FISHING POND community activist and ex-politician Prakash Ramkissoon has died.
Ramkissoon, a former PNM councillor, passed away at his home on Wednesday. He was 70.
The affable Ramkissoon, fondly called Prak, was also the organiser of the popular Fishing Pond Football League for over 30 years.
Using the league as a platform, Ramkissoon advocated for better roads and upgrades to the Fishing Pond Recreation Ground – drainage, a pavilion and dressing room, and floodlights.
In 2018 the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation gave its commitment to instal lights at the ground.
However, because of covid19 Ramkissoon was never able to use the lights for his community events, which also included a windball cricket competition.
Ramkissoon, a father of three, was keen on inclusivity and wanted to hold a women's football competition, but the absence of proper facilities at the ground curtailed his plans.
He viewed the football as an event to bring the community together and earn revenue for small entrepreneurs selling sugar cake, pholourie and other items around the ground.
Former Sangre Grande Regional Corporation chairman Terry Rondon on Thursday paid tribute to Ramkissoon.
"Prak, besides being a (former) PNM councillor, he taught me a lot about politics and in so doing, the community.
"That competition that he carried on, that meant a lot for Fishing Pond."
Rondon described Ramkissoon as a selfless person and strong advocate for his community.
"When he asked, he never asked for himself – always the community.
"He was highly respected. Fishing Pond and environs have lost a great man – an organiser to the fullest. Very saddened to hear of his passing."
Rondon said he was always willing to facilitate Ramkissoon's requests.
"When he came to me, as councillor for area I made sure I did anything on the face of the earth for Fishing Pond to get the lights. He came to me to develop the ground. He had just came to me to get a mini pavilion, but there was a problem with neighbour land adjoining the ground.
"I admire him, full of integrity, Prakash Ramkissoon."
Hayden Diaz, manager/coach of Dream Team FC, winners of the 2019 Fishing Pond Football League – the last organised by Ramkissoon – described him as an icon.
"Everything with Prak, all the years go through, anything he want to do he will call me: 'Help me with this, help me with that.' It wouldn't have anyone to replace him in the community."
Diaz added, "He was always a person into the development of Fishing Pond. It's not for he, it's for the people.
"All he was trying to do was for the betterment of Fishing Pond."
He said Ramkissoon leaves big shoes to fill.
"To pick up the baton is one (thing), but to be honest with everyone, to do thing by the books (is another).
"Anybody coming to replace Prak in Fishing Pond football has to come with a same attitude, same amount of respect for the game and the people."
Boys Town FC manager Darryl Miranda said Ramkissoon was a father figure to him.
"I remember him as a good person. Good community man. From since I interacting with him, I consider him as a father.
"Same thing I tell his wife. He was a good one in the community. Every person who knows the man love the man. I go miss him. Any little advice I would go to him."
Miranda said Ramkissoon was eagerly looking forward to the resumption of local football to host his next competition.
The funeral for Ramkissoon will take place at 1pm on Saturday at the Fishing Pond Presbyterian Church.