. “It was not a crime of opportunity where someone felt they should steal her handbag and then found they had to shoot her. “This was a well planned and orchestrated hit. “This is not something you plan easily. It is organised crime with an international player that has a crime organisation with presence in T&T.”

On May 4, Seetahal was shot dead just outside the Woodbrook Youth Facility on Hamilton Holder Street as she was on her way to her apartment at One Woodbrook Place after leaving the Ma Pau casino on Ariapita Avenue, Port-of-Spain. Residents reported hearing a volley of gunshots followed by screeching tyres. By the time they contacted police and ran outside to check, they found Seetahal slumped over the steering wheel of her light blue Volkswagen Touareg. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams has publicly said the police knew how and why Seetahal was killed but thus far, 53 days after her killing, no one has been charged with her murder. Yesterday, Brownfield said Seetahal’s murder could not be seen as “just another statistic,” explaining that Seetahal had partnered with the US government on several issues, had been the beneficiary of a Fulbright scholarship from the US government, and was, in his words, “a star, a woman of tremendous courage.”

Reached in England last night National Security Minister Gary Griffith said he preferred not to comment.

Drug, crime problem gowing
Pointing out that there was a correlation between the increase of drugs flowing through the region and the crime and violence on the regional streets, including those of T&T, US Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield said the increased use of the Caribbean as a trans-shipment point for drugs had led to the increase in murders. He predicted that the level of violence was likely to get worse over the next few years, warning that even arms of the State can be challenged. 

He added: “Drug traffickers have to have the firepower to defend their turf. They eventually have to be prepared to take on institutions of the State, whether that is the police, border guards, customs or the Judiciary.” Brownfield said drug cartels were well organised and targeted countries where there were weaknesses, which could range from poorly paid public officials to unprotected borders.

He repeated his statement, reported in the T&T Guardian last month, that the US estimated the quantum of drugs being trans-shipped through the Caribbean to the US had increased, saying it had risen between 2011 and 2013 by over 300 per cent. He listed three major routes in the Caribbean. The first, he said, was through Jamaica and then onto the United States, the second through the Dominican Republic/Haiti and the third through the eastern Caribbean.

Brownfield said the US government was partnering with Caricom governments to help deal with the crime challenge, including the challenge of guns coming into the region from the US. 


He said the reality was that the US had its own laws relating to gun control but had put in place a system where law enforcement could trace a gun in real time, determine if it was in the country illegally and if the ballistics showed it had been used in any other crime. The ambassador admitted that was not enough but said the US was operating in a situation where its legal system was different from those in the region.

On the issue of extra-judicial killings, he said if there was evidence that the police service was involved in such killing in any country, by law, the US would have to discontinue co-operation with the organisation. He explained that was currently the situation with the St Lucian police and that was why co-operation with that country had been suspended. Brownfield said that was unfortunate because the move not only hurt St Lucia but the region as a whole.

Allegations of extra-judicial killings have been made against the T&T Police Service by members of the public after the recent spate of police shootings. So far this year, 29 people have been killed by the police in T&T.

Dana’s killing ‘organised hit’

US Ambassador:

 Today marks 53 days since senior counsel Dana Seetahal was shot and killed while driving her Volkswagen SUV in Woodbrook and, to date, no one has officially been arrested for her death. 
On May 4, just after midnight, Seetahal was proceeding north along Hamilton Holder/O’Connor Streets, towards her One Woodbrook Place home, when her vehicle was blocked from the front and back by unknown assailants. She was then shot five times about her body at close range, before her attackers fled the scene. 
Seetahal, an alumna  of  the  United States State Department’s Fulbright Programme, was killed two days after US Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield left Trinidad.
 Ambassador Brownfield holds responsibility for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the US Department of State. 
And during a media teleconference yesterday morning to discuss US/Caribbean security co-operation, Brownfield pointed to a direct co-relation between street crime and transnational drug trafficking, and he addressed the killing of Seetahal. 
“I stand by what I say, this was quite clearly not a crime of passion, this was not a crime of opportunity. People did not just happen by and believe that they could                                        steal her pocket book and then find that they had to open fire in order to accomplish this. This was a carefully planned operation,” Brownfield                   said. 
Seetahal assassination, he said, was an organised hit.
“And there is only one kind of entity that does contract murders of this sort of degree of sensitivity and that is organised crime,” Brownfield added.
But he emphasised that he was not suggesting that it was an international player who  ordered the killing. 
“I am saying that it was a criminal organisation that clearly had a presence in Trinidad and Tobago which decided to perform this repulsive and repugnant act,” Brownfield said.
The Ambassador then stressed that he was standing by what he said yesterday and will not be modifying his comments in the future.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Danas-killing--organised-hit-264506161.html

Stronger Than Silk: PostScript to Assassination. Dana Seetahal w Kris Ra...




Who Did It? Dana Seetahal's voice reaches out in her accustomed search for justice for all....
 from  Stronger than Silk: Post Script to Assassination   an exclusive heart to heart on all that matters to her including her relentless search for clues, connecting the dots and piecing together the evidence to solve a murder. To listen to clip click on the images.... To request a showing for your district, community or country email lolleaves@gmail.com.



