Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2014 Contents B6
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt June 29, 2014
Tributes poured in for Siew Ramadhar, the
father of Congress of the People (COP) political
leader Prakash Ramadhar, at his funeral last week
Tuesday at the family home in Mission Road,
Freeport. Siew, 85, died at the Eric Williams Med-
ical Sciences Complex the previous Saturday.
President Anthony Carmona, Garvin Nicholas,
T&T s former high commissioner to the United
Kingdom, and other members of Parliament attend-
ed the funeral, as well as many friends, colleagues
and wellwishers. The funeral service was followed
by cremation at the Waterloo Cremation Facility
in a Hindu ceremony led by Pundit Rudranath
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar paid
tribute to Siew Ramadhar in a statement on June
24 in which she recalled his life:
"Mr Ramadhar, who was born on May 6, 1930,
worked first as a teacher at the Freeport Presbyterian
School and later moved to the sugar industry, work-
ing as a bookkeeper. In the early 1950s, he invested
$55 to start his own retail business as a grocery
"Through his diligence and dedication, he pro-
gressed from selling to villagers from his donkey
cart, to the prosperous grocery business he operated
until his death.
"He instilled in his family the values of truth,
fairness, honesty and integrity. Throughout his life
he was active in cultural activities and worked
closely with members of his community to keep
his religion and culture alive.
"Mr Ramadhar also had a passion for animals,
and together with his children, he operated a small
hobby farm, tending to the cows, sheep and goats
with love," said the Prime Minister. While mourning
his death, she also celebrated his life, which she
said "was an example of all that s good."
Siew Ramadhar, of Mission Road, Freeport, was
the husband of Samdaye Ramadhar, the father of
seven children (Prakash, Sabita, Kishore, Vidia,
Taran, Lidia and Babita) and a grandfather of four.
Prakash Ramadhar, Minister of Legal Affairs,
paid tribute to his father at the funeral, saying that
Siew had been a great father, husband, father-in-
law and grandfather. He said that as a boy, seeing
the injustices his father faced in life had propelled
him (Prakash) to want to become a lawyer: he later
became a criminal defense attorney before entering
At the funeral, Siew was honoured for his close
family ties---it was said he was a man who treasured
his family and found value in all people.
Siew Ramadhar s granddaughter, Vandana
Ramadhar, gave the eulogy. She said her grandfather
was a "beacon of light to our family," who grew
up in an era of hard work and sacrifice, having
worked in both the rice and sugarcane fields "to
make ends meet."
"He realised education was a vehicle to upward
mobility for his family and placed an emphasis on
education as it was the passport to life," Vandana
Siew had run a village parlour under his late
father s home, and expanded the business suc-
cessfully. He was a peaceful man who took active
part in the community life of Freeport, and who
shared with others freely, said a funeral speaker.
Siew "saw divinity and charity and humility in
everyone," said a mourner.
Prakash Ramadhar said his father Siew would
sometimes wonder about T&T s movement into
an "abysmal path"---but his optimism led him to
the belief that T&T could renew itself. Siew felt
Trinidadians had the "capacity, the wit and the
intelligence to ignite a new era---whether in politics,
in commerce, in national development or in the
total sociology of our nation," said Prakash.
Siew was a man who read widely,
including works by Gandhi, Tagore, Nehru,
Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, and
varied religious texts; he liked to encourage
everyone to read the "wisdom of the ages,"
and had adopted the German humanitarian
Albert Schweitzer s "reverence for life"
philosopy. Siew had been a hopeful man,
as well as a pragmatist, said his son
Prakash. At the funeral, Siew s daughter
Vandana reflected on her father s nature:
"He was the patriarch of the family and
was always concerned about the welfare
of his parents, children and grandchildren...
He was stoic in nature and a no-nonsense
man. But to his grandchildren, he was
'A great family man'
Mourners honour Central businessman Siew Ramadhar
"He instilled in his
family the values of
honesty and integrity.
Throughout his life he
was active in cultural
activities and worked
closely with members
of his community to
keep his religion and
PRIME MINISTER KAMLA PERSAD-
BISSESSAR IN TRIBUTE TO SIEW
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