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Tears for brave son

By Andre Bagoo Monday, September 1 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Comforting: Prematee Seucharan is comforted by Chief Justice Ivor Archie's wife, Denise, as she wept for her son Nicholas who received a posthumous ho...
Comforting: Prematee Seucharan is comforted by Chief Justice Ivor Archie's wife, Denise, as she wept for her son Nicholas who received a posthumous ho...

PREMATEE Seucharan, the mother of Nicholas Seucharan — who drowned after saving two boys at sea — yesterday broke down in tears as she accepted the Hummingbird Silver on behalf of her son at the Independence Day Awards ceremony, Queen’s Hall, St Ann’s.

Thirty-year-old Seucharan died on March 3. Yesterday, his mother could not contain her emotion as she accepted the award on behalf of her son from President Anthony Carmona.

She began to cry as she made her way along the line-up of dignitaries gathered at the rostrum, including Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Chief Justice Ivor Archie.

Each official whispered words of comfort to her. But by the time she reached Archie’s wife, Denise, the Chief Justice’s wife had to hold on to her firmly and console her.

“I feel honoured to receive the award on behalf of my son,” Prematee later told reporters. “But it is very hard. I love him. I would have preferred to have had him here than to have to have the award on his behalf.”

Businessman Issa Nicholas, who received the nation’s second highest award, Chaconia Gold, told Newsday, “I am very happy to receive this great honour. I am grateful. I will enjoy it and I will keep serving my country.” He had two words of advice for young entrepreneurs: “Keep working.”

Former Independent Senator Reverend Daniel Teelucksingh paraphrased scripture: “I shall not pass this way but once; if there is any good that I can do let me do it now for Trinidad and Tobago. This is a great opportunity. I must have done something good in my youth. There is an award out there for everyone. This, for me, means my work is not yet finished.” He received the Public Service Medal (Gold).

Pastor Clive Dottin, recipient of Chaconia Silver for Religion/Edu­cation/Community Service said, touched on the murder of Dana Seetahal SC, whose family will receive a posthumous award, Chaconia Gold, at a later date. Seetahal’s sister, Susan Francois, although grateful for the recognition to the prominent attorney had expressed disappointment she had not been honoured with the Order of the Republic, the nation’s highest award. (See page 10)

“I want to say the killing of Dana Seetahal must not be lost upon us. I am thinking of her sister. I think you have to pray for this family.

“We have to not criticise at this time whether it should be the Order of the Republic or not,” Dottin said.

Jowelle Taylor de Souza, who received the Hummingbird Silver for Community Service, said, “I am grateful.” Said to be the first case of sex re-assignment surgery in the country and eying a political career, she campaigned moments after receiving her award saying, “Place more care on animals.”

“I feel elated and very honoured,” said former Minister of Education Dr Daphne Phillips.

Kendell Charles, brother of steelband innovator Rudolph “The Hammer” Charles, said, “I am grateful to be accepting this award. I was really expecting him to get a higher award. When you compare him to this (Brian) Copeland guy. When you compare the two it is a big difference. My brother lived for pan.” Charles was awarded the Chaconia Silver. Copeland was awarded the Order of the Republic in 2008.

The awards ceremony was punctuated with light moments and some bloopers. Prematee was wrongly described as Nicholas’ wife; two recipients embraced the Prime Minister and playfully seemed to be aiming for a kiss. Moments later a priest, in full robes, accepted on behalf of one awardee.

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