“Trinidad and Tobago,” I patiently repeated for the second time.
“What?” She frustratingly retorted.
Broadcaster Glen “Thunder” Antoine, 57, died on Carnival Tuesday morning on his way to work at 107.7 FM, Woodbrook. A post by 96.1 WEFM on the station’s Facebook page reported that Antoine was in his car at the corner of White and Warren Street, Woodbrook, when he started feeling unwell. He called his nephew Roderick at 6.05 am and was found slouched over the steering wheel of his car, cold-sweating and suffering from shortness of breath.
Antoine was taken to the St James Medical Facility where efforts were made to stabilise him, as his blood sugar was high, but his blood count was low and the medics said he had suffered a stroke. He was transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the Port-of-Spain General Hospital by 9.30 am, but a few hours later, when his nephew returned to the hospital, he was told Antoine had died. Tony Chow Lin On, owner of 96.1 WEFM and 107.7 FM, said Antoine’s passing was a shock and massive loss to local radio.
He added, “He worked with us for the last 10 to 15 years, starting at 96.1 WEFM. Glen was a quiet riot. He was like a cat in the jungle just waiting for that mic to come on to pounce on the listeners.
“As a teenager, fresh in the business, just after the Rennie Bishop/Billy Reece era, it was really Glen who inspired me to get into broadcasting. Glen had a sense of style. Through the years he brought that sense of professionalism to the business. For Glen, it wasn’t so much about being heard on the radio; it was really about the art of radio, his voice, and delivery. He was an example that others wanted to follow.”
Antoine started on radio (Radio Trinidad 730 AM) with the late Selma Ahyee as the operator on her weekly afternoon show On the Move. He substituted many times when Projection 3 anchor Rennie Bishop went on vacation, hosting with Eddison Carr and Ahyee. He did his own technical operations and some mixing on the turntables, making him a valuable asset to the station. Antoine also hosted the afternoon segment on 95FM’s The Magnificent Seven.
During the late 1980s Antoine took a hiatus from radio but returned in the 90s and worked on a number of the new frequencies that opened up, including 96.1 WEFM, 107.7 FM, and Star 94.7 FM. His colleague Eddison Carr commented, “Glen’s death is tragic. He possessed a very savvy voice. I have known him for over 30 years and one his qualities I easily recall was his outspokenness. This didn’t sit well with some management, so Glen changed stations often.
“When he first came to town from La Brea I gave him some training. Glen thought very highly of quality broadcasting, and was meticulous about every aspect of broadcasting. He will be missed.” Former radio personality Gerald Agostini said: “Glen was very good at what he did. He would definitely be missed in the radio world.” Funeral arrangements will be finalised when Antoine’s mother, Annis Antoine, arrives from Boston, United States, on Friday with his aunt.