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Errol supported students, devoted to the saints

Errol Ferreira

The following eulogy for Errol Ferreira was delivered at his October 11 funeral at St Francis Pastoral Centre, Belmont by his brother Frank

We are here today at St Francis Church to celebrate the life of Errol Andrew Ferreira of 22 Norfolk Street, Belmont, Port of Spain.

Errol was the first-born son of Sylvia Ferreira (née Gonzales) and Le Andrew Ferreira. Errol and I lived at the family’s home all our lives. Errol was a bachelor, a simple, practical man who knew what he wanted in life when growing up in Belmont.

He was strong-willed, had a command of the English language, loved foreign languages, a Math teacher par excellence and was devoted to Jesus and Mary. No one could ever change his outlook of life and his belief that Jesus is Lord and Saviour.

Errol was born on March 28, 1945. He was the brother of Gemma, Frank, Russell and Fernando. Errol attended Belmont Intermediate Roman Catholic School and won an exhibition to St Mary’s College.

The seven years Errol spent there from 1958 to 1964 made a great impression on him academically as he pursued his studies diligently, achieving success at both Ordinary and Advanced levels with full certification. He nurtured his love for foreign languages particularly Spanish and French over the years.

One of his best friends at St Mary’s was Victor Watty who also lived nearby. Errol and Victor remained close friends in adult life, meeting regularly at St Francis Church and by their homes.

Errol believed his lifelong vocation was teaching and was greatly influenced by, Frs Harkins, Toba Valdez and Roland Quesnel. After leaving St Mary’s College in 1964 Errol applied for a clerical job in the then Civil Service remaining only one day there.

Errol subsequently applied to St Dominic Savio College in Belmont located next to the park, a small private boys’ secondary school founded in 1959 and known as the archbishop’s school. He spent the next 37 ½ years as teacher and then teacher/principal.

One of St Dominic Savio’s most valued achievements was winning the 1973 Barclays Bank Football Knockout Final trophy by a 1-0, margin against Naparima at Skinner Park in San Fernando.

Principal at St Dominic Savio

St Dominic, under the coaching of Anthony Samuel, a teacher, was considered the giants of football. I will never forget that day with Errol, teachers, students, supporters and team celebrating victory.

As his teaching duties were being increased by the added role of principal, Errol spent one year away from St Dominic Savio College in 1975 where he pursued a Professional Certificate in Education at the University of West Indies, Mona, Jamaica to enhance his overall capability to manage the college.

Errol retired from St Dominic Savio College in 2000 at the age of 55 in the prime of his life. I suspected that it was our mother, Sylvia’s first stroke in 1998 that caused him to make that decision. He just wanted to help and spend more time with her. He loved ‘Syl’ dearly.

Errol always wanted to be a teacher, was a prolific reader and was very generous with his time, spending hours every day with students. Even during his post-retirement years, he taught both privately and at Downer’s to many students from CXC/CSCE level to university level in the areas of Mathematics including Calculus, and Spanish to name a few.

I mention especially the Phillip twins, Trevaughn and Trevelle whom he considered his own sons, guiding them to academic success and qualifications. This mentorship continued with Kalil Clarke even though his SBAs were lodged on Errol’s computer at home before his death. I told Kalil he must continue his studies in order to make Errol eternally proud.

Errol used to attend St Francis RC Church with two other parishioners, Monica Patron and Sheila Cedeno, every Saturday for the 5 p.m. Holy Mass. For years, Errol left home early for Holy Mass at 4 p.m. with his prayer book in hand, meeting Monica and Sheila and then walking to church. Errol looked forward to organising the collectors to handle the weekly collections. Errol always left home happy and in good spirits. Those two ladies were his close friends.

Another close friend of Errol was Dr Keith Lee Wo, our family medical doctor whom he trusted for advice and treatment.

Errol’s love of God and beloved St Francis Church remained constant in his life of 73 years. Prayerful, serving God every day, faithful to the Lord’s callings, attending confession and receiving Holy Communion were all part of doing God’s will.

He was loyal, devoted and supportive in all his interactions with people, especially young students. He also attended with me most fundraising events for the restoration of St Francis Church. He was a good and gentle man as he grew older.

Close to his heart were the saints St Dominic Savio, the schoolboy saint; St Francis of Assisi, the protector of animals; and St Padre Pio, Capuchin priest with the stigmata.

Errol loved music, the classics of bygone days, western movies, cricket and football and our pet cats. He spent his spare time on his computer researching our Ferreira family and the Portuguese of Madeira in Belmont.

Errol enrolled with the Caribbean School of Languages for Spanish courses to enhance his speaking fluency but he could not start Portuguese classes as they were unavailable at this time. I wish to thank Luis Arreaza, a highly qualified teacher that Errol admired.

Errol died on Thursday, October 4, 2018, the Feast of St Francis of Assisi at 7.15 a.m. in the ICU of the POS General Hospital after falling critically ill with internal bleeding on Tuesday, October2. May he rest in peace.