Terry Rondon mourned as servant of all the people

SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE: Martin "Terry" Rondon


Martin "Terry" Rondon, longstanding former Toco councillor and Sangre Grande Regional Corporation (SGRC) chairman, has died.

His daughter Josanne Rondon told Newsday he died on Tuesday of a heart attack.

She said he had just returned from physical therapy and complained of feeling unwell.

“He was cold-sweating, and his body was heavy. He couldn't come out of the car. He asked us to put him on the bed, and when we did, my mother realised that something was wrong.

“We called the ambulance, and they told us what to do, but by the time they came, that was it.”

Rondon, 74, had been ailing for some time after having surgery.

Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi described Rondon as a community champion, saying, “His leadership went beyond numbers and victories; it changed lives for the better.”

Though Rondon was a  PNM representative, Al-Rawi added, “Terry's wisdom transcended party lines, guiding and shaping destinies. In power, he stood unwavering, symbolising dedication to cherished principles. Beyond politics, Terry was a true community man, offering a helping hand and inspiration in times of need.”

He said Rondon was “generous to the core” and his actions “spoke volumes.”

His legacy, said Al-Rawi, "endures in the lives he touched and the spirit of service he exemplified – a giant whose impact transcends the confines of time.”

Speaking in the Senate, Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan also expressed his sadness at the death of a man he called a stalwart in local government.

“On behalf of the government and myself and my family, I just want to extend condolences to the family of Mr Terry Rondon, who would have done yeoman service to this country at the local government.”

Many of his local government counterparts praised Rondon for his ability to put aside political persuasions and see the plight of the common man.

“With him, there was never any UNC or PNM,” said another former chairman of the SGRC, Anil Juteram. 

“UNC supporters told me if there was a death in their family, if Rondon knew or if they reached out to him, he was the first person to come and drop a tent or a couple of chairs for them. 

"His heart was really for the poor people, especially the people of Toco and environs. He cared a lot for them. He served those people tirelessly for almost 28 years in local government.”

“He taught us, as younger politicians, that whenever we come onto the SGRC’s compound, we should leave the symbols outside. He said to us, ‘Leave the balisier and the rising sun downstairs. When you come here, inside the sacred halls of the SGRC, you must see people and fight for people.’ And I cherished that till the end of my tenure.”

MP for Toco/Sangre Grande Roger Munroe said the community has lost “a giant of a man with a big heart for people.

“He taught me a lot in terms of representation, and he always told me to make sure I put the people first and make sure I serve the people selflessly. He also had his little quotes about representation, like, ‘Good for one, good for all,’ and, ‘Every mouth shall be fed.’

“He was someone that I emulate and who, in my eyes, was a true leader and a true representative, not to some of the people, but to all of the people. He was always willing to help...He put aside party politics, and he represented every single person in this constituency. That is what I would remember him for.”

Current SGRC chairman Kenwyn Phillip said Rondon’s death had left him speechless since they spoke less than 24 hours before he died.

He said he had intended to invite Rondon to the corporation’s upcoming statutory meeting as a guest since Rondon had been unable to attend any of the corporation’s other recent events.

Funeral arrangements have not yet been revealed, but Phillip said the SGRC will assist Rondon’s family in any way possible.

“I will be reaching out to the family. I will also liaise with my council members and the SGRC CEO to see how best the corporation could assist. We will be working closely with the family to ensure that they get all the support we can offer.”

The PNM issued a press release praising Rondon’s “legacy of service, national pride, decency as a human being and an unwavering love for his fellow man.”

“Uncle Terry, as he was affectionately called by all who knew him, was the quintessential Trinbagonian man for all seasons. 

“A consummate gentleman and servant, he dedicated all of his life to be of service to the people of TT, and more specifically, to be an active participant in the development of his beloved northeast Trinidad region."


"Terry Rondon mourned as servant of all the people"

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