At the time of her death Pat Bishop was very concerned about the state of the nation and the way that many working people, through no fault of their own, were being marginalised. That side of Bishop, known by many for her contribution to culture, was revealed by former trade union leader Senator David Abdulah, chairman of the Movement for Social Justice. "Being imbued with the artist's instinct, she feared for the nation's future," he said in a release. Noting that her legacy was not limited to her paintings and the music she composed or arranged, Abdulah, in a release yesterday, said Bishop was a trusted friend of the progressive trade unions. She was particularly close to the Oilfields Workers' Trade Union and collaborated on many occasions with the unions, Abdulah said.
He added: "She was deeply concerned about issues of social justice and quietly but effectively identified with the struggles of working people. "Though not being active in party politics, Pat contributed in many important ways to the politics of the ordinary man and woman fighting for social justice." Abdulah said like prophets in their own land, T&T failed Bishop, in that, while applauding her music and art, her constant message of the need to refashion society was ignored. Mark Loquan said Bishop was one of the first people he went to when he set up the Music Literacy Trust in 2004, initially targeted to financially assist talented young pannists through tertiary level music education. He said she served as director of the board from its inception until the time of her passing. He said Desperadoes steelband was close to her heart and the violence in the area saddened her.
Loquan said Bishop even worked for CEPEP trying to get workers to think differently about themselves.
The Office of the Ministry of Planning and the Economy where Bishop collapsed during a panel meeting last Saturday also paid tribute to her. A release from the office yesterday said all members of the High Level Expert Panel, which was meeting when she collapsed on issues relating to arts, culture and patriotism projects, mourned her passing. The T&T Chamber of Commerce said Bishop sold T&T as a place of enormous wealth of culture and said it shared in the nation's moment of grief over her passing.