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Ex-Guardian circulation boss passes on at 83
Thorton Marcus Garcia, the T&T Guardian’s former circulation manager and trustee of the Guardian’s Neediest Cases Fund, has died. Garcia, 83, the father of three, who worked with the Guardian for 33 years, died on December 30 at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. Garcia’s wife, Charmaine Sahadeo, said he had suffered from chronic leukaemia for the past two years and his blood count was low.
In an interview yesterday, Sahadeo said she had lived with him for the past 25 years and she was saddened by his death. “I took care of him for the past four years and he was in the clinic two weeks ago and needed an appointment, but the nurse didn’t make one,” she said. “We went to the hospital on Friday because he was breathing hard. I stayed with him whole day in the hospital and they said they didn’t have a bed for him until that night.
“The next day the doctors said he needed blood and they gave him one pint, which was not sufficient. On Sunday, they said he needed donors, when everybody drink that weekend. Where were we going to get blood? “Monday he was dead. The doctors and them is something else. They know he needed blood or he might still be alive.” Barry Gill, former circulation manager, described Garcia as a “circulation guru and mentor.”
“When I joined Guardian, Tom was circulation manager and I was hired as marketing assistant and then went to circulation. He asked me to come to the department and I understudied with him for years and became his assistant,” he said. “We worked a long time together and I learned a lot from him. He was a guru in circulation. He was a good man and he was good to me. He loved hockey and was a player in his days at the Harvard Club.” Gill said Garcia was also a lover of mas.
“I used to think of him as a young old man. He used to have his shirt unbuttoned and gold chain on his chest. Everybody was like a close-knit family. He was a good mentor to me,” he said. Former colleague Paula Chow said she worked with him for many years.
“We worked as colleagues and I was a junior person. He worked with Ms (Therese) Mills (then Guardian editor-in-chief and later Newsday founder who died on New Year’s Day). He was from that era and he was an old worker, stalwart and founder of the Guardian. I came and met him here,” she said. Garcia’s funeral will take place on January 7 at St Theresa’s RC Church, Woodbrook, followed by interment at the Lapeyrouse Cemetery. A collection will be taken up for Friends of the Blood Bank.
In light of the complaints made by Sahadeo, the Port-of-Spain General Hospital’s communication department said yesterday it would make inquiries into the matter.