Stronger than Silk: PostScript to Assassination: In an Exclusive Interview Dana Seetahal describes how she treated with the dangerous underworld and the hard core world of criminal enterprise where she functioned as a Prosecutor, Magistrate,along with the more mundane elements of her life.Click image on right to play Video
The May 4, 2014 assassination of Dana S. Seetahal, Senior Council and State Prosecutor shocked not only Trinidad and Tobago, but the the legal world of the Commonwealth and beyond.
This interview gets inside the heart and mind of the woman who was a legal giant in the Commonwealth through her description of the range of her activities, interests, thoughts and beliefs ...

...coming in July. Visit our social media for more and stay tuned...Coming in July, 2014. Enquiries and support email lolleaves@gmail.com.
Leaves of Life Production. (c)KrisRampersad2014 All Rights Reserved. 


To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:click here 
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

All proceeds go towards our Glocal open public education, awareness and outreach initiatives


Contact:
For Information, Partnership, Sponsorship, Support or to Advertise:
To request a showing in your country, district or organisation, please Click Here.
To Support our efforts click here
Email lolleaves@gmail.com.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

OverCopulation The Archbishop The Priest The Minister The Journalist & The Vagrant

I must confess that I miss these men, Archie and Gerry. And Trinidad and Tobago must miss them too as what we are seeing in today's society is testimony to the void left by their passing and would do well to draw on the wisdom and experience of the third of the three brothers, Clive.
Archie, as I refer to him to my friends was the former Archbishop of Trinidad and Tobago, Anthony Pantin (Aug 27, 1929-March 12, 2000).
He was one of the pillars to lead opinion that I could lean on as a journalist. And he was never shy of giving me the occasional buff, like the time when I produced the exclusive article on Trinidad and Tobago's first test tube baby, a healthy baby boy, born of Catholic parents who remained anonymous. I had placed the news in the context of the Catholic Church's conservative position on such new developments in medicine as test tube conception (also called in vitro fertilisation) and artificial insemination, and prior to publication, had called him for his input, but he remained, what seemed to be conveniently, 'unavailable".
The next day the article hit the street, and as I walked into the newsroom that morning, the phone rang.
He did not identify himself then. He didn't have to. I knew his voice. How could I not. Archie was on the line.
"Let me talk to Kris Rampersad," he said.
And then he buffed me. How could he respond now in the context of a stated Catholic position?
I took my buff and listened, without a thought to cry attempt at suppressing press freedom as is immediate newsroom reaction of now times, though I stood firm on my rights to produce a breaking news story that was factually correct in every respect.
He did not question that, but Archie made me conscious of other rights - moral rights, social responsibility and the responsibility he had to the national and Catholic community even in the context of the dilemma of couples like the Catholics of the moment who had been struggling for years to have a child. Life is never in black and white, not an archbishop's, a priest's, a minister's, the parents' nor the doctor's - who was my source - and not even a journalist's, editor's, nor the media. It was the kind of balance I sort to establish and maintain in my journalism and otherwise over the years.
Covering a sermon of Archie - whether Ash Wednesday or Easter or Christmas - (the stereotypical times that the media turned its attention to the Church, or when some moral crisis struck the society or the church) was always pleasurable and he never failed to deliver one that went straight to the conscience. One of his most memorable quips to me was when I called him to respond to a campaign of the Family Planning Association - condoms vs Catholic abstinence.
"The problem is not overpopulation. It's overcopulation," he returned: So true for a society as highly charged sexually as Trinidad and Tobago is, promoted at every turn in culture, in music, in innuendos and picong. (One of my visiting US students some time ago, whom I had set an assignment to creatively describe their impressions of Trinidad and Tobago wrote a poem where the dominant metaphor was of a dog/bitch in heat! Although the official Trinidad and Tobago Carnival season was already long over then, as my student noted in his poem!
Of course, Archie was absolutely right - sex without responsibility became the panacea that took Trinidad and Tobago in record time to the top of the pile from the onset of the AIDS epidemic.
That the Church is in the process of having Archie deified - what it calls beatification - a man who lived his full humanism, is only par for the course.
Then there was Clive. Pantin #2 was Minister of Education when I was covering the education beat, cutting my teeth as a cub journalist. His open door policy was amazing - always accessible, always available and he had no qualms about returning a call, and responding to a query no matter how controversial the issue. In the days when we journalists actually went 'on the beat' to 'cover' a story - vis a vis now when sending an sms, email or cellphone have become the substitute for live engagement with the story and its subjects - Clive also facilitated transport to some very remote venues - when the media organisation was not so much interested, nor made provisions on how one got to a story. Journalists today still complain about access as a reason for poor coverage of rural stories.
Those occasions allowed us to exchange thoughts on the nature, status and directions of the society, and the education system and its connections to other social areas, whose 'beat' was also part of my portfolio.
Today, any Minister making that kind of reach or relationship with a journalist is sure to raise eyebrows about journalistic bias - and not without cause - but the kind of respect Clive showed to my profession allowed for the neutralising of any potential bias. His career as a Minister of Education and later as founder of the Foundation for the Foundation and Enrishment of Life (FEEL) is very much a part of my early career as a journalist.
So too, Gerry. Pantin #3. Father Gerry passed earlier this week. He became a source whose door at Servol in the much maligned and ostracised Beetham (see LiTTscapes) I often entered, as I was holding down the social areas as well as culture, religion, health, labour, and education; the beat of babies-born-in-unlikely-areas like a bank (lol) among the rest. I was even dubbed the vagrant reporter by our newsroom, as I took a keen interest in the problems of vagrancy in our urban areas and the city and even knew the life experiences of many of those in Port of Spain  (see LiTTscapes)- in and around Independence and Woodford Square (see LiTTscapes) - and even by name - perhaps a foreshadowing of the version of a social dropout that I have somewhat become. The politically correct term might be socially dispossessed which I believe is a truly desirable condition and one that could entirely free us from many an ambitious strive - but I digress. (Later, as an editor, I would be stunned when reporters blatantly refused to cover certain religious, cultural or other assignments as they were of another persuasion, refusing to open their minds to other people or experiences - but that's the reality of today's newsrooms and niched news presentations. We do not have far to look if we want to pinpoint the root causes of the strife and violence in our society when the responsible agents so shirk on that responsibility.)
Father Gerry's work in Servol - a network of life centres offering hope and opportunities to young, underprivileged, otherwise disenfranchised and dropouts was an example of the best Trinidad and Tobago has ever been able to offer its people. I am yet to see it replicated, though its replication is what we need now more than ever.
In recent times I have wondered why we have not been using more of the experience and knowledge of persons like Father Gerry to work at the explosion of social violence and gangsterism. Perhaps that is why we have such an explosion of social violence. The humility, service and respect Archie, Clive and Gerry felt and shared with our society and all else they encountered, across social class, culture, religious and other lines of demarcation, are the elements that we have allowed to slip past us; that we are losing; have lost with the passing of Archie and Gerry.
 When I had highlighted and featured and championed the cause of the vandalised tombstone in Mayaro which was part of the legacy of the Pantins among other prominent and not so prominent families of its French origin in Trinidad, it was to highlight the depths of disrespect to legacy and heritage that our society was descending into. For the moment that feature was a sigh, that became a whisper, that has now expired with little action. Our society might be in uneasy mode, but Anthony and Gerry Pantin, Rest In Peace. We still have Clive and should not neglect that and others of his social and moral calibre whom our society today needs more than ever.

