Hall of Fame 2009

 
Mr. Aubrey Adams, HBM, CM
Mr. Michael ‘Mike’ Agostini
Justice Ulric Cross, CM
Mr. Tyrone de la Bastide
Fr. J. J. English, C.S.Sp.
Mr. Sedley Joseph, HBM
Mr. Michael Mansoor
Dr. Reginald K. Richardson, CM
Mr. Louis Jim Rodriguez
Fr. Cristobal ‘Toba’ Valdez, C.S.Sp, HBM
His Excellency, Lester Efebo Wilkinson
Mr. Ronald Andre Williams

 

Mr. Aubrey Adams, HBM, CM
 

 

The name Aubrey Adams will forever remain in the annals of the cultural history of Trinidad and Tobago, he having given long and committed service to this country in the sphere of culture. To fans of theatre and the performing arts in Trinidad and Tobago, the mere mention of a production associated with his name conjured up images/hall_of_fame of excitement – something grand, another big theatrical performance, and an extravaganza. He was an actor, dancer, playwright, public servant, cultural adviser to a former prime minister, impresario, entrepreneur, family man and humanitarian. It is said that he helped to bring order and dignity to local artistes and their stage presentations of the folk arts. In 1965, Mr. Adams took his frst troupe of artistes to the Commonwealth Arts Festival in Great Britain and performed at several venues, including the prestigious Royal Albert Hall. By the 1970s, with Ambakaila, perhaps his most famous production, he toured Europe, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Israel and Greece. Crossing the Atlantic, he continued to place this country’s name on the world map in a positive light as he took his production to 22 cities in Canada, the USA and the Caribbean. He also introduced local audiences to world-class foreign productions, among them the Senegal ballet, the Tahiti dance ballet, the Russian Dance Company and Shoba Naidu’s dance troupe from India. He undertook assignments in culture on behalf of the United Nations, delivering dozens of lectures and workshops on various aspects of T&T’s culture in Cuba, the USA, Europe and India. This inductee conceptualised and produced the first Kiddies Carnival and continued to do so for the Red Cross Society for several years. Upon the death of Beryl Mc Burnie, founder of the Little Carib Theatre, he undertook the responsibility of continuing the work of this great lady. This responsibility he carried out while serving as a member of both the National Carnival Commission and the Board of Queen’s Hall. He was committed to nation-building, choosing culture as his main tool. He received two national awards: the Humming Bird Medal and the Chaconia Medal. Mr. Adams died on September 11, 2007.  

 

Mr. Michael ‘Mike’ Agostini

 

 

During his years at St. Mary’s, Mr. Michael ‘Mike’ Agostini, along with his two brothers, was one of the more dominant sporting personalities at the College. He participated in track and field, boxing and was a member of the Intercol team in 1950, one of the seven consecutive years that CIC won the North Intercol trophy, then the symbol of football supremacy between CIC and QRC. But it was on the track that he showed signs of things to come, emerging as Victor Ludorum at the various age levels at the annual ‘Sports days’ throughout his years at CIC.He frst stormed on to the world athletics scene in late 1952, when he beat the Jamaican star Herb Mc Kenley in Kingston, just months after Herb had returned from the 1952 Olympics with one gold and two silver medals. As a result, he received scholarship offers from several United States universities. In April of that year, he went back to Kingston where he ran the 100 yards in 9.4 seconds (equaling a world junior record held by the great Jesse Owens), leaving in his wake no less an athlete than the Olympic 200m champion Andy Stanfeld from the USA. In January 1954, he tied the world indoor 100 yards record (9.6) in Washington, DC. Then at the AAU Championships held in St. Louis that year, he reached the finals of both sprint events, finishing 4th in the 100 yards (9.7) and 6th in the 220 yards (21.6). He continued his rise to the top, winning the 100 yards final at the British Empire Games in Canada in 1954. With that performance he became T&T’s first ever athletics gold medalist at the quadrennial multi-sports festival, today known as the Commonwealth Games. A graduate in Economics in 1958, he later became an author, but is mostly remembered as being one of the frst persons from Trinidad and Tobago to study on an athletics scholarship in the USA. He was also T&T’s first formal Olympic double sprint finalist in Melbourne at the 1956 Olympics, where he placed sixth in the 100 and fourth in the 200 metres event, representing the British West Indies. He is one of T&T’s most prolifc Pan American Games medalists with five medals in two Games, in Mexico City (1955) and Chicago (1959).Mr. Agostini served as the Honorary Consul General for Trinidad and Tobago in Australia from 1980 until 2006.

