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Maxine: You will always be my hero
President George Maxwell Richards was described as a hero by his daughter Maxine Richards, as she spoke of the life she shared with her father during an emotional eulogy.
“Daddy, I miss you and I love you. You will always be my hero. Let me part with your favourite words – Let me love you and leave you.”
While Richards wore many hats, Maxine said to her “he was just my daddy.”
As a stickler for education, Maxine said when her father drove his car into the yard, she and her brother, Mark, used to grab their schoolbooks, “be it upside down, just to pretend we were studying.”
Maxine said her father always complained that their mother spoilt them and allowed them to “run wild” instead of beating the books.
Whenever her mother Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards worked nights at the San Fernando General Hospital, Maxine said her father had to prepare them for school the next morning— one of which was to comb her hair in a ponytail which he never got right.
After graduating from university, Maxine said her dad became more of a friend than a parent.
“From playing mas and partying together to continuing exploring the world right until the very end when we travelled to the Caribbean in November, Maxine said.
Richard’s son, Mark, who also gave the eulogy said those who shared their moments and experiences with his father in the last week brought tears to their eyes.
Giving an insight of their family’s life, Mark said his father was never interested in material goods and possessions.
“He preferred to spend his money on good food, drinks and entertaining his friends and family.”
Prof Ken Julien who also delivered the eulogy said he looked up to Richards as a leader of scholars, engineers and Trinis, insisting that he embodied the ideal of excellence, dedication and compassion.
“He served T&T with distinction.”
Julien said his friendship with Richards was further consolidated when they were put in a difficult position of rebuilding the Faculty of Engineering at the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies.
Delivering the sermon, Rev Claude Berkley said the testimony that Richards was a “feter” was an imbalanced statement.
Prof Brian Copeland, UWI’s principal, in his tribute said Richards “belonged to the people of T&T for the ten years he served as the fourth President, but we at the St Augustine campus want to say he belonged to us first.”
Copeland said Richards was one of several academics who saved the Faculty of Engineering after it was established following the mass resignation of its staff.
He said Richards always maintained that our country must maximise all opportunities and fortunes to survive and grow, stating that we have lost a faithful leader.
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