Related Links:
Death Written in Stone 
Vandalised centuries-old tombstone
Caribbean media on vandalised tombstone  
Rocky Road to heritage conservation
Reflections on Arrivals with Clandestine Confessions
Photos from catholicnewstt.
See also:

http://www.guardia
n.co.tt/sites/default/files/event/clive%201.jpg


A tribute to Fr Gerry Pantin

A tribute to Fr Gerry Pantin | Trinidad Express Newspaper | Letters



 I knew Gerry when we were in the Sixth Trinidad Sea Scouts at St Mary’s College together, and we both led winning Chancellor Flag patrols. He was a year younger than me and he was brighter than me and more creative in every way, giving promise of things to come. 
He was the older brother of Tony, later Archbishop, and was the oldest of a family of nine.
On the death of their father, who had worked for Salvatori Scott and Co, a great responsibility fell on the oldest of his children—Gerry, then aged 11. In fact, most of the responsibility fell on their mother, Agnes, and on her sister, Auntie Vi.
From the time I knew him, Gerry was a creative intellectual.
He studied science at University College Dublin, edited a short-lived magazine, Tomorrow’s Labourers, and started a film club at our seminary in Dublin, filming the scholastics at work and play.
He returned to CIC in 1958, to teach botany and zoology, and, after the labour unrest in the late ’60s and the Black Power riots in 1970, he realised academic teaching wasn’t enough and what was needed was to rescue teenagers from their ignorance, and give them, boys and girls, a trade that would enable them to earn a living for the rest of their life. 
He called his work SERVOL, Service Volunteered for All, and it was blessed by religious and civic authorities, and is known in many countries. He received the Alternate Nobel Peace Prize, the Trinity Cross and other decorations, such as a doctorate from Duquesne University, Pittsburgh. 
From the beginning he was helped by Sister Ruth Montrichard SJC, who accompanied him to Stockholm, to Israel and elsewhere, preaching the good news of self-help.
The whole island of Trinidad is in mourning, and many of his friends overseas.
It is easier for us, in Spiritan House, to accept his passing, as for the past three years he was confined to his room with Alzheimer’s, with Sister Ruth and nurses looking after him.
As the Book of Genesis said, there were giants on earth in those days, and we won’t see the likes of Gerry again. 
May his great and generous soul rest in peace.
He is smiling on us now from his place above.
Roland Quesnel CSSp
via e-mail
http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/A-tribute-to-Fr-Gerry-Pantin-264491821.html

