Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2015 Contents and TTT.
During those six days,
Pantin and Medeira
forged a closer bond,
each depending on the
other for support.
"Raoul called me the
general and he was cor-
poral because we took
the lead of dealing with
the Muslimeen on the
inside and we were able
to pave the way to deal
with the uprising. I
would never forget the
role Raoul played,"
But the memories of
those dark days stayed
"Raoul has always
confided in me that he
has never been able to
get over it and he always
felt that justice had never
really been served but I
always assured him and
let him know we had
secured a victory by get-
ting the people out of
"A hole has now been
created in the journalistic
profession...he was the
"Raoul was one of the
producers of the News
Makers programmes, a
of the days events.
"The programme got
us into trouble with the
government of the day.
There was a bloody
Tuesday march which
the police had broken up
and we had covered
some elements of it but
the government was
upset about it. The sta-
tion s management fired
a number of journalists,
Madeira then went off
to Caricom while Pantin
joined the Trinidad
Their paths, however,
reconnected at the now
defunct Trinidad and
Tobago Television (TTT).
"Raoul did an excel-
lent job in producing the
review...he had a natural
eye for the news,"
While producing the
news on July 27, 1990
Pantin s and Medeira s
life changed forever.
They were caught in
the invasion of the 114
members of the Jamaat
al Muslimeen who
stormed the Red House
One of T&T s most-
gifted and prolific jour-
nalists was how
columnist Raoul Pantin
was epitomised as trib-
utes continued to pour
in after his passing yes-
He was 71. Pantin,
who worked in the print,
broadcast and television
media for several years,
died in his sleep at his
home in Port-of-Spain.
He was also the screen-
writer for the locally-
made film Bim.
His daughter, Man-
disa, herself a writer, said
the family was still in
shock over her father s
Close friend and col-
league for many years
Jones P Madeira, editor-
in-chief at Newsday, said
he knew Pantin for most
of his professional life.
Pantin began his
career at NBS Radio 610
in 1962 and joined the
Trinidad Daily Mirror a
He went on to work
as a political and busi-
ness reporter for the
T&T Guardian and the
Trinidad Express, of
which he was a former
events in which the two
worked together, Madeira
said while at Radio 610
he remembered Pantin
running afoul with the
government of the day.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, January 15, 2015
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The attorney representing a man who allegedly
entered a secondary school with a gun and assaulted
two schoolboys wants a "media blackout" in the
In the San Fernando Magistrate s Court where
accused Jerome Mahabir is facing three charges, attor-
ney Ainsley Lucky complained that the media were
printing erroneous information "much to the detriment
of public awareness."
Mahabir, 24, of St Margaret s Village, Claxton Bay,
is charged with two counts of common assault on the
14-year-old boys and possession of a .380 revolver.
The charge arose from an alleged incident at the
Gasparillo Composite School on December 4. Charges
were laid by WPC Serah-Jane Dindial.
Complaining to Senior Magistrate Nanette Forde-
John in the First Court yesterday, Lucky said there
was a matter of great urgency he wished to bring to
the court s attention.
Lucky said: "We are undergoing an exercise in
response to a problem that is largely one of the media s
creation and in pursuit of fairness a blackout would
guarantee parity and no trial by press or public."
The magistrate, who is sitting in for resident mag-
istrate Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington while
he is on leave, did not respond. Mahabir is not in cus-
tody as he was able to secure bail. On his third appear-
ance in court on December 17 he was granted $85,000
bail. As a condition of the bail, he was ordered to stay
100 yards away from the school.
The matter was adjourned to February 9.
Sunity Maharaj, managing director of the Lloyd
Best Institute of the West Indies, in her tribute to
Pantin said apart from his two daughters writing
was his life.
"He was fierce on the subject of journalistic integrity
and independence and simply couldn t fathom anything
less. The body of work that he leaves with us stands
as testimony to his disciplined, single-mindedness in
the service of his gift of writing.
"He is singular for the range of his writing which
includes six plays, the screenplay for Bim, two volumes
of poetry, three published books with a fourth in the
making, and a career s worth of quality journalism.
The scope of Raoul Pantin as one of our most sub-
stantial writers remains to be explored," Maharaj said.
journalist---dies at 71
wants media gag
Sunity: His works
are his testimony
President of the
who also paid
tribute to Pantin
describing him as
"He was always
writer and he was
MORE THAN A REPORTER
Former editor-in-chief of the T&T Guardian Judy
Raymond said her first memory of Pantin was of
him walking around the ground-floor of The
Express newsroom, decades ago, saying: "This is
That, she added, was his catchphrase.
"It was part of Raoul's carapace, the image he
built of himself as a macho, hard-bitten
journalist. But there was even more, this
time unbearable pressure during the 1990
coup attempt, in which Raoul was caught up
as a hostage at TTT.
He was never the same again. It left him
one of the walking wounded and shattered a
lot of illusions, not only about Trinidad but
also about himself," Raymond said.
She said Pantin soldiered on and
eventually in some respects
"Though it was wishful
thinking---or perhaps a
wish to keep some things
private---that made him
write at the end of his
book on the coup that
he 'got on the bus and
lived happily ever
after.' The next time our paths crossed in a
newsroom he was still struggling to deal with the
fallout from the coup attempt but then it was only
in 2007 he was able to write the book, an indication
of how deep a shadow it cast over his life,"
Since the news of Pantin's death, she
said people talked about him as a
"But I am not sure how many of
them were around to actually read
his work when he was in his
heyday. I think as a journalist, he
was at his best when he was on
the ball and offered down-to-
earth, salty commentary.
"In another country perhaps he
could have devoted himself to creative
writing full-time and made a living from
"Journalism is a harsh taskmaster even for
those not caught up in a violent insurrection.
It can target their fragilities, and the
pressure Raoul complained about so
insouciantly before July 1990 was nothing
compared to the pressure now," Raymond
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