The late Dr Morgan Job was a devoted, if unacknowledged son of the soil.
A former parliamentarian, economist, writer and talk-show host, Job, 76, who died on Sunday at the Port of Spain General after being diagnosed with in March with late-stage pancreatic cancer, was also described as a mentor and family man by his sister Harriet Job-Dick.
Job-Dick, in an interview with Newsday Tobago, said she was still trying to come to terms with her brother’s death, as she shared her memories of him.
“Morgan was the eldest, it was 12 of us. He was the one who set an example for us academically and even socially within the community. As he grew older and moved into his profession, he assisted our parents with us. He was always there to give advice whenever advice was required and those who didn’t want to listen, he had a way of not saying much to them, they would find that out.
“He was a father, he was a brother…he was humble, a very helpful, a very resourceful member of the family,” she said.
Job-Dick said while some people would Job was very difficult to get along with, he was always willing to help those who were interested in listening and learning.
“I think a lot of people didn’t know the guy. There are a lot of persons who think that they know and would argue and because he was so knowledgeable, he would lose his patience and be a little rough on them. But basically, if you were willing to listen and learn, he would have helped. He was very helpful, very resourceful.”
In 1997, Job entered Parliament as the member for Tobago East, during which time he served as Minister of Tobago Affairs. He would later serve ass minister in the ministry of finance. During this time, Pam Nicholson was MP for Tobago West, as well as Minister of Sport and Youth Affairs.
Nicholson to Newsday Tobago:
“During his tenure, one of the things that Dr Job did was stress and to work on, at least in Tobago, because he had Tobago Affairs under his wings, was to have music. Music was very, very important to him and he really stressed that all the schools should do music, because that would be very meaningful to all the children.
“You also had a little thing that the Tobago schools were not performing as they used to perform in previous years and he organised a group under Dr Eastlyn McKenzie, so that they would go around to work with the schools’ improvement in Tobago.”
Nicholson added that Job also worked closely with the then prime minister on the economic development of the country. She said she and him worked together well, too.
One of his special concerns, she recalled, was agriculture in Tobago.
“He always stressed that he thinks that more could be done for agriculture. One of the things I always remembered him saying is that the extension officers were not doing enough and many of them didn’t do enough. But Dr Job has always been very, very strong in the development of Tobago. We went really well… every time he wrote a book, he communicated it with me and I bought,” she said.
Former head of the Public Service, Reginald Dumas, also paid tribute to Job, whom he knew on a personal basis.
“We were friends. He had a very good mind and he expressed himself as we all do very openly and very forcefully. He was hardly the greatest diplomat in the world, but his heart was in the right place, very much for TT,” said Dumas.
“He was very much a person who was interested in culture, he played the classical guitar...His heart was the in right place, he was a naturalist and I think we are going to miss him,” he added.
Dumas noted also that Job was a frank person who offended a lot of people by the way he spoke.
“He offended a lot of black people in particular, because he would be on the air, as he was some years ago, saying that the black people of the country are not pulling their socks up, they’re not doing what they should be doing, and a lot of black people took offence.
“But he wasn’t doing it because he is anti-black. A lot of people would say that he didn’t like black people, because he is black he didn’t like black people, that he hated his colour and that kind of thing. That is rubbish… Morgan Job was from Tobago East, Belle Garden in particular, so he could not be against black people.
He said what Job was trying to do “is to say to black people in particular, ‘look here, you have to buckle down, you have to focus, you have to do what you can to help yourself and pull yourself up by your bootstrap and pull your communities and your families up as well, instead of only spending time feteing and buying clothes.’
“So it was advice that he was giving,” he said.