Cause of Beatification of Archbishop Pantin to be launchedPDFPrintE-mail
25th November, 2013
To the Clergy, Religious Communities and Faithful, Archdiocese of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The Church of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain will soon be celebrating an unprecedented and historical event: the official opening of the Diocesan Inquiry concerning the cause of Beatification of our late beloved Archbishop Gordon Anthony Pantin, C.S.Sp., who died on the 12th day of March, 2000.
I have accepted the Petition brought before me by Bishop Robert Llanos through his properly appointed Postulator, Fr. Anthony De Verteuil, C.S.Sp. I have requested the Nihil Obstat of the Holy See and have consulted with my brother bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference and now we are at the stage of the informative process, in order to ascertain this servant of God’s reputation as a man known for his holiness and service to God’s people. This canonical process falls under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Port of Spain since Archbishop Pantin died in Port of Spain.
It is with great pride that we invite all the faithful of the Archdiocese to share our joy and that of the Holy Ghost Fathers, of whom the Servant of God Gordon Anthony Pantin was a member, especially by participating in a Solemn Mass to be celebrated in Our Lady of Fatima Church Curep, on Monday, December 9, 2013, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, commencing at 5.00 p.m. Together we shall implore the Holy Spirit for the success of this Diocesan Inquiry. Therefore, your presence at this Eucharistic Celebration will serve as a testimony of our gratitude to Archbishop Pantin’s love and service to the people of Trinidad and Tobago and in particular to the growth and development of the Catholic Church in our country.
All the priests of the Archdiocese, who wish to do so, are invited to concelebrate at this Eucharist when the members of the Diocesan Tribunal who will conduct this investigation will receive their respective mandates. The private hearing of the witnesses will be held at a location and date to be announced later.
May Divine Providence bless these proceedings, which will be the beginning of abundance of special graces to the honour of the Glory of God and to the benefit of the
Archdiocese of Port of Spain.
With every good wish and prayers,
Sincerely yours in Christ,
+ Joseph Harris, C.S.Sp.
Archbishop of Port of Spain
http://www.catholictt.org/media-room/general/948-cause-of-beatification-of-archbishop-pantin-launched.html


Archbishop Pantin - ‘Servant of God’ -
Dec 1

http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/frontpage/5179 archbishop-pantin-servant-of-god-dec-1
PDFPrintE-mail
2013 News
Monday, 02 December 2013 00:20

By Lara Pickford-Gordon
In what has been described by Archbishop Joseph Harris as “unprecedented” and “historic”, the Church of the Archdiocese of Port of Spain will officially open the Diocesan Inquiry for the cause of Beatification of the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin.
The Archdiocese has been given the go ahead by the Holy See to proceed with this phase of inquiry although the"Nihil Obstat” (Latin for “nothing hinders” or “nothing stands in the way”) has not been granted yet.
The canonical process is under the purview of the Archbishop of Port of Spain since Archbishop Pantin died in Port of Spain.
Archbishop Pantin was the eighth Bishop of Port of Spain and served 32 years until his death at the age of 70 on March 12, 2000. He was a much loved Bishop with wide appeal across the society and is still fondly recalled by many.
In a recent interview, Archbishop Harris told the Catholic News that the cause had not yet been opened, “but we are doing things we have to do so it can be opened. We have written to Rome to the Congregation of the Saints asking for the Nihil Obstat and that means no objection.”
The Congregation for the Causes of the Saints is a department of the Roman Curia responsible to the Holy Father for the investigations which lead to the beatification and canonisation of holy men and women (http://www.ewtn.com).
News of the move to have Archbishop Pantin beatified is announced in a letter to Clergy, Religious Communities and the Faithful, from the Office of the Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Port of Spain, published in this weekend’s Catholic News (See Full Text on Page 4)
The faithful have been invited to celebrate a special Mass at Our Lady of Fatima Church, Curepe, on December 9 at 5 p.m. “to implore the Holy Spirit for the success of this Diocesan Inquiry”. At the Mass, members of the Diocesan Tribunal to conduct the investigation will receive their mandates and take oaths of secrecy.
In the letter, Archbishop Harris said he had accepted a Petition brought by Bishop Robert Llanos through the appointed Postulator, Fr Anthony De Verteuil CSSp,
“I have requested the Nihil Obstat of the Holy See and have consulted with my brother bishops of the Antilles Episcopal Conference and now we are at the stage of the informative process, in order to ascertain this servant of God’s reputation as a man known for his holiness and service to God’s people.”
In a series of interviews with the Catholic News, Judicial Vicar Fr John Persaud said at the December 9 Mass Archbishop Harris would make an announcement for anyone with information on the life and holiness of Archbishop Pantin to provide this to the Tribunal. The publication of the Petition is also for this purpose. Prayer cards will be distributed at the Mass for the faithful to pray for the Cause and for special graces through the intercession of Archbishop Pantin.
Fr Persaud said the key role of the Postulator was to “push forward the Cause in the name of the Petitioner”. The process of beatification is lengthy. Fr Persaud explained, “The phase we are going into is gathering all the relevant evidence – writings and so on.” These will be reviewed by Censors to see that there is nothing contrary to Church teaching. Witnesses will be interviewed concerning Archbishop Pantin’s life and work and their testimony documented. “This could last a while,” Fr Persaud said. The interviewing of persons will not begin until the Nihil Obstat is given.
Persons coming forward to give testimonies will be required to take an oath of secrecy. Fr Persaud said members of the Tribunal would also be sworn to secrecy and cannot divulge any information received during the inquiry.
He made it clear that the opening of the inquiry was one phase and did not automatically make Archbishop Pantin a saint. “After we collect all the evidence we send it to Rome then it will enter another phase.
A look at Anthony Pantin
Gordon Anthony Pantin, the second child and second boy in a family of six boys and four girls, was born August 27, 1929, into a strongl Catholic family in Woodbrook, Port of Spain. Before the last child was born, his father died.
A brief biographical note prepared for the beginning of the Diocesan Inquiry concerning the Cause of Beatification of the late Archbishop refers to the “severe financial hardship” which the family had to endure.
Anthony, as he was always known, was a regular altar server at the parish church and “from early in life had made up his mind that God was calling him to the priesthood,” the document states. Anthony attended Belmont Secondary School and from there won a scholarship to St Mary’s College, graduating with his Cambridge Senior Certificate.
The biography notes: “Shortly after leaving school, Anthony entered the Holy Ghost novitiate at Lac au Saumon, Canada, in 1946, and then went on to the scholasticate where he successfully completed his Bachelor of Arts Degree. He was posted back to Trinidad for three years as a ‘prefect’ teaching and monitoring the boys of St Mary’s College, which he enjoyed very much, being renowned for his sense of humour, which he retained all his life. For his theology he was sent to Kimmage Manor, Dublin, to the Holy Ghost House of Studies. Shortly before his 26th birthday he was ordained priest on the 3rd July 1955.
“Father Anthony was then assigned to the Holy Ghost College in Guadeloupe for two years to teach English. For the following four years he taught at Fatima College and exercised ministry at the neighbouring parishes. He was transferred to St Mary’s College as Religious Superior from 1965.
On the 20 November 1967 he was appointed Archbishop of Port of Spain and was ordained in the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on the 19 March 1968.”
Archbishop Pantin died unexpectedly in his sleep in the early hours of Sunday, March 12, 2000. He had been a priest for 45 years. After the funeral Mass he was interred in the Cathedral crypt.
http://www.catholictt.org/media-room/general/948-cause-of-beatification-of-archbishop-pantin-launched.html