 
Justice Ulric Cross, CM


 

This extremely brave alumnus of CIC was one of many past students of St. Mary’s who served in the World Wars. He entered St. Mary’s after placing first in the national Government Exhibition examination and went on to become a very good student. With the outbreak of World War Two, he joined the Royal Air Force (RAF). As navigator and squadron leader, he took part in some eighty sorties over Germany and Occupied Europe, landing on seven occasions minus wheels. He displayed courage and exceptional skill during some of the worst years of the war, as he guided the pilots of wooden twin-engine Mosquito bomber planes to their targets. He was decorated with the DFC (Distinguished Flying Cross) and DSO (Distinguished Service Order), honours that he richly deserved. After serving in the war, he entered the legal field and became renowned for a distinguished career in Africa, playing a leading role in developing that continent’s post-colonial jurisprudence. His postings took him to Ghana, as Senior Crown Counsel (1958-1960); Cameroon as Attorney General (1960-1967) and Tanzania where he set up and chaired the Industrial Court and then became Dean of the Faculty of Law at the university in Dar es Salaam. Upon his return to Trinidad in the mid-1970s, he served as a Judge in the High Court and then in the Court of Appeal. He later served this country as the High Commissioner to the United Kingdom for a number of years. In 1993, together with other concerned citizens, he co-founded the Cotton Tree Foundation, a non-profit organization that works with some of the more deprived communities in the St. Ann’s district. The Foundation is engaged in helping the St. Ann’s folks to combat poverty and unemployment, through counseling, self- help, educational and training projects. He is chairman of the fund-raising committee that has the responsibility of finding resources to support the Foundation’s wide-ranging projects that include an Early Childhood and Education Centre, a Legal Aid clinic, a community sports programme, a computer literacy programme and a scholarship programme. Justice Cross was awarded the Chaconia Medal Gold, in 1983.


Mr. Tyrone de la Bastide


 

Anyone following football in the Port of Spain Football League, the League in which St. Mary’s, QRC and Fatima competed up to the early 1960s, would have been more than impressed with the skill and ability of Tyrone ‘Tank’ de la Bastide. In those days, the college boys competed against full adult teams, the likes of Maple, Malvern, Shamrock, Colts and the Regiment. Having successfully represented St. Mary’s at all age-group levels, predictably, he went on to the First XI in 1955. Not surprisingly, CIC won the North Intercol for all three years that he played and won the island-wide Intercol for two of the three years. It must also be noted that he was also the captain of the St. Mary’s First XI cricket team at the same time he captained the football team, with the cricket team competing against adults in the Senior Grade of the North Zone of the Trinidad Cricket Council. After CIC, he played for Dynamos for three years before moving on to the then very powerful Maple Club. He remained at Maple until his retirement from first-class football in 1971. He was also a fixture on P.O.S. League and North Trinidad teams, and here again those teams enjoyed great success. Mr. de la Bastide represented Trinidad and Tobago between 1959 and 1969, a period in which the national team was considered to be the best in the region. He was selected on the British Caribbean Football Association team to tour the United Kingdom and played in fourteen of the sixteen games on the tour. He was a key member of the first team to represent Trinidad and Tobago in World Cup football and also the 1967 T&T team that won a bronze medal in the Pan Am Games in Canada. Overall, he represented T&T on ninety-eight occasions, captaining the team for the last two years of his career. He was named Footballer of the Year in 1968 and was inducted into the T&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1987. Mr. de la Bastide died on March 23, 2008.


Fr. J. J. English, C.S.Sp.


 

