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HE LOVED US AND SPOILT US

By ALEXANDER BRUZUAL Sunday, September 22 2013

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Outpourings of love and condolences were sent to the family and friends of former National Security Minister and Chief of Defence Staff Brigadier General , who died after suffering a heart attack yesterday morning at the West Shore Medical Private Hospital.

His daughter Joanne told Sunday Newsday that her family was deeply saddened by the passing of her father, who played an instrumental part in their lives.

“My father was a great man, who dedicated his life for the betterment of this country. But aside from his national contributions, the thing is, he was just my Dad. And he did everything that loving fathers did. He took care of me and my sister Nicole, and loved us, and spoilt us. He was such a kind and loving person, who loved life, and he will be missed by all who knew him,” Joanne said.

She said her father had gotten his Canadian visa just a few days ago and was planning to go visit friends and family he hadn’t seen in a long time. She said he was also excited to be inducted into the Hall of Fame at his alma mater St Mary’s College.

“He had been recently told that he would be inducted in Hall of Fame at his past school in a ceremony to be held next month and he was very excited for that. He simply couldn’t wait,” Joanne said.

Theodore is survived by his daughters and three grand children, his wife having passed away five years ago.

Joanne said she had been in touch with officials from the TT Defence Force, who had expressed their condolences. Funeral plans are yet to be made, she said.

Speaking to Sunday Newsday, former opposition leader Basdeo Panday praised Brigadier General Theodore for the many contributions to Trinidad and Tobago. Theodore served as National Security Minister in the Panday administration. “When he was the head of the Ministry of National Security, he was an extremely efficient Minister. He got the job done, as he was mandated to. But more than that. He was a gentleman. “He was courteous, affable and very and hard working. Simply put, he was among the best men that I have ever met, and he certainly did his best in all that he did.

“As part of that team which I had set up during my tenure as Prime Minister to combat crime, he did a very good job at bringing the crime rate down across the board, and there are statistics to prove it. So I want to express my deepest sympathy and condolences to his family, and I pray that they would have the strength to make through this difficult time and their period of mourning,” Panday said. In a press release, TT Defence Force, via its Civil Military Affairs Officer Major Al Alexander expressed deepest condolences on the passing of the Brigadier General.

The release read, “”Joe T” as he was affectionately called had a long and illustrious career as a Military Officer in the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force.

“General Theodore was the Commanding Officer of the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment from 1979-1990 and later served as the third Chief of Defence Staff during the period 1990-1991 and it was he who in 1990 lead the successful charge against the Jamaat al Muslimeen in defence of our nation’s democracy.

“He is fondly remembered for his astute leadership and brilliant military mind while at the helm of the Force. Brig Gen Theodore later served as Minister of National Security from December 1995 - December 2000.

“The Chief of Defence Staff Major General Kenrick Maharaj, Officers and Enlisted Ranks of the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force mourn the loss General Theodore and extend deepest condolences to his family, friends and colleagues. May they receive strength and guidance from Almighty God during their time of grief.”

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