Archibishop and Pope
Anthony Pantin 1930-2000 & Pope Jonh Paul II
His Grace Archbishop Anthony Pantin of Port-of-Spain, passed away unexpectedly and peacefully in the early hours of this morning, Sunday 12th March, 2000.

THE Roman Catholic Church has accepted the Government's offer for an official funeral for Archbishop Anthony Pantin.

Pantin's funeral rites will be spread over a three-day period, beginning on Thursday with an official service and ending with his burial on Saturday at the Cathedral crypt.

The Catholic Church has also accepted the proposal of acting Prime Minister Lindsay Gillette that there be a national day of prayer.

Pantin, 70, died in his sleep on Sunday of acute heart failure. He was the third bishop to die at the Archbishop's House at 27 Maraval Road, Queen's Park West.

The last burial of a Roman Catholic bishop in T&T took place over 59 years ago. Bishop John Pius Dowling also died in his sleep in a chair at the house on June 6, 1940. Bishop Patrick Vincent Flood, who built the house, was the first bishop to die there on May 17, 1907. Bishop Finbar Ryan, who followed Dowling, was buried in Ireland.

Auxiliary Bishop John Mendes has taken over responsibility of the diocese, in keeping with Code 419 of the Code of Canon Law.

Yesterday Mendes, Fr Christian Pereira, Fr Clyde Harvey, Fr Joseph Harris, Fr Garfield Rochard and Abbot Francis Alleyne of Mt St Benedict were at Archbishop's House overseeing funeral arrangements. Some of these senior clergymen represent the College of Consultors which acts in emergency cases in administration of the church.

Pereira said, "The Archbishop has contributed tremendously to the country. It is up to us to make sure that his passing is not a loss, but that we are able to build and to integrate his contribution into the fabric of our national life. We will lose something if we throw it away."

The Archbishop's body will arrive at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception, Independence Square, on Thursday at 6 p.m. for a Pontifical Mass presided over by the Papal Pro-Nuncio Archbishop Eugenio Sbarbaro DD. Archbishop Edgerton Clarke, president of the Antilles Episcopal conference, will deliver the homily.

Government officials, the diplomatic corps and representatives of religious groups are expected to attend this service.

The body will lie in state at the Cathedral on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for public viewing and services will also be held for schoolchildren.

At 10 a.m. on Saturday the church will say farewell to Pantin after the Archdiocese of Port of Spain celebrates a Solemn Eucharist with Mendes as chief celebrant. This will be followed by Pantin's entombment in the Cathedral crypt below the sacristy to the south-western end of the altar.

A condolence book will be opened at Archbishop's House today to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
http://www.trinbagopan.com/Anthonypantin.html 









