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Sir Ellis – a model for us – Jan 16

Sir Ellis – a model for us – Jan 16 PDF Print E-mail
Last week a saddened Trinidad and Tobago witnessed the final rites of the country’s last Governor General and our First President, Sir Ellis Emmanuel Innocent Clarke. The cloud of gloom which for days hovered over our beloved country signified the measure of respect the population had for one of its most famous sons, who at the same time was a great leader.

What did we learn from all the accolades and tributes which poured in for Sir Ellis? We learnt that he was a humble man who loved life; a man who enjoyed life and a man who knew how to be happy.

Although these attributes, to a large extent were well-known throughout his lifetime, because he lived them constantly, one area that loomed large on his death was his deep spirituality and his firm grounding in his Catholic faith, which he practised unambiguously.

In a way, it can be said that Sir Ellis was evangelisation personified if only because he was a model Catholic. Evangelisation characterised almost everything he did, whether it was social, legal, educational or political.

His purity of heart pervaded all that he did for people, for organisations, for schools and education generally. Even his politics never interfered with his spirituality and his Catholicism.

If some of our present leaders, including religious, would take a page from Sir Ellis’ life’s book, we could safely say that living in Trinidad and Tobago could become truly different and of course better.

Archbishop Edward Gilbert put the late president’s spiritual life in perspective when he said in his homily during the State funeral, “Family life is getting to be on a disastrous path to destruction. This is a problem for the Church, it’s a problem for the State, it’s a problem for all of us and the heart of the matter is a question of loving and enabling people because of love. Love brings meaning to your life, the absence does not.”

The theme “Catholic family; become what you are” is deeply embedded in that statement from His Grace and is a great manifestation of evangelisation.

The innumerable tributes which poured in since Sir Ellis’ death is testimony to the greatness of this proponent of evangelisation, whether he realised it or not.

Sir Ellis, may your soul rest in peace! – Vernon Khelawan

Last Updated on Friday, 21 January 2011 13:49