Cliffton De Coteau
FORMER Member of Parliament for Moruga/Tableland Cliffton De Coteau has passed away.
He served in the Kamla Persad-Bissessar cabinet from 2010 to 2015 and before that he was the local government representative for Inverness/Princes Town.
In 2013, he was hospitalised for bleeding in the brain.
An educator for most of his life, he was described as “one of our nation’s finest sons of the soil” by Persad-Bissessar in a release shortly after news of his passing on Friday.
De Coteau was a United National Congress vice chairman and education officer.
Persad-Bissessar said, “Clifton was a true stalwart of the United National Congress, offering our members, and by extension our nation, decades of committed service for the betterment of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
“Few people have had the distinguished honour of serving at all levels of our great party as Clifton did, a testament not only of his commitment to the UNC but dedication to our country.”
She said, “Clifton was more than just a UNC representative, he embodied the true beauty of humanity in his actions of kindness, people-centred approach and love for those around him. It was these qualities which enabled him to be the first UNC MP for Moruga Tableland.
“Fondly known as ‘Uncle Coto’ his service extended beyond politics. As a teacher, school principal and school supervisor he was able to impact the lives of thousands of students throughout our nation.
“Coto had an impeccable work ethic as I recall when he served as minister he would be in his office by 5 am each morning. That was his dedication and passion for service.”
His former colleague Kevin Ramnarine, and ex-minister of energy, who sat next to de Coteau in cabinet said he was always ready to render help and advice.
Ramnaine said, “He was passionate about his constituency. He was revered as an educator. He loved life and he loved his country.
“He was a patriot who served T&T with distinction. Goodbye and Rest in Peace my brother Clifton DeCoteau.”