RADIO commentator, former Tobago East MP and economist Dr Morgan Job was an unheralded prophet, patriot and a legend, said Bishop Claude Berkley.
He was delivering the homily at Job’s funeral yesterday at Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port of Spain. Job had been diagnosed with advanced pancreatic cancer and died in hospital on May 6. He was 76.
Berkley said the country had not developed the framework for treating with intellectual power and special talent like Job’s, and questioned whether the country had drawn down from Job what could have advanced it and benefited communities. He said Job had repeatedly requested to speak to the youth in the Anglican church but no one had the guts to allow him.
Berkley said there were those who felt Job “disliked black people,” but there was no evidence of this, and he had a high view of humanity. Just as oil and diamonds were extracted, sense could have been extracted from Job, even though it was presented in a gruff way. He said like the biblical prophets who faced stones, beatings and death, Job held steadfast to his call and purpose.
Job was the eldest of ten. His brother Solomon, during the eulogy, broke into tears, removed his jacket and collapsed twice and had to be physically assisted by relatives.
He said Job’s passing was difficult for the siblings, as he had always been there for them. He had bought books for them to go to school. Solomon described his brother as a “farm boy turned scholar” and recalled his studies in Africa, Brazil, India and other places.
He said when he heard the news of his death, he was in denial.
“I miss him so much.”
Job’s daughter Nzinga gave her eulogy in a poem, and said her father’s face was thunderous in anger and luminous in joy. She recalled he always encouraged her to come first in test and to never be afraid to call turds turds.
His other daughter, Dzifa, thanked everyone who bought books and pamphlets from her father as it helped finance her education. She said while she and her father butted heads when she was a teenager, after college the two would have intellectual discussions.
She recalled telling him to soften his message, but he told her, “If you put lipstick on a pig, does it stop being a pig?” Every hero has an Achilles heel, she said, and for her father it was pride, stubbornness and fierce independence. She added he did his best and knew she loved him despite his flaws.
“Dad, you made me a better human.” Independent Senator Paul Richards spoke on behalf of Power 102 FM, where Job had worked for a decade.
“Many people loved him and an equal number of people had different emotions.” Richards said he would miss Job’s amazing intellect, pioneering academic research and sharp tongue.
“Trinidad and Tobago was better for having a son of the soil like him.”
Tobago House of Assembly representative Kwesi Des Vignes described Job, originally from Belle Garden, Tobago, as one of the island’s proud exports. The country was better for having a builder like him, said Des Vignes, and his legacy would live on.
Caleb Phillip, a friend and “follower” of Job, recited a prayer in which he also described Job as a prophet. “May his message continue to enlighten us and our generations, so that our young people will live a God-fearing life, free from crime and violence.”
Bob Gopee, a friend of Job since his days at the University of the West Indies in 1963, said after his death he received condolences from the UK, Canada and several islands in the Caribbean.
“I do not know anyone who has been labelled in so many ways: agriculturalist, agricultural economist, politician, author, pamphleteer, talk-show host, senior civil servant, prophet, musician, newspaper columnist, farmer and...the Socrates of TT.”
He recalled Job’s span of knowledge and said his late mother Elvira encouraged him to read everything. Job engendered the ire of many, he said, but was loved by many and respected by all.
Among those at the funeral were Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar and a number of Opposition politicians. Representing the Government was Tobago East MP Ayanna Webster-Roy. There were economists, trade unionists , calypsonians and members of the diplomatic corps.
During the service the congregation sang Frank Sinatra’s My Way, which includes the lines “The record shows, I took the blows and did it my way.”