A “dedicated patriot” was how Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar yesterday described Siew Ramadhar, the late father of Congress of the People (COP) leader Prakash Ramadhar, as she extended sympathies to the family.
The elder Ramadhar passed away last Saturday at the age of 84, at Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mt Hope.
A shopkeeper of long-standing in the Freeport community, Ramadhar is mourned by his wife, Samdaye, whom he married in 1948, seven children, their respective spouses and four grandchildren.
Persad-Bissessar, in a media statement yesterday, disclosed that members of the Cabinet, along with Ramadhar and other members of the immediate family of Siew Ramadhar, were with him during his final moments, as last rites from the Hindu holy book the Gita were administered by a pundit.
Ramadhar, who was born on May 6, 1930, worked first as a teacher at Freeport Presbyterian School and later moved to the sugar industry, were he worked as a bookkeeper.
In the early 1950s, he invested $55 to start his own retail business as a grocery merchant.
“Through his diligence and dedication he progressed from selling to villagers from his donkey cart, to the prosperous grocery business he operated until his death. He instilled in his family the values of truth, fairness, honesty and integrity,” Persad-Bissessar said.
Throughout his life, Ramadhar was culturally active and showed a passion for animals. With his children, he operated a small hobby farm, tending to cows, sheep and goats.
“Siew Ramadhar was a dedicated patriot, an ideal parent and husband and a friend to everyone who crossed his path. He treated all with the same cordiality and respect without any regard to class or social standing,” Persad-Bissessar said.
“He always found time to chat with people who visited his business. And he always remained dedicated to his family. Death is perhaps the only event that we can predict with certainty, and yet it is something for which we are never truly prepared.
“And while it brings grief, we must take comfort in the understanding that it is just one part of a complex journey that ends only when the soul is once again with the Creator.”
Persad-Bissessar said Ramadhar lived his life and left a legacy of goodness and spirituality.
“Today, we mourn with Samdaye and the Ramadhar children, Prakash, Kishore, Sabita, Vidia, Taran Persad, Lidia and Babita, and other members of the family. But we also celebrate the life of a distinguished member of our community whose life was an example of all that’s good,” the Prime Minister stated.