Veteran photojournalist Andre Alexander had his Nikon camera with him in his casket when family, friends, dignitaries and media colleagues paid their final respects at his funeral service yesterday.
Alexander passed away at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC) in Mt Hope last Wednesday following a battle with cancer.
The Mt D’or Seventh Day Adventist Church in Champs Fleurs was packed with people yesterday. The tributes to Alexander, as well as the crowd who were there to celebrate him, were a testament to the lives he touched.
Four members of the diplomatic corps in T&T paid tribute to Alexander, telling of the great working relationship they had with him.
Ambassador for the Dutch Kingdom Jules Biji, Ambassador of France Serge Lavroff and Jamaican High Commissioner David Prendergast all spoke glowingly of Alexander. Biji said his death would leave a void in the diplomatic circles. Ambassador of Venezuela Coromoto Godoy Calderon was unable to attend because she is out of the country, but the embassy’s attache, Rita Blanco, delivered remarks on her behalf with the assistance of a translator.
Alexander had been with the T&T Guardian since 1997. Current editor Irving Ward, in his tribute, said he had five words to describe Alexander - committed, dependable, detailed, selfless and infectious.
Alexander, Ward said, was committed to his wife of 34 years Mary Elizabeth Sutherland-Alexander, his family and his profession. He said Alexander was dependable when it came to getting the job done and his body of work had left an “indelible mark on the society”.
“He had an eye for detail, an eye that allowed him to record some of the most detailed expressions in his subjects and by extension the shots that brought out the most detailed elements of the persons, places and times when the event occurred,” Ward said.
“He was a selfless person. He always sought to ensure others were happy, comfortable, were always smiling. He never asked for much but gave a lot - his time, his advice, his respect, his uncanny perspective of life in photos.”
Ward said one thing people would remember about Alexander was his infectious laughter.
“That laughter of his eh. How many times were we down and he, realising this, cracked a joke and buss out in that infectious laugh?” Ward said.
“Even if the joke wasn’t funny, which it oftentimes wasn’t, you just had to laugh with Andre. I think it is because he understood that laughter was the best medicine that he always ensured we had our daily dose of it.”
Apart from the T&T Guardian, Alexander also spent 20 years at the T&T Express and was a founding member of the Newsday.
Newsday’s Editor in Chief Judy Raymond and Trinidad Express columnist Lennox Grant, in their tributes, spoke of Alexander’s professionalism and love for life.
Two eulogies were done for Alexander yesterday, one focusing specifically on his professional career and another done by his family. Andy Johnson delivered the professional eulogy while Cherri-Ann Sesankar delivered the family’s eulogy.
Alexander’s sister Avril Andrews said he had given his life to the Lord in the days before he passed away and also ensured that he was baptised into the Seventh Day Adventist faith. She said she was happy he was able to do this before he passed on.
Following the service, Alexander was cremated at the Belgroves Crematorium in Tacarigua.