Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 10th 2014 Contents A13
Friday, January 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The powerful voices of the Fati-
ma College choir filled St Theresa s
RC Church, Woodbrook, yesterday,
at the funeral mass for Fr Michel
de Verteuil. He died Sunday morn-
Archbishop Joseph Harris deliv-
ered the homily during the mass
and bid farewell to a friend, father
He praised de Verteuil for his
guidance and advice throughout
their friendship, saying it made him
into the priest he was today.
"If it were not for Fr Michel
pushing me beyond what I thought
I was capable of, I would never have
done what I did," he revealed.
Harris admitted he was unsure
of himself as a young man because
of "physical problems."
"My hands shook tremendously.
I was uncertain I would reach
But when Harris met de Verteuil
in 1965, he was encouraged to over-
come his initial fear of not being
good enough to become ordained
and was strongly advised to com-
plete his masters and doctorate.
"He told me don t be afraid. He
said to take courage. If God wants
you to be a priest, you ll be a priest. "
Harris said it was likely de Ver-
teuil touched everyone s life in a
"Michel liberated so many of us
held captive by our fears, insecurities
and lack of self-confidence. He let
us know we were free and capa-
He said de Verteuil influenced so
many people, including T&T s first
locally-born Archbishop, Anthony
"He helped Archbishop Pantin
become the bishop he was."
De Verteuil, 84, a member of the
Holy Ghost Fathers (HGF) since
1950 and former managing editor
of the Catholic News, was the first
local rector of the regional seminary
at Mt St Benedict.
He became a member of the HGF
congregation in 1950 and was
ordained in July 1959. He was a
priest for 53 years and held the
provincial position of the HGF from
1980 to 1992.
Harris recalled the last years of
de Verteuil s life, commending him
for accepting the limitations life
had put on him.
"He accepted it with a smile. He
will be a hard man to replace in the
minds of many... may he rest in
Fr de Verteuil was later buried at
the Lapeyrouse Cemetery.
Co-founder of Animals Alive T&T Rhonda
Cleghorn has called on the Government to shut-
down all animal pounds and replace them with
This was one of the recommendations put forward
to Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar who
donated $250,000 to the organisation for enhance-
ment work to its South Oropouche facility on
Stressing that euthanasia was not the solution to
reducing the rapidly-growing population of stray
dogs and cats, Cleghorn also called on Government
to sponsor spay and neuter programmes to stem
the animals from breeding.
Although many people prefer to live without stray
animals tearing apart their garbage bags and leaving
odorous faeces on the streets, she said it was citizens
abandonment and disregard for animals that have
led to an increasing stray population
She added: "Animal Alive does not believe that
euthanasia is the answer. We do have a "no-kill"
policy but that is not the only reason.
"Euthanasia does not eradicate the problem and
we need to control it at the source and the source
are humans. People must be empowered and encour-
aged to change their behaviour toward animal."
Among the recommendations put forward was
that Government implement stiffer penalties for
animal cruelty, enforcement of noise pollution laws
and use their model of animal care to set up more
Providing statistics, she said one unspayed female
dog could produce 67,000 puppies in six years while
a female cat can give birth to 420,000 kittens in
In addition to Government s intervention, she
said citizens could also help by adopting the animals
free of charge.
Urging citizens to adopt a pet, Persad-Bissessar
said animals played an important role in citizens
lives and that it was "wonderful thing" for children
to grow up with pets.
Harris bids farewell
to friend and father
Archbishop Joseph Harris speaks at the funeral service for Fr
Michel de Verteuil at the St Theresa's RC Church, Woodbrook,
yesterday. Seated in the background is Bishop Malcolm Galt.
PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Call to replace animal
pounds with shelters
Fr Michel de Verteuil
A 12-year-old schoolboy charged with
drug trafficking after marijuana was found
in his schoolbag was given a chance yester-
The Standard Five pupil of a government
primary school in San Fernando was repri-
manded and discharged by Magistrate Sui-
mongal Ramsaran which means that a con-
viction will not be recorded against him.
The boy, who was accompanied by his father,
pleaded guilty to the charge when he appeared
before the San Fernando Second court.
Although the amount was 0.3 grammes, he
was charged with trafficking because he was
on the school compound.
The law states that if a person is held with
illegal drugs within 500 metres of a school a
charge of trafficking is to be laid.
The court heard that around 12.20 pm on
Wednesday a cleaner searched the boy s bag
and found the drugs in a foil packet.
He initially told the police he found the
marijuana at the entrance of the school but
then claimed a schoolmate gave it to him.
His attorney Dane Halls said he was writing
the Secondary Entrance Assessment exam this
year and wanted to become a mechanical engi-
He said the boy s parents were separated
and he lived with his paternal grandmother.
The attorney asked that the child be rep-
rimanded and discharged because of his age.
The magistrate agreed but advised him to
focus on his SEA exams.
Boy with ganja in schoolbag gets chance
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