Bernard Pantin, the son of former Education Minister and Fatima college principal, Clive Pantin, 84, is urging TT’s leaders to emulate his father’s legacy of service before self and make the effort to improve the country for future generations.
Pantin made the remarks yesterday as he delivered the eulogy at the St Theresa’s RC Church, Mucurapo Road. He said his father embodied the ideal of service before self and said he carried this philosophy with him throughout his life as an educator, a politician and later on in life as a humanitarian, citing his father’s work in founding the Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL).
“I admired his spirit and conviction in the belief that if we all work together we can make this country a better place, that is all he wanted for TT. If he knew that this church was packed today, and included many politicians, members of both sides, he would do the same thing that he did in forming the Woodbrook Action Committee in this very church so many years ago. He would ask for volunteers, a Trinidad and Tobago Action Committee.”
“He would hope and expect that each of you would be among them and he would convene the first meeting of that committee immediately. Everyone would work for a better Trinidad and Tobago.” Recalling his father’s role as a principal and a family man, Pantin said he was committed to bringing the best out of his students and said he was instrumental in introducing co-curricular activities as well as restructuring the placement of students into classes, recalling his father’s satisfaction with an initiative which sought to invite students from neighbouring Mucurapo East Secondary to the college. The younger Pantin said his father saw the need to assist all students adding that one of his first goals as Minister of Education under the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) government was to visit all primary and secondary schools in TT. “I remember how thrilled he would be when past students from the Mucurapo school would call him and tell him how well they were doing in life and how much he helped them to achieve their full potential.”
The service began yesterday morning as Pantin’s body was taken by hearse from the Fatima College grounds to the church, as students lined either side of the street in tribute of a man, many affectionately remember as a skilled sportsman, an accomplished educator and a close friend.