God Broke the Mould after he Made Panday

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By Dr Neil Gosine

I SHARE in the grief and pain the family of this great man feels. My family would like to extend our deepest condolences to the former prime minister’s family, friends and all who knew this great man. The whole country is mourning his passing.

My father who was a very close friend to Basdeo Panday said to me “my great friend has left me.” God surely broke the mould after he made this man, this larger than life man that we believed never could leave us. Only after we lose someone like him, does everyone realise that we didn’t know what we had until it’s gone.


He would be remembered as the greatest prime minister this country has ever had but also he would be remembered by my father as one of his greatest friends and his brother.

His strength and endurance will live in our hearts and our souls as long as we live. My father is heartbroken and he believes he’s one of the last men of that era surviving now as he is 91 years old.


He also didn’t think that Panday was given his right recognition, treated fittingly or given the respect he deserved. Now that he’s passed, we will hear all the praises from everyone from all divides and that pains my father the most, as many of these people never took the opportunity to know the man when he was here. It’s a painful truth. We are all in shock over this passing as many has not appreciated the fact that no one has ever done more to burn the eternal flame for national unity like this prime minister.


My father told me he is devastated and will always treasure the friendship they had which spanned over 50 years and the private and personal moments he spent with Mr Panday. No one had a sense of humour or sarcasm like Panday. His words were always crafted with intelligence and he had a masterful command of the King’s language. His Leadership has shaped many formidable men and women of our time including the remarkable opposition leader – a former prime minister as well.

He will be remembered for his steadfast dedication to democracy and helping to improve the lives of the people of this country with genuine love but also, he will be also remembered by my father as a beloved friend and brother. My father’s heart is breaking now to see this man, this giant leave this earth.


My father himself is trying to come to terms with the acceptance of his own mortality now, as he is one of the last great pioneers of businessmen of his time and this loss has shocked him to his core. It has made him see that he is on the verge of leaving this earth as well as we all must face this some day. We all can try to strive to control how our own anxiety about our own mortality can impact upon us and the people around us. Only if we can understand more about how short our time really is and that we must treasure the iconic men and women like Basdeo Panday when they are here with us.

Understanding the void people like him have left in our lives is hard to comprehend, only then maybe we can make our time on earth meaningful in ways that impacts us and make this place better for everyone. Not just rush to praise him now that he has passed. It would have been better to recognise him in the living years and give him the recognition and respect he justly deserved.

May his soul rest in peace.

Neil Gosine is an insurance executive. He is also the treasurer of the UNC and a former chairman of the National Petroleum Marketing Company of Trinidad and Tobago. He holds a Doctorate in Business Administration, a Master’s in Business Administration MBA, BSC in Mathematics and a BA in Administrative Studies. The views and comments expressed in this column are not necessarily those of AZP News, a Division of Complete Image Limited.


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