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TV cameraman Rampersad dies
Friends and former colleagues yesterday bid farewell to another media stalwart, after 53-year-old television cameraman Bissoondath Rampersad, or “Ram” as he was known by his colleagues, died. Deemed a talent and a champion for young people, the father of four and grandfather of one, passed away at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital on Saturday evening, where he was warded after suffering a heart attack. His death came three days after Newsday editor-in-chief Therese Mills died suddenly on New Year’s Day.
Television journalist Sandra Maharaj, his common-law wife, said yesterday that he would be greatly missed. “He was a very loving father, a strong-willed caring person,” Maharaj told the T&T Guardian. “He loved his children more than anything else. He helped young reporters, setting up their equipment at assignments and with anything he could.” Another veteran journalist, Tony Fraser, who met Rampersad at Trinidad and Tobago Television (TTT), said he was “one of the best among the news camera people” in T&T at that time.
Fraser added that Ram had a good sense of “where the story was pictorially, you didn’t have to tell him too much before he went on a story. He was a man who was not afraid to go the distance and to go into difficult situations to capture the story.” Ann Marie Ganness, a former reporter at TTT, said she worked with Rampersad between 1999 and 2004, and described him as someone who had a lot of passion for his trade, who rose to the top to become one of the most creative camera professionals in media.
“Like many of the reporters who worked with Ram, I have benefited greatly from the pointers and the insights he shared,” she said. “No news story was ever boring with Ram as the cameraman. I should have said thank you when he was still with us physically, but unfortunately that time has passed.
“The soul never dies, this is a personal thank you for allowing me to be part of your journey. I am sure you’re seeing the numerous Facebook posts and hearing the conversations, as we reminisce about your unique personality and your trademark beard. “You have certainly done what you came here to do, make a difference. May you rest in peace, Ram, and may God give your family the strength to get through this difficult time."
Dominic Kalipersad, who also worked with Rampersad at TTT, said: “I remember Ram as a skilled and passionate cameraman.”