Answering the Call: A Tribute to Clive Pantin


  • http://www.foba.fatima.edu.tt/features/teachers/answering-the-call-a-tribute-to-clive-pantin/
“It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”  ― Harry S. Truman
Clive smiles approvingly at the showing of the video seated next to him (left) is his wife Patsy and Father Gervais Girod a former Dean and to his right, former Principal Mervyn Moore
Clive smiles approvingly at the showing of the video seated next to him (left) is his wife Patsy and Father Gervais Girod a former Dean and to his right, former Principal Mervyn Moore
The Fatima College Class of ’75, like some other classes, has managed to stay together, years after leaving our alma mater. We meet once a month to bond and reminisce and to check up on each other. These meetings dubbed the “Bored Meetings” take place at the Oval which is famous for its cricket and its bar. Be assured that we never meet there for cricket. It was at one of these “Bored Meetings” that the suggestion came up about doing a film about our Principal and mentor Clive Pantin. After all, the Class of ’75 had in our ranks the best in every field, including videographer Clifford Seedansingh. It was felt that current Fatima students did not know about Mr Pantin’s huge contribution to Fatima and the wider T&T and we wanted to fix that.
So “Answering the Call, A tribute to Clive Pantin”, a 50 minute video documentary was born. Our group figured out what it would cost to do it and went about fundraising and planning for its realization. That we had outstanding and patient in-house talent in Clifford made this project’s completion more attainable. Clive Pantin’s role as husband, father, teacher, sportsman, community, sport and social activist, founder of Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL) and a former Minister of Education was revealed on Wednesday 20 March, at the Fatima College Hall. Our Principal Clive Pantin was the guest of honour as he sat among his family, friends, teachers and past students in a simple ceremony.
Clive Pantin seated with his former students of the Class of 1975 who organised the event and produced the documentary on his life at Fatima College
Clive Pantin seated with his former students of the Class of 1975 who organised the event and produced the documentary on his life at Fatima College
“Answering The Call” documents his contributions to Fatima and T&T in general through the eyes of his fellow teachers, past and present principals and a whole bunch of people whose lives he touched including Brian Lara and Everard Cummings.
Clive Pantin was the first lay person and local to serve as Principal coming after the legendary Father James Ryan, a Holy Ghost Father. Narrated by former Fatima language teacher and choir master Maurice Brash, who was himself a pupil of the school, the documentary also featured Ray Holman, Beacon Insurance CEO, Gerald Hadeed, former national footballers, Alvin Corneal and Everald “Gally” Cummings and cricket icon Brian Lara, who was transferred from San Juan Secondary School to Fatima College after Pantin was approached by his parents.
Contributors to the video all spoke of the active role Pantin took on, ensuring that students received a holistic development through academics, sports and other extracurricular activities. “He always made himself available in the classrooms and had the amazing ability to remember every student’s name.” one of the contributors said.
Bernard Pantin addresses the gathering
Bernard Pantin addresses the gathering
Pantin brought firsts
Under his stewardship the college also achieved many firsts. In addition to Pantin being the first lay principal, the school also hired its first women—secretary Kathy Garcia and teacher Jeanette Zakour, now Elias.
Pantin also upgraded the school’s curriculum, adding new subjects including Audio/Visual Art. It became the first of its kind in the country and was headed by English-born Dr Bruce Paddington, now a lecturer at UWI, St Augustine. The move also forged a relationship between Fatima and its neighbouring schools Mucurapo Senior and Junior Secondary (now Mucurapo East and West), through the Mucurapo School Community Project, which allowed Mucurapo students to share facilities at Fatima, including the Audio Visual room as well as the playing field for sports.
A linguist—Pantin also introduced the country’s first Spanish phonetic television show, A La Orden.
Clifford Seedansingh addresses the gathering (Clifford, a member of the Class of ’75, produced the documentary on behalf of the Class of ’75)
Clifford Seedansingh addresses the gathering (Clifford, a member of the Class of ’75, produced the documentary on behalf of the Class of ’75)
Pantin Family History
The Pantin family from Woodbrook is known for their service to T&T, especially to the Roman Catholic Church. His sister Rosa (deceased), served the Sisters of Cluny at St Joseph’s Convent. His brother, the late Anthony Pantin was Archbishop of the diocese of Port-of-Spain for 32 years. Another brother, Father Gerard Pantin founded Service Volunteered For All (Servol) in 1970. The ten Pantin children were born to Agnes and Julien Pantin.
The documentary can be viewed on YouTube here.
Celebratory Cake underscores the title of the documentary “Answering the Call” –A Tribute to Clive Pantin
Celebratory Cake underscores the title of the documentary “Answering the Call” –A Tribute to Clive Pantin



Answering the Call – Clive Pantin - Mar 31PDFPrintE-mail
2013 Features
Saturday, 30 March 2013 13:18
http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/features/4496-answering-the-call--clive-pantin-mar-31
Seeing Clive Pantin in the audience at a function at UWI in which Brian Lara was being honoured has been identified by Lara as “one of the greatest moments in my life”. He does so in a documentary honouring his former principal. This has been the kind of influence Mr Pantin has had on the lives of so many, among them our own world record holder batsman.
Mr Pantin taught his students, the values of love and respect, and of extending a helping hand to others. There was another value that was passed on to students at Fatima College over the years -- a “can-do” attitude to daily life, this long before President Obama’s rallying cry of “Yes We Can”.
Some 38 years after graduating from Sixth Form, the Class of 1975 has identified these values as the unifying force that has kept them together “One man embodied these values and passed them on as gifts to us. Clive Pantin.”
So said Steve Bideshi a student of this group as he explained that they were now reciprocating with a gift of a documentary on the life of a man described as always having a smile, the ideal teacher, a man who had a vision, a sportsman, a leader, and much more.
On Wednesday, March 20, the documentary Answering The Call – A Tribute to Clive Pantin was launched at Fatima College at a relaxed gathering of ole boys, easily identified by their tee-shirts but also by their enthusiastic greetings, retired teachers, a few present teachers and students, friends and the Pantin family members. Before the screening, the man being honoured was seated on one of those trade mark school chairs, smiling with each greeting he received, being hugged and cuddled by a daughter or grandchild or other guest, consenting to be photographed with this group and that.
The documentary looks at the character of this man through the comments made about him and stories told by people with whom he has worked and played.
The stories shared are inspirational. Listening to them can lead to reflection on the times we have not had that “can-do” attitude to daily life.
We hear about a man who was concerned about the overall person, who anyone felt comfortable to talk with, who brought a personal touch in his dealings with everybody; he knew each student by name and looked on them as his own children; a man who had the ability to communicate, a leader who made you want to share your talent with others; a principal who was a pioneer in the use of audio-visual in the classroom; a man for whom sport is an integral part of education, (he needed no study to prove this)!
We hear also about his work with the Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of life (FEEL) which has branched out from serving the underprivileged to serving other NGOs. He was unsuccessful at being an elected Member of Parliament. One interviewee said “I regretted he went into politics, he is too nice a man.” Others shared that Mr Pantin himself felt that getting involved in politics was God’s will.
Fatima Boys Come answer to the Call” says the school song. Now the idea has been born to tell more about the history of different periods of the college. Roy Huggins, one of the first 48 students who started in 1945 is anxious to have more of the story told.
This documentary serves not only as a means of teaching present Fatima students about Clive Pantin and the history of the college but also of awakening that “can do” attitude and reminding us that there still is a lot to do to make a difference in T & T. – Helena Allum
http://www.catholicnews-tt.net/joomla/features/4496-answering-the-call--clive-pantin-mar-31

The Pantins - Called to serve

Published: 
Monday, December 27, 2010
 
Former Fatima College School principal Clive Pantin, back row third from left, poses with his siblings back row left Helen, Michael, Geoffrey, Monica and Patricia. They are joined by front row left, Rosa, Gerard, Ronald and Anthony.
The Pantin family from Woodbrook answered the call to “serve the people, serve the people, serve all of the people” of T&T. Service has never been an alien concept to the prominent Pantins who made positive inroads on the socio-economic landscape. The late Anthony Pantin was archbishop of the diocese of Port-of-Spain. Former Fatima College principal, Clive Pantin became Minister of Education. Fr Gerard Pantin founded Service Volunteered For All (Servol).  Three doyennes among the Pantin clan epitomise the notion of service, volunteerism and humanitarianism. Ten siblings were born to late housewife Agnes and Julien Pantin, a managing director at the defunct Salvatori Scott Ltd. The union produced Gerard, Tony (late), Rose, Geoffrey (late), Clive, Monica, Ronald (late), Helen, Patricia and Michael. The Pantins’ matriarch Agnes was a “very religious woman” who took them to mass regularly at St Patrick’s RC Church, Maraval.  The family remained steeped in Roman Catholicism. Rosa answered the call to join the nunnery with the Sisters of Cluny at St Joseph’s Convent.
Commenting on their calling, Clive Pantin said: “It was a gift from God.  We enjoyed every minute of it. That was important. If you go into a job and you have reservations about it, don’t do it. You are not going to succeed.” Indeed, the Pantin clan have been a blessing. In 1995, Pastor Cecil Quamina paid kudos to them via letter to the editor when they were named Family of the Year. He said: “We can never repay the Pantins for the contribution they have made to our society.”  Another gentleman Hollis Thomas realised the importance of Pantins’ vast contribution and compiled biographies on them. Sunday Guardian also salutes the Pantins’ sterling contribution.

Caption: Woodbrook ole boy Clive Pantin, back row right, poses with his wife Patsy, second from right, and children Bernard, right.  Joining them front row left are Thomas, Salma, Anna and David. Photos courtesy Thomas Pantin
Clive Pantin... Minister of Education— zenith of his career
With pompek Bella at his feet, former Fatima College principal, Clive Pantin takes a stroll in his garden at Woodbrook. Casting a cursory glance, a passerby might think he’s always lived a life of rest and relaxation; but Pantin, 77, has always been a hard worker. He left a legacy at Fatima College, Mucurapo and strengthened the Parent Teachers Association (PTA) during his tenure as Minister of Education. He was part of the ANR Robinson regime (1986 to 1991). On Monday, Pantin said his contribution as Minister of Education was the zenith of his career. Quizzed on his major accomplishment, Pantin said: “I would say my major role was as Minister of Education. I enjoyed it very much.  When you are principal of a school you just see minor changes. But when you see all the schools combined that’s a very tough task. Minister of Education role is not an easy one.”
Pantin would pop in unannounced to get a first hand account of the inner workings of T&T’s schools.
“I liked going out to the different schools unannounced and  just visiting them.” With a mischievous twinkle, he said: “There was a little panic when they saw I had arrived. But after a while they got a hold of my modus operandi.”  Pantin explained his mission was not just to catch principals and teachers napping, but to get a deeper knowledge of the students’ needs. He firmly believed in the value of education as a catalyst for change and socioeconomic improvement. No school was forbidden. “I continued to visit schools particularly schools far away; in the deep West, deep East and deep South.”
Pantin was not a greenhorn. After all, he had spent 27 years as a Language (French and Spanish) and Religious Education teacher. He was principal for ten years. Patting himself on the back, he said: “Fatima became a first class school.”
The impact of Feel
After the crushing defeat of the NAR administration, Pantin founded Feel (Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life) in 1991. He and his team including the late Leoline Boxhill distributed hampers to about 120 Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) from the massive warehouse owned by JB Fernandes at Laventille. “To my great surprise, he showed me this huge compound with every possibility of goodness about it. We decided to get the NGOs together. They were finding it difficult to continue the work. There were some who were really conscientious in their work.”
Each year, about 2,400 people received food and hampers. “People from the United States sent down a lot of stuff for us.”

About Clive Pantin 
He was a fine athlete at St Mary’s College. He earned a BA degree at the University of (Dublin) Ireland and got a Diploma in Education at UWI Jamaica. Initially, he was studying for the priesthood. “You talk about prayers. I realised it was not for me. I had Anna in Jamaica.” He also married Patsy and fathered Bernard, David and Thomas. He has nine grandchildren.  Quizzed on the secret to his longevity, he said: “Live a good life and drink apple...” On behalf of his siblings, Tom, an ex-Fatima boy, said: “We are all proud of him. We admire him.  He is a shining example of a father.” He added: “One of the aspects of our house was our love for sport... love for English football and our love for Manchester United. It was like a tradition. We would be drinking beer. All the boys.”  Pantin’s contemporary/retired St Augustine Senior Comprehensive principal Osmond “Slim” Downer said: “He played for St Mary’s. Then, he played for Casuals. Geoffrey Pantin also played for St Mary’s and Ronald played, too. He was in my time and I played for Casuals.  At that time, Casuals and Shamrock were known as the “white people” team.” “But Pantin’s greatest contribution is education,” said the   FIFA referees instructor.
Pantin on Pantins 
Growing up in a huge family, Pantin described the experience as “wonderful.” His mother Agnes was a strict disciplinarian. “She was worse than any principal,” he said. It was a sad day when they put their father in the earth at Lapeyrouse Cemetery. “Michael... the last one was about a year when he died. His funeral was a huge traffic stopper. He had  lots of friends.” Commenting on his siblings, he said: “Tony was the first to come in as a priest. He was always an accessible archbishop. “Oh, yes, we adored him. The only thing we didn’t do was go to confession. The best priest I could tell my sins, too. He would cheups if he felt it was a big sin.  Tony was quite a guy.” “Gerard... he was the intellengentsia of the family. He won an island scholarship.” “Shortly after daddy died, Rosa told our mother she had this calling to be a nun. Agnes said: ‘Well, may God be with you, child.’” But his favourite sibling is Geoffrey, whom he described as his “real riding partner.” “I always remember the day we were going to school (Belmont Intermediate). He said: ‘I will tow you through the Savannah...next thing I know, the two of us found ourselves on the ground in a puddle. He said: “Boy, I slipped. Well, boy, I cuss Geoffrey.” For Christmas, the senior Pantin said: “I will be looking forward to turkey with stuffing.” 


Fr Gerry’s lifetime of service
Wednesday, June 25 2014
ONE MORNING in 1970, Roman Catholic priest Fr Gerard Pantin decided to leave St Mary’s College where he was teaching and take a walk up Laventille hill. It was in the wake of the Black Power riots, when black people sought to protest inequalities of wealth around them, and Pantin wanted to do something.
“In a moment of madness, as I have often said, I just had to go walk up the hill one day with no money, no ideas of what I was going to do, and go up to the people and start to speak with them,” Pantin once recalled. “I had no plan. I thought, maybe it’s a good idea to ask them how they wanted me to help them. I said: how can I help you?”

Servol — or Service Volunteered for All — a community outreach programme, was born. Forty-two years after Pantin walked the hill, Servol has reportedly touched the lives of more than 96,000 children aged three to five years, 7,000 teenagers aged 12 to 15 years and 92,000 teenagers between 16 years and 19 years.

Gerry Pantin, died on Monday at the age of 85. Though his father, Julian Pantin, would die when he was just 11, Pantin’s family would produce many great citizens. The Woodbrook family also produced: Anthony Pantin, Archibishop of the diocese of Port-of-Spain and Clive Pantin, former Minister of Education, principal of Fatima College and founder of the Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL).

Originally, Gerry planned to be a doctor, and achieved a BSc (Honours) in Chemistry, Biochemistry and Botany. But in his words, “being a doctor, I could heal only the body; as a priest, I could heal the inner selves of my people”. He obtained a Diploma in Education, a Diploma in Philosophy and a License in Theology. After his ordination, he taught at St Mary’s College in the 1960s. He was awarded the Trinity Cross in 1995 for community service. Upon his death, Archbishop Joseph Harris stated, Pantin’s contribution was great. Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar hailed Pantin as “a true and genuine humanitarian” who “represented the best values of our country”.

It was during the 1970 Black Power riots in Trinidad that Fr Pantin became determined to fight poverty and empower marginalised people. He started his work in Laventille, along with Wes Hall. In today’s world, where social intervention programmes like the Life Sport programme and other programmes by NGO s are acknowledged as the key to addressing the crime situation, it is easy to overlook the boldness of Gerry’s steps.

As he recalled in a 2005 interview, upon first entering Laventille, he was met with hostility.

“The reception I got was a torrid one,” he stated. “The only thing that they did not do was to do violence to me.” But he found that the key to overcoming this was to have no preconceptions: to question and listen.

“We are trying to get the communities to take charge of their lives and not sit and wait for something to be done. They have to be proactive,” he said. “There are pockets of poverty. Trinidad is not a poor country but the wealth is very unevenly distributed and there are still areas where people really are poor. But basically it is not because there isn’t wealth in the country, it is because of the distribution of wealth... You have to really target areas.”

In 2005 Pantin said, “The criminals are coming straight from the education system. The most violent and vicious acts are being committed by 17 and 18-year-olds. What really saddens me is the brutality. That rage and anger inside them dates back to childhood. The answer lies in the education system. It is the one place every child goes and there is the opportunity to have a profound effect.” These ideas still hold today.

Fr Gerry sacrificed much in order to provide a life of service.

“Yes, I was attracted to girls,” he said in 2005. “I love seeing married people, but I never said I wanted to be married to somebody. There’s a restlessness in me. Marriage is wonderful but I want to help a thousand wives rather than have one of my own.” Pantin was a true citizen who devoted himself to building young people. Pantin’s lifetime of service is a model for us all. May he rest in peace.
http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,196743.html