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T&T’s fourth president dies

Published: 
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
FLASHBACK March 17th 2013 Former President George Maxwell Richards inspects the parade during the Demission Ceremony for the outgoing head of state at the Queen’s Park Savannah, in front of Knowsley Building, Port-of-Spain.

Former president George Maxwell Richards died last night around 7.43 at the WestShore Medical Private Hospital from a heart attack.

A source close to the family said that Richards, who served as the country’s fourth president from 2003 to 2013, was not feeling well around noon following which his wife Jean and daughter Maxine took him to the hospital in Cocorite for medical attention.

There, doctors discovered that Richards, 86, had an unusual heartbeat.

Doctors advised that he installed a pacemaker to regulate his heart beat.

Before his passing, Richards was very responsive and in high spirits, the source said.

On Maxine Richards’ Facebook page last night, she posted a picture of herself and her father stating: “Rest in peace daddy, I can’t believe you are gone.”

Scores of people took to social media last night to express shock on his sudden passing and to extend condolences to bereaved family.

The T&T Guardian was told that Maxine was overcome with grief and in constant tears.

“She can’t catch her self,” the source said.

Richards was an avid mas player who loved Carnival with a passion.

Several times Richards’ family had to debunk reports on social media that Richards had passed away in 2016.

His’ death came hours after the Opposition threw their support behind the PNM’s presidential nominee Paula- Mae Weekes as the country’s sixth and first female President.

ABOUT GEORGE MAXWELL RICHARDS

Professor George Maxwell Richards served as the fourth President of Trinidad and Tobago between 2003 and 2013.

Richards was a Professor Emeritus in Chemical Engineering at the Department of Engineering at the University of the West Indies and was the first President of the Republic who was not an attorney.

He was born in San Fernando in 1931 and received his primary education there before winning a Government Exhibition to Queen’s Royal College in Port of Spain.

From May 1950 to September 1951 he was a staff trainee (exploration, production and refining) at United British Oilfields of Trinidad Ltd.

From 1957 to 1965, Richards held a number of managerial posts at Shell Trinidad Ltd, and then joined the University of the West Indies as a senior lecturer in chemical engineering.

In October 1970, he was appointed Professor of chemical engineering. He also held the post of Deputy Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor from August 1980 to May 1985.

Richards became acting principal in October 1984 and held this post until May 1985, when he was appointed Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor. He held this position until November 1996.

He served on the board of a number of local companies, including the Trinidad Publishing Company, TRINTOC, and the National Gas Company, and has also served on the boards of several service organizations, including the National Training Board (Chairman), the National Advisory Council and the Institute of Marine Affairs (Chairman).

He was also a member of several professional societies, including the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago, the Institute of Chemical Engineers (London), the Institute of Petroleum (London); the Royal Society of Chemistry (London).

He received the Chaconia Medal of the Order of the Trinity - Class1 (Gold) for Public Service.

Professor Richards was married to Jean Ramjohn and is survived by his two children, Mark and Maxine.
—Source T&T Parliament

SHALIZA HASSANALI
AND KRISTY RAMNARINE

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