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Carnival-like send-off for masman Owen Hinds

By Sue-Ann Wayow South Bureau

The funeral for veteran masman, union leader and political activist Owen Hinds included a street fete yesterday, with masqueraders forming a procession from the funeral home to his gravesite.

At the St Paul's Anglican Church in San Fernando, the mourners included Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley, Member of Parliament for San Fernando East, Patrick Manning and Hinds' brother, Senator Fitzgerald Hinds.

Hinds, who was president of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) will be recognised for his cultural contribution with a challenge trophy in his name to be given to the large Band of the Year winner from next year's Carnival.

The announcement was made by NCBA member Wrenwick Brown who said he would also discuss with San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray having a special parade starting "as early as 2011" in commemoration of the mas leader. Coudray also attended the funeral.

Hinds died a week ago at the San Fernando General Hospital, three weeks after brain surgery. He was 79.

Hinds was awarded the Humming Bird silver medal in 1986 for his contribution to Carnival. He was also vice president of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC), president general of the Contractors and General Workers' Trade Union and sitting chairman of the People's National Movement (PNM) San Fernando West Constituency.

The procession, which started at the Belgroves Funeral Home and Crematorium at Coffee Street, San Fernando, included moko jumbies, and children in costumes.

Minister in the Ministry of Works and Transport, Rudranath Indarsingh, and Senator David Abdulah also attended the church service.

Hinds was described as a churchman, sportsman, trade unionist, politician and father.

Hinds' son, Owen Hinds Jr, said his father was never too busy to spend time with his family. He described his father as an avid church-goer who would "drag" his sons to church with him.

"One thing we could not get away from was going to church and school. Once you could get up you have to go," he said.

Ainsley Matthews who gave a tribute on behalf of the union said Hinds was like a godfather.

"He has always been there for us, whatever the situation, we could come to him and he would cover for us," he said.

Matthews said Hinds was always energetic and he was never too busy for anybody or anything.

Hinds was buried at the Roodal Public Cemetery, San Fernando.

SOURCE: Trinidad Express

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