FIVE eulogies read at the funeral service of historian and journalist Louis B Homer could not adequately capture the 80 years of life of a man who everyone agreed should be emulated and celebrated.
Each of the five people who delivered tributes — from a Government minister to Homer’s granddaughter —recognised his tireless efforts to preserve historical events with the hope of helping citizens build a sense of patriotism and national identity.
Homer, of San Fernando, died last Saturday in hospital after a brief illness.
His funeral was held yesterday at the Lady of Perpetual Help Roman Catholic Church at Harris Promenade, with Father Emmanuel Pierre officiating at the service.
His granddaughter, Ansonia Torres, spoke of Homer’s love for her and his family and his passion for manual labour and academic work.
Torres said he constructed a beach house in Granville, Cedros in three weeks, built a museum in his home, and planted trees for his grandchildren.
Torres spoke of the hours he would spend in his study, with his family as helpers in his work.
“Pa was indefatigable. We could hardly keep up with his pace and enthusiasm,” said Torres. “But he wanted our support and approval.”
Minister of National Diversity Clifton De Coteau said Homer was “a gift to the ministry” as he became an adviser, who over the last nine months, was involved in numerous projects and was always willing to share his knowledge.
“His anecdotes were endless and informative,” said De Coteau.
“Two weeks ago we were in Marac in Moruga and he told us the story of the name of the place. He told us that the place was inhabited by Grenadians who pronounced ‘more rocks’ as ‘ma rac’. That was the kind of things only he would know. We would miss his love of patriotism and heritage.”
His daughter, Nellein Homer, read a tribute from Lionel Davidas, a senior lecturer in American Culture at the University of the French West Indies and Guyane in Martinique, who praised Homer for his role in the twinning of the cities of San Fernando with Trinite in Martinique.
In eulogising his father, son Michael Homer said his father had predicted his death 30 years ago.
Michael Homer said: “He told me he was going to die in the San Fernando General Hospital. He told me ‘I am going to die a simple death’, and that is what happened. In his study he had put a mattress. He would sleep for about two hours. He would work for about 16 to 20 hours a day.”
A representative of the Merikins Company Villages Legacy said Homer’s contributions and untiring efforts to the preservation and writings of their heritage had “rekindled a flame” in their legacy.
Trinidad Express’ chief photographer Krishna Maharaj in his eulogy said Homer’s passion for history, traditions, festivals and people gave voice to minority groups and organisations.
“He brought us articles describing events and issues we didn’t even know existed,” said Maharaj. “He made accessible the history of the people and places in this country that would have been lost forever if not for him.”
In attendance at the funeral were Minister in the Ministry of Finance Rudranath Indarsingh, officials of several Government ministries, representatives of the Chinese Association, the San Fernando City Corporation, media houses and descendants of the Merikins.
Following the funeral service, Homer was interred at the Paradise Cemetery, San Fernando.