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Priest honours Mark at funeral

Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Anthony Watkins comforts Ainsley Mark’s wife, Clair, after yesterday’s funeral service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR

Mourners who turned up at the Holy Trinity Cathedral, Port-of-Spain, yesterday to pay their respects to former vice-president of the Senate, Ainsley Mark, were given sound advice by Fr Clyde Harvey during his deliverance of the homily at the service. Those gathered were told to refocus their lives and live in such a way that whatever actions they committed henceforth would be something they would be proud to claim later on.

Recalling his early interaction with Mark, Fr Harvey said the father of three and grandfather of two was always questioning his position in life, as it related to each action and if that action would bring him closer to God. Mark, a well-known accountant, passed away on August 19, at the age of 70, after being seriously ill for some time. 

He served as Senate vice-president during the fourth Republican Parliament from 1992 to 1995 and was also one of the founders of accounting firm PKF, which was previously known as Pannell Kerr Foster. Telling the packed church that Mark was always passionate about his work and family, Fr Harvey testified to Mark’s strong work ethic, as well as his sense of honesty and integrity. 

Smiling as he said Mark was one who did not “stand for foolishness,” Fr Harvey urged everyone to acknowledge all aspects of their lives, including their sins. Fr Harvey said he admired Mark for remaining passionate about his commitments to his family, children, the local art form, the field of accounting, as well as horse racing and breeding. Revealing that through it all, Mark had remained one of the “most creatively critical” people he knew, Fr Harvey said Mark was “fanatically honest” despite the opinion of others.

Stating that was a quality which the “country needs now more than ever,” Fr Harvey said Mark—an avid racehorse owner and breeder—never allowed himself to become blinded by greed, self-centeredness and insecurity. Delivering the eulogy, Mark’s eldest son Kamau reflected on his father’s passion for everything from family, horses, teaching, politics and his spirit of “just giving back.” Kamau said the former Queen’s Royal College student was always seeking new ways to assist others at all levels.

Adding that his father had served as a Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus and a lecturer from 1971 to 1981, Kamau said Mark had also undertaken projects at QRC aimed at encouraging others to aspire for the highest achievement. “You were everything to us,” Kamau said of his father, extending gratitude to Mark’s business partner of 44 years and close friend Michael Toney. Mark spent 32 years at PKF before retiring last June.

During that time, he was involved in training accountants on the job. The firm also specialised in helping the credit union movement and labour unions to organise their financial affairs in a better manner. Following the two-hour service, Mark was laid to rest at the Lapeyrouse Cemetery.

Among the dignitaries paying tribute yesterday was Speaker Wade Mark, Planning Minister Dr Bhoe Tewarie, Mervyn Assam, ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary with responsibility for trade and industry, former culture minister Joan Yuille-Williams; former finance minister Mariano Browne; former national security minister Martin George, as well as former and present Port-of-Spain mayors Louis Lee Sing and Raymond Tim Kee respectively.


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