5 inducted into CIC hall of fame
By Rachael Espinet Monday, October 14 2013
Giving all students and alumni of St Mary’s College something to aspire too, five distinguished men were inducted into the College’s Hall of Fame last Tuesday, during the school’s ninth induction ceremony at its Frederick St, Port-of-Spain compound.
Brigadier General Joseph L Theodore (who passed away on September 21), sportsman Alexander Bernard Chapman, Father Angus Fraser, cardiologist Dr Winston Ince, and engineer Michael Jay Williams were all honoured by the school’s Past Student Union.
“In a society where our focus tends to be on the negative, on the ills, I speak in the capacity of knowing these men who have done great things, who have helped in the development of not just our young men, but to develop our society as a whole,” the school’s acting principal Nigel Joseph said.
According to the school’s Hall of Fame magazine, the St Mary’s Hall of fame was established on October 9, 1997 by the St Mary’s College Past Students’ Union to recognise “outstanding past students, and other individuals associated with the College, who by their deeds of excellence, serve as exemplars to past and present students.”
John Allum, president of the school’s past student union, said the Hall of Fame consists of “men distinguished in every walk of life who owe their first intellectual stimulation to St Mary’s.”
Brigadier Theodore was also honoured for his dedicated career to the military and service to his country.
“His love for the military began while attending St Mary’s College. Where he became a member of the Cadet Corps and attained the rank of Sergeant Major,” said past student Greg Mannette.
After leaving College Theodore continued his service in the Corps as an Adult Warrant Officer. He went on to serve as a commissioned Officer in the Jamaica Local Forces regiment, the West India Regiment and the Jamaica Defense Force before returning to take up an appointment in the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment. In 1995, after he retired, Theodore became a Senator and the Minister of National Security for five years. During his tenure he implemented the National E999 Rapid Response System; an automated fingerprinting system, a highway patrol unit; the community policing programme; and computerisation of the police station.
Among the many medals and awards he received was the Queen’s Medal (Army) for Rifle Shooting, the Jamaica Independence Medal, and the Public Service Medal of Merit in 1991. For 60 years Alexander Bernard Chapman, 86, has made sports administration his career. His dedication to weight lifting and managing Trinidad and Tobago teams solidified his spot in the Hall of Fame.
In 1954, the then 27-year-old was selected as the manager and weightlifting coach of the Trinidad and Tobago team to the then British Empire and Commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada. With the exception of the 1974 and 1986 games, Chapman attended all the Commonwealth Games until 2011.
Following a successful career of managing the country’s athletics teams, in the Olympics, Pan American Games, and Central American Games, Chapman received many accolades both internationally and locally.
He was awarded an honourary medal from the International Weightlifting Federation, Merit Award from the Associations of National Olympic Committees, he was inducted into the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Hall of Fame and in 1983 he was awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Silver), for long and meritorious contribution to sport.
Fr Angus Fraser, 82, another inductee is responsible for the more than 20 men entering the priesthood. He is the founder and Master General of Via Christi Society, a public association that is aspiring to become a Society of Apostolic Life of Diocesan Right. This society’s main objective is to guide young men into becoming priests.
Fraser, who was born in the predominantly Anglican country of St Vincent, became a Catholic “by accident”. One day the young man was going to an Anglican church when he stumbled on a Catholic church. Curious about the building he cautiously entered the church.
At that time, there was tension between the Catholic and Anglican community, and there were many stories told of Catholics whipping non-Catholics if they dared to enter the sacred grounds of the church. Fraser called out to another boy who was about to enter the Church and asked if he would be all right for him to go inside or if he would be beaten, and the boy said “Of course, go inside. It’s a Church. Anybody can go in at anytime.”
Fraser enjoyed himself during that mass and from that day, he dedicated himself to the Catholic Church. Fraser moved to Trinidad to attend Mount St Benedict’s College. In his final year he made the decision to become a priest. He went to St Mary’s College to speak to the principal, Fr James Brett about becoming a priest. Fraser finished his higher certificate studies at St Mary’s. He was eventually posted to the Holy Ghost Theological College, Dublin, Ireland where he was ordained in 1959.
Dr Winston Ince, 83, a cardiology pioneer in Trinidad and Tobago originally won an exhibition to attend Naparima College. However, he was determined to become a “Saint” and in January 1942 he enrolled in St Mary’s College. In 1945 he won a Junior House Scholarship, and he was the runner up for the Island Scholarship in Science. Ince pursued his studies in various British universities including Acton Technical College in London, Cambridge University, and the University College Hospital, London.
Eventually specialising in cardiology, Ince spent more than 50 years focusing on clinical medicine, clinical cardiology and teaching. For more than 25 years he managed and developed the paediatric and adult cardiology service at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital – revolutionising the field.
In 1978 he introduced echocardiography to the hospital. Among his many accomplishments was the securing of open heart surgery free of charge for more than 100 children with congenital heart disease from the late 60s to the late 80s. He was also the private physician to prime ministers and heads of state for many years.
Michael Jay Williams, 84, founder of Century Eslon Limited, the first and most prominent manufacturer of PFC pipes and fittings in Trinidad and Tobago, was both an engineer and a politician. Williams was one of the first members of the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR). When the party won the 1986 general elections, he was elected to the post of President of the Senate.
After his retirement, Williams developed his hobby for repairing clocks and has restored the clocks at Mount St Benedict, San Fernando City Hall, Trinity Cathedral and St Mary’s College, among others.
Roman Catholic Archbishop Joseph Harris noted that these five men have all displayed four distinct qualities of any leader, by defying the status quo, always being available to serve others, being inclusive of all people and most importantly to the Archbishop, being able to speak the truth to those in power.
“The ability to speak the truth to power even when the power has the ability to do harm that is the most important thing this school can give to its students. No country can reach its fullest potential unless we have that willingness to speak true to power that is a necessity in this land of ours.
“You inductees have demonstrated that ability. You inductees have given us the courage to live with the willingness to speak true to power. ” Archbishop Harris said.