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‘Steel King’ laid to rest

By CECILY ASSON Wednesday, August 15 2007

click on pic to zoom in
Helen Bhagwansingh at her brother's funeral yesterday. ...
Helen Bhagwansingh at her brother's funeral yesterday. ...

DANIEL RAMOUTARSINGH summed up his father’s life in one sentence: “His history, is the history of this nation.” Daniel made this declaration while speaking at the funeral service for his father, millionaire business mogul Jack Ramoutarsingh at St Benedict’s RC Church in La Romaine, a church he helped build.

The Mass which lasted almost three hours, was co-celebrated by five priests with Fr Emmanuel Pierre being the chief celebrant at the Mass. In an hour long eulogy, Daniel, 32, traced the life of his father from his early days as one of TT’s most successful businessmen to the period of recession when his “vast wealth was consumed with debt” and he was abandoned by many who “sent him straight to our arms and we had him all to ourselves.”

Last Thursday, Ramoutarsingh, 62, succumbed to a heart attack at the Surgi-Med Clinic in San Fernando – two days after he was warded at the clinic suffering with chest pains.

At the funeral, hundreds of persons from all walks of life including COP leader Winston Dookeran and political colleagues Sadiq Baksh, Adesh Nanan and Roodal Moonilal turned up to pay their last respects to the man dubbed the “steel king”, who once managed Dansteel.

In paying glowing tribute to his father, whom he described as “this little Indian boy from Marabella”, Daniel spoke of Ramoutarsingh’s business acumen, his tenacity, his love for steel, for life and commitment to family.

“My father dreamt big. He spoke in a timeless manner, he looked at things in a broad scope – this is why he was never shackled or condemned by history,” Daniel said.

Speaking of the deep love he had for his brother and sisters, Daniel went on to say: “He loved Helen (Bhagwansingh) dearly – he never wanted pettiness or jealousy to come between them.”

Earlier this year, Ramoutarsingh and his sister Helen, who manages the Bhagwansingh’s Hardware empire, were locked in a $32M legal battle over land.

The siblings eventually settled the matter out of court. Yesterday, Helen sat among close relatives at the front near the altar. Up until his death, Ramoutarsingh was managing director of Trinrico and was also the owner of several other companies.

After the service, Ramoutarsingh’s body was interred at the family’s sprawling Mayaro farm.

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