“I am deeply saddened to learn of the death of former parliamentarian and senior cabinet minister Mr. Errol Mahabir, who passed away peacefully on Saturday evening,” Mrs. Kamla Persad-Bissessar said Sunday in a media release. “He was an outstanding political icon who will be remembered for his sterling contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago, putting country ahead of partisan political interests,” she added.
The former Prime Minister noted that Mr. Mahabir served the people of Trinidad in various ministerial portfolios since he first entered electoral politics as the MP for San Fernando West in 1966, replacing Dr. Winston Mahabir. Prior to that he had been the Mayor of his hometown, San Fernando.
During the 20 years he spent in government Mr. Mahabir served in the ministries of Public Utilities, Industry and Commerce, Labour, Foreign Affairs and Petroleum and Mines. In his energy portfolio he oversaw the creation of the National Gas Company, which was conceptualized with a view to delivering offshore gas directly to the industries at the Point Lisas industrial estate and elsewhere, she said.
Mrs. Persad-Bissessar stated, “Mr. Mahabir was a committed and dedicated patriot who raised the profile of Trinidad and Tobago at home and abroad through his professionalism and his work ethic.
“He became one of the three Deputy Political leaders of the People’s National Movement (PNM) and was in line to be appointed Prime Minister on the death of Dr. Eric Williams in March 1981. However, on the recommendation of the party, President Ellis Clarke appointed George Chambers to the position, bypassing Mr. Mahabir and Mr. Kamaluddin Mohammed, the two more senior deputies. Mr. Mahabir retired from active politics following the 1986 general election when his party was swept out of office by the National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR).”
She added, “In 2010 my government awarded Mr. Mahabir the Chaconia Medal Gold for his long and dedicated service to Trinidad and Tobago.”
Commenting on Mr. Mahabir’s personal life, the leader of the United National Congress (UNC) said, “Mr. Mahabir rose from humble beginnings to national and international prominence but always remained grounded as a kind and loving family man who will be remembered by all whose lives he touched as a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend.
“His life after politics was dedicated to business interests assisting his family with the management of the Damus Group, and serving on numerous Boards of Directors in both the Public and Private Sectors.
“Trinidad and Tobago is poorer today with the loss of this humble and patriotic son. We will all miss him but never forget his contribution to building our nation. May his soul rest in peace.”
From: Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
Political Leader | United national Congress