Clive Pantin stands like a giant among men, he is respected and revered and with that in mind the Fatima College graduating class of 1975 has presented him with a DVD of his life.
The one-hour video—Answering the Call… a tribute to Clive Pantin—was aired among a select group of past teachers, graduates and principals of Fatima College at the College Hall on Wednesday evening.
In the presence of his family, former Fatima College principal Pantin heard his ex-pupils, friends and fellow-teachers speak of him in glowing terms.
Answering the Call unveils the distinguished life of Pantin and his contribution to Fatima College and beyond. He is seen as an accomplished educator, father, husband, sportsman and government minister.
Throughout the video, his peers, some former teachers and some former pupils speak about his many achievements, among them businessman Gerry Hadeed, who moved from St Mary's to Fatima College; Roy Huggins, Van Stewart, Maurice Brash, Harry Rodriguez, Bruce Paddington, Conrad Aleong, Stephen Almandoz and Thornton Garcia.
Kathy Garcia was the first female member of staff at Fatima (1971) and she spoke highly of Pantin and so too did the first two female teachers, Jeanette Zakour now Elias and Daphne Haywood (1972).
Other people making contributions on the video are present principal Fr Gregory Augustine; Fr Gerard Farfan, who was vice-principal with Clive Pantin; Glen Roach; Ray Holman; the principals of Mucurapo Senior and East Secondary, along with outstanding sportsmen Everald "Gally" Cummings and Brian Charles Lara, both ex-Fatima students.
Pantin's son, Bernard, also gave comments and said his family felt they had to share the 600 pupils from Fatima with their dad.
Pantin served as principal of Fatima from 1972 to 1981, during which time the school became the leader in audio and visual technology.
As a top sportsman, Pantin was a footballer, cricketer and hockey player. And he was a dean, senior dean, senior lay minister, football and cricket coach, vice-principal and principal of Fatima.
He became the first lay principal of the school, which was previously led by a priest from the Holy Ghost Fathers from its inception in 1945.
It is said that his dynamic personality infected pupils and teachers alike and is responsible for the love and respect he gained throughout his teaching career.
Pantin's journey into politics was not the best, having lost the seat he contested on a few occasions, but he says he will do it all over again if given the chance, describing it as "The will of God".
He became the minister of education under the NAR administration (1986) and is regarded as one of the best ever.
After politics, Pantin continued to serve the people with the formation of the Foundation for the Enhancement and Enrichment of Life (FEEL), which distributes food and clothing to the underprivileged.
Once again he devoted his life to FEEL, just as he was devoted to Fatima.
Peter Charles of Fatima's graduating class of 1975 said the tribute to Clive Pantin is for the young pupils of Fatima to see and know their former principal and the contribution he made, not only to the college but to society.
Source: Trinidad Express Sept 30, 2017
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