After serving as Vice-Principal of the College for some six years, Fr. English was appointed as Principal in 1925 and held that post until 1936. During his twelve years of leadership of St. Mary’s, he put all of his energy and enthusiasm into many activities, whether it was the affairs of the College, the deliberations of the Education Board, the furtherance of Catholic interests in every sphere, the discharge of his sacerdotal ministrations or the promotion of the interests of the community at large. During his administration at St. Mary’s, there was a significant increase in the number of Higher Certifcates, School Certificates and Junior Certifcates, not to mention Island Scholarships, Jerningham Gold Medals, Jerningham Book Prizes and Jerningham Silver Medals. However, he often proclaimed that winning scholarships and prizes was not the only criterion by which to judge a school’s educational worth. He encouraged and gave support to the Cadet Corps, Sea Scouts (he founded 1st Trinidad Sea Scouts), Gymnastics, Dramatic Club, Orchestra, Choir, Debating Club and many other extra-curricula activities. He will go down in history as the champion of the establishment of the Science Scholarship in Trinidad and Tobago, with his clear and forceful exposition of the claims of science, in spite of vigorous opposition inside and outside the Education Board. He strenuously championed the cause of Catholic Training Colleges for Catholic Teachers when, in 1925, the Government proposed the abolition of denominational Training Schools. For two years, 1925 and 1926, at great inconvenience, he housed the Catholic Training College for men at St. Mary’s College, until new arrangements were made. On the more material side, his rule was characterized as “the age of construction.” The construction work he did included the erection of the new science halls, the new wing in the northern block, renovation of the southern wing, extension of the eastern wing and the demolition of the very old northern wing which was replaced by a modern structure. He also modernized the façade of the inner quadrangle (‘the Big Yard’). A red-letter day in his administration was the inauguration of the St. Mary’s College Past Students’ Union in August 1933, a project long discussed but repeatedly deferred.


Mr. Sedley Joseph, HBM

 

 

Without a doubt, Mr. Sedley Joseph is one of this country’s most successful football captains. While at CIC, he was selected on age-group teams up to the Colts level, in both football and cricket. Although he was never selected to represent CIC at ‘Intercol’, the dream of every sports-minded student, he went on to make a name for himself in local and regional football. He played for the once-powerful Maple Club in the Port of Spain Football League for fifteen years, captaining the team for ten of those years. During that decade, Maple won a total of 26 trophies, shields and cups. He represented the Port of Spain Football League and North Trinidad for ten years, and was captain for most of those years.He played for the national team from 1960 to 1968, and in all, he was capped 75 times for Trinidad and Tobago. Mr. Joseph captained the first national team in World Cup qualifying games against Suriname in 1965 (incidentally five of the 11 players on that team were past students of CIC). He led T&T to the CONCACAF finals for the first time in 1967 and became the captain of the only T&T team to win a medal in footballin the Pan Am Games. He was selected on the CONCACAF All-Star team in 1967. In that same year, he was named Footballer of the Year by the T&TFA and was also nominated for the WITCO Sports Awards. With his playing days over, he continues to give back to the game he so loves. He was Assistant Coach to the National senior team in 1974 and Manager in 1990 and 1991. He is now the Technical Director to the present CIC football team. He has been a long-serving member of the Trinidad and Tobago Sports Foundation (25 years) and served as Chairman for ten of those years. Mr. Joseph was inducted into the T&T Sports Hall of Fame in 1985 and received the Millennium Sport Award from the Ministry of Sport in 2000. He is the only footballer from this country to have received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit medal when FIFA celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2004, placing him in the company of football luminaries such as Pele, Beckenbauer and Platini. He was honoured with the Humming Bird Medal (Gold) in 2005.


Mr. Michael Mansoor

 


 

He capped a sterling scholastic record at St. Mary’s by winning the Open Island Scholarship in Languages in 1966. Thereafter, this inductee shifted to the field of accountancy, qualifying as a chartered accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario in 1972. In 1974 he received his MBA from the University of Western Ontario where he was on the Dean’s Honour List. Returning to Trinidad in 1974, he joined one of the leading accounting firms at which he became a Partner in 1976. He remained in that capacity until his resignation in 1990. He then moved to the Ansa McAl Group, one of the largest conglomerates in the Caribbean, as Group Finance Director and subsequently held the posts of Group Managing Director and Chairman of the Financial Services sector of the Group. During the period 1987 to 1995, he served as an Independent Senator where he made many sterling contributions in the Senate, particularly in the area of legislation relating to economics, financial and business matters. Between 1995 and 1998, he served as President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Trinidad and Tobago and also as President of the Rotary Club of Diego Martin. For the last eleven years he served the University of the West Indies, as Chairman of the St. Augustine Campus Council. As Chairman, he presided over the period of implementation of the University’s first two strategic plans. He also oversaw the implementation of a new system of governance of the Campus Councils. His public sector service continued with him serving as Chairman of T&TEC and Powergen Trinidad and Tobago Ltd between 1996 and 1998. He entered the world of banking in 1998 as President and CEO of CIBC West Indies Limited, and since 2002, he has been occupying the position of Executive Chairman of First Caribbean International Bank.


Dr. Reginald K. Richardson, CM


 

He was remembered by some as a poet and a philosopher, but to his colleagues in the medical fraternity and the many patients whose lives he saved on the operating table, affection for this inductee was combined with respect, admiration and sometimes awe. They remember him as a dedicated medical practitioner, a conscientious researcher, a writer and an educator – but, above all else, as the doctor who relentlessly attacked the once-dreaded disease of tuberculosis until it disappeared from this nation’s shores. He read for his degree in medicine at the Universities of Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland, graduating in 1943. After working for a short while in London, he returned to Trinidad to take up a humble post as a Medical Officer at the San Fernando Colonial Hospital. Soon after his return, he was approached to assist in setting up a clinic to treat tuberculosis (TB), which was spreading throughout parts of the world. After jointly operating a chest clinic in San Fernando, he was appointed director of the 240-bed Masson hospital in St. James, known then as the last stop for the very worst TB cases. After a few years, he took leave to study tuberculosis and chest diseases in England and obtained membership of the Royal College of Physicians, (MRCP). He also studied in Paris and Copenhagen. On his return to Trinidad, he was appointed Medical Director and Consulting Chief Physician of the new Caura Hospital, the command centre of the campaign against TB. Four years later, he again took off to London for a new course of training in thoracic surgery. While there, he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and was appointed as Registrar in thoracic surgery at QE Hospital in Birmingham. Returning to Trinidad in 1957, he was entrusted with full responsibility for thoracic surgery at Caura Hospital. Under his astute leadership, the post-operative mortality rate fell from over 80% to 4% within 10 years. He retired from the Government service in 1969 and joined the World Health Organization where he worked as Country Director in Central America and the Caribbean. In 1980 he began a new practice as a General Physician and then became a senior lecturer in community medicine at UWI St. Augustine. In 1981 he was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold). Dr. Richardson died on October 27, 2008.


Mr. Louis Jim Rodriguez


 

He attended Belmont Boys Intermediate and then Scarborough R.C. from which he was the frst student from a Tobago school to win one of the few Government Exhibitions to attend a secondary school. (In the 1940s less than fifty Government Exhibitions were awarded.) At St. Mary’s College, he had quite an outstanding scholastic record. He won a House Scholarship based on the Senior Cambridge (O’Level results) and then took the Higher Certifcate (A’ Level) examinations twice, placing third and fifth respectively, in the Science Group, for the Island Scholarship.At St. Mary’s he joined the Cadet Corps, attaining the highest rank available to students, that of Sergeant Major. After teaching at Fatima College for one year, he responded to an advertisement from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Force which was seeking to recruit gazetted offcers. He was a very strong candidate and easily gained selection, entering the Force at the rank of Assistant Superintendent. He performed with distinction in the Police Force and rose to the rank of Deputy Commissioner. However, length of service always prevailed, a fact that caused him not to be selected for the post of Commissioner of Police when it became vacant some years later. Although disappointed, he was never bitter; such was the nature of the man.Later, he was awarded a scholarship to study for a degree in Economics and on graduation he was appointed as Special Advisor to the Ministry of National Security. He was subsequently brought back to the Police Force as Commissioner of Police where he served with distinction. He was elected President of the St. Mary’s College Past Students’ Union for three years, from 1985 to 1988. After he retired from the Police Force, he migrated to Canada for fve years and then returned to Trinidad where he joined the St. Vincent de Paul Society and undertook the maintenance for the Society’s Homes for the Aged and supervised the construction of the Finbar Ryan Geriatric Home. He died after an accident in Australia, on 7th September, 2007.


Fr. Cristobal ‘Toba’ Valdez, C.S.Sp, HBM

 


 

The fact that the majority of vocations to the Catholic priesthood in Trinidad and Tobago has come from past students of St. Mary’s College can largely be attributed to this inductee. The great influx of vocations to the priesthood among CIC alumni sparked when he returned to Trinidad as a newly ordained priest in 1936. He devotedly spent a great deal of his time in identifying possible candidates to the priesthood, then guiding and encouraging them to fulfill their calling. In 1948, there were fifteen Trinidadians in various stages of priestly studies, and by 1961, the number of candidates for the priesthood justified the establishment of a novitiate and seminary for the Spiritans in Arima. Among those whose vocation he would have certainly influenced would be the late Archbishop Anthony Pantin. He taught at St. Mary’s for over fifty years, in the course of which he had an extremely positive influence on the lives of many a CIC student. Among the subjects that he taught were Latin, Spanish, Greek and Religious Knowledge. In 1936, he founded and directed the Altar Boys Society at the College and together with his brother-in-law, Hugh Mazely, the Sixth Trinidad Sea Scouts, leading both organizations for over fifty years. The construction of the Sixth Trinidad Scout House “Maris Stella” at Gasparee Island was inspired and managed by him. He was also involved in organizing the sport of boxing at CIC for a number of years. Clearly, he lived by his motto, “Res Non Verba” (Deeds Not Words) and encouraged the boys to do likewise. He was awarded the Humming Bird Medal (Silver) in 1983, for the significant contribution he made to Scouting. He died in May 1990.


His Excellency, Lester Efebo Wilkinson

 

 

Poet, Playwright, Stage Director, Dramaturge, Workshop Facilitator and Lecturer in Theatre Arts at the University of the West Indies – these are some of the hats that this inductee wears. Without any doubt, he is one who recognizes the importance of the arts as a unifying force in building a wholesome society. After graduating from St. Mary’s College in the 1960s, he entered the teaching profession, and it is in this context that his artistic talents came to the fore while he was at Mausica Teachers College. He was the founding Artistic Director of the very popular and progressive Mausica Folk Theatre and in the mid to late 1970s, he played a leadership role in redefning the drama and theatre of Best Village. He is the former President of the National Drama Association of Trinidad and Tobago (NDATT), former Artistic Director of the National Theatre Company of Trinidad and Tobago and former President of the Black Theatre Workshop at Brooklyn College, New York.In addition to a Teachers Diploma from the Mausica Teachers College, he holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Theatre and Arts Education (Magna Cum Laude) from the City University of New York and a Master’s Degree in Educational Theatre from New York University. He has won several awards locally and abroad, for playwriting and directing, from organizations such as NDATT and the International Amateur Theatre Association.But this inductee is not only involved in the arts. He has had an illustrious career in the Public Service where he has served as Permanent Secretary, firstly in the Ministry of Culture and then in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Prior to those appointments, he served as Director of Culture in Trinidad and also as Head of Cultural Affairs for CARICOM. He was also the Chairman of the committee that drafted the Intellectual Property Policy for Trinidad and Tobago. In 2008, he was appointed as the Poet Laureate of the City of Port of Spain. Although retired, he continues to serve his country and now carries the title, His Excellency, the Ambassador for Trinidad and Tobago to Cuba.


Mr. Ronald Andre Williams
 

 

By dint of hard work and perseverance, this inductee has achieved excellence and international prominence in environmental engineering. He has contributed over forty years of service in this field, in Trinidad and Tobago, the region and worldwide. At St. Mary’s, he was the vice-captain of both the football and cricket First XI teams, representing the college with much energy and spirit. He obtained both his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Environmental Engineering from the University of Toronto. He returned to Trinidad in 1959 and was appointed as the Sanitation Engineer, a post in which he made many major contributions to this country. He supervised the island wide Sewerage Scheme and was a member of the team that established the Water and Sewerage Authority. In 1963, he joined the World Health Organization (WHO) as an Environmental Health Engineer, for seven years functioning as a WHO advisor in countries such as Iraq, Egypt and Ethiopia. Returning to Trinidad in 1970, he made several national contributions. He was the project manager for the consultants on the Caroni-Arena Water Supply project and also the Navet Pumped Storage project. His vast knowledge and experience was instrumental in his appointment as the Chairman of the Pollution Control Council and a member of the National Conservation Council. In 1978, he was invited by PAHO and WHO to assist in the early development of the resultant Caribbean Environmental Health Institute, on behalf of WHO. During the next ten years at WHO, he was promoted to the position of Caribbean Engineer and served the Latin American and Caribbean region. He was instrumental in founding the Caribbean Water and Waste-water Association, serving as President for some years. He later expanded the Association’s scope to include the critical area of solid waste management issues. He is a Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, U.K. and a member of the Association of Professional Engineers of T&T. Now retired, he continues to serve his country as a member of the Lions Club of Port of Spain Central, by participating in workshops, seminars and conferences organized by Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and also by mentoring students.

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