Nov 5, 2012

Tributes to Dr. Fred Campayne

Alumnus Dr. Frederick Campayne, former Senior Lecturer in Physics at the University of Guyana and at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine Campus, Trinidad, passed away on October 8, 2012.

He also tutored Secondary School students in Maths and Physics at Advanced levels. Esteemed as a brilliant academic, he was trusted, respected and loved as a great teacher, a valued colleague, a loyal friend and a truly humble man of faith.

Several tributes have been made by his many friends which we reproduce here.

Alwyn Wharton

In 1961 I was editor of the journal of the Physical-Mathematical Society of the UCWI at Mona, Jamaica.  The society was run by students and was quit vibrant, with about fity students and perhaps a dozen lecturers attending regular meetings.  I solicited articles from the membership and did not have much difficulty in getting articles of an adequate quality.  But of all of the articles which we published that year, there is only one that I remembered quite vividly. It was an article by Freddie Campayne on the Neutrino and Beta-decay.  It was very long, but it was of such outstanding quality that we decided to publish it in its entirety. The article reviewed the history of the neutrino and went on to hint at the work for which Steven Weinberg, Adbus Salaam, and Sheldon Glashow later received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1979.  In retrospect, I feel that Freddie demonstrated that he had the technical skills and the vision to have participated in that work.

Freddie chose a different road. After completing his PhD in Nuclear Physics in London in 1965, Freddie chose to return to his native Guyana, where he taught for fifteen years at the University of Guyana, and then at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine, Trinidad. The region was enriched by his presence and his dedication.

The McDoom Family

We are very grateful for this opportunity to participate in the celebration of the life of our dearest friend, Fred, and to express our deep appreciation for his love and friendship. Indeed we feel blessed that we spent so much time in his company, shared in much pleasant, spirited and enlightened conversations and discussions.  We came to build a bond that moved from casual friendship to solid ties while participating in family outings, birthdays, and festive celebrations.

In our home he never felt like a guest or stranger, more like a familiar and favourite fixture that provided much comfort and reassurance. Of course, like a solid family member he could always be counted upon in times of crisis and difficulty to share in pain and sorrow and provide the greatest support.

Oris was very happy that Fred shared her Catholic faith.  She considered him something of a guru in the pursuit and practice of her religion and was truly inspired by the way he radiated the Christ-like principles of self-effacing humility, inexhaustible patience and equanimity of spirit that could not be reduced to anger or broken by misfortune.  To her, he exuded the calmness of a man so firmly rooted in the tenets of his faith that its principles coloured and guided his words and actions.

Riad will always be grateful for the tireless steady support and encouragement