Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 6th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
TUESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
The Tobago trip which late for-
mer People s National Movement
(PNM) general secretary and
minister Martin Joseph was on
when he drowned yesterday had
been planned as his last trip to
the sister isle until after steering
the party through the 2015 gen-
This was the recollection of for-
mer PNM treasurer Andre Mon-
teil, with whom Joseph spent his
last few hours on earth before
Joseph drowned at Grange Bay,
Tobago, early yesterday.
"I bawled down the place like
a baby. I make no apologies for
that," a grief-stricken Monteil told
T&T Guardian yesterday. He
would have been 65 this year.
He follows his mother, Sybil,
who died in 2011, and brother,
calypsonian Sedley "Penguin"
Joseph, who died in 2013.
Both Mrs Joseph and Sedley
died around the same time of the
year--- in February and January
respectively --- and now Martin
also has died around the same
Monteil, Joseph and a group of
friends had been holidaying at Old
Grange "chilling out" since January
1 and normally did exercises every
After a full early morning
regime yesterday, Joseph told
Monteil he was going to take a dip
in the sea and set off to the nearby
beach with another gentleman.
"The last thing he did was give
me the (TV) remote control and
torchlight through the gate and
he left and I went to take a show-
er," Monteil said.
Monteil was later horrified at
the sight of the household s
domestic assistant who came in
bawling that "Mr Martin drown."
In shock yesterday and speaking
in a grief-stricken monotone,
Monteil muttered: "It was just a
dip he was going to take, a dip, to
wash off the sweat, just a dip...
he couldn t swim... but the riptide
Others said the man who had
accompanied Joseph into the water
also got into difficulty and fought
the riptide as well, floating for 15
minutes on his back before he
could get out of danger.
The man, severely traumatised,
had to be hospitalised but was
subsequently released yesterday.
They said Joseph s body, floating
on the water, was visible from the
house where his colleagues were
staying. It was retrieved by police,
The People s National Movement has been
thrown into mourning with the death of former
national security minister Martin Joseph.
Joseph died after getting into difficulties while
swimming at Grange Bay, Tobago, yesterday.
According to reports, Joseph was staying at
the Skylark Villa, Running Ground, Mt Irvine,
when he left with his friend George Caruth, of
Haland Park, Maraval, around 7 am to take a
swim at the nearby Grange Bay.
Joseph got into difficulty while swimming
and Caruth s attempts to assist him were unsuc-
cessful due to the strong currents.
Calls were made to the Old Grange Police
Station and PCs Marlon Quamina and Baird
responded. They saw Joseph s body floating
some distance away when they arrived and
called the T&T Coast Guard but they never
With the assistance of 17-year-old Zen Orion,
PC Quamina swam out and retrieved the body
around 8.50 am.
District Medical Officer Dr Kale Ferguson vis-
ited the scene, examined the body and ordered
it removed to the Scarborough Hospital mortuary
for an autopsy.
The body was identified by Caruth and former
Clico director Andre Monteil, who were both
staying at the villa with Joseph.
Quamina, of the Old Grange Police Station,
is continuing investigations.
Grange Bay is a small beach just before the
entrance to the popular Mt Irvine Bay Hotel.
The beach is known for its current, rough waters
and huge swells and is frequented by surfers
from all over the world. Grange Bay is not
patrolled by lifeguards.
In an immediate response, PNM deputy polit-
ical leader and Tobago House of Assembly Chief
Secretary Dr Orville London said Joseph s per-
sonality was unique and noted that he was the
brainchild of many campaigns for the party.
London said Joseph was responsible for many
positive things in the party and by extension
the country, adding T&T had suffered a great
He added: "There is only one Martin Joseph
to be quite honest, meticulous, professional, an
individual who always brought to an election
campaign and to the dealing with that rigour
which is sometimes not available during the
early stages of the campaign season.
"I think if there was one person who was
responsible for structuring the campaign that
would have led to that overwhelming victory
that we had in last Assembly elections it would
have been Martin Joseph, but from a personal
level he was private person but a good friend,
a good comrade a good colleague."
Monteil, shaken up by pal's death, says:
He just went for dip PNM mourning
Crime Scene Investigators view the body of former national security minister Martin Joseph on the
Old Grange Beach yesterday. PHOTO: CASANDRA THOMPSON-FORBES
The last time Joseph was in the news was in
July 2012 when he was tied up and robbed in
July 2012 at his home at Flagstaff Hill by a gun-
Joseph had valiantly tried to wrestle the gun
away from the robber but both he and his
stepson were tied up. Joseph later untied himself,
escaped and called for help. He told the T&T
Guardian then: "Nothing happened to me. I'm
At that time, then People's Partnership
National Security Minister Jack Warner had been
set to explore one of Joseph's ideas under the
Patrick Manning government: that of a gun court
and gun amnesty.
St Ann's East MP from 1995 to 2002 and a
Cabinet minister from 2001, Joseph also chaired
and served on a number of state boards under
the PNM from PTSC, NFM, Housing to NIB and
had also been chairman of CICTE and the OAS
Department for Counter Terrorism.
He is also credited with helping Caricom,
developing policy eventually leading to the
formation of Caricom IMPACS, the regional
security apparatus. (See Pages A5 and A10)
To T&T however, he was best known as the
Manning administration's (often pressured)
security minister from 2003, fighting to grapple
with spiralling crime at the time---particularly
kidnapping and murder rates---until a drop in the
kidnapping rate arose during his tenure over
At many a Whitehall post-Cabinet press
conference, Joseph experienced a "grilling" from
reporters but always set out the case on the
crime-fighting problem he and the Police Service
faced, being blunt, forthright and sometimes
plaintive in enunciating the challenges he
As PNM general secretary, Joseph was the
chief architect of several of the party's winning
campaigns and a regional political consultant
whose mapping strategies helped more than one
regional leader win elections.
Former PNM chairman Conrad Enill, with
whom Joseph served as general secretary,
"I knew him for over 14 years, operating both
in government and the party. Apart from being
PNM's strategist he was an expert on PNM's
"One of the things he did which worked well
for PNM was when he was doing things he liked
in the election process, he would train others... the
hallmark of a good leader.
"He was very passionate about T&T but some
of his most trying times was in National Security
where despite his best efforts success eluded
him, though he had some successes.
"He was also instrumental in modernising
infrastructure we see today and he was also in
the vanguard of the move to start transforming
the Police Service. He brought his talents as a
human resource expert to his work. His motto
was 'Build To Last.' Hopefully that will be his
legacy." (Gail Alexander)
HE BROUGHT KIDNAPPING DOWN
Monteil had been close friends
with Joseph since their days of
bringing home the Mayaro seat for
PNM in 2002.
He said Joseph, in his final days
in Tobago, had been happy and re-
laxed but was also busy focussing
on plans for PNM's election cam-
paign which he was helping to
Monteil said: "During the time we
were there, he was all about watch-
ing his football on TV, planning for
the US Superbowl event particu-
larly, and planning his strategies to
beat the UNC.
"He assured everyone he was on
the right road and that the only per-
son in T&T who could speak with
authority on anti-corruption issues
was (PNM leader) Keith Rowley.
"He was very upbeat and posi-
tive upbeat all the time we were
here. After his swim, I knew he had
planned to come back and do some
heavy reading to review things for
his campaign preparation work, as
he had a campaign meeting on Fri-
day and had been doing lots of re-
He added: "Martin had planned
to do this (trip) as his last one to
Tobago until after the election.
After the election he said he didn't
want anything (in government) so
we had planned, talking last year, to
go on safari to Africa.
"Then Ebola hit, so then we said
we would do a cruise down the
Yangtze River in China. He had
Joseph was working with PNM
deputy political leader Rohan
Sinanan on the election campaign.
Sinanan was recently named as
Joseph's replacement as campaign
manager but the former minister
was retained as the second in com-
mand due to his experience.
Joseph, who held degrees in eco-
nomics and geography/regional sci-
ence, also held an associate degree
in marine sciences.
Monteil also witnessed the au-
topsy on Joseph's body, conducted
by Dr Hughvon DesVignes, yester-
INTENSE CAMPAIGN WORK
for 02ND JANUARY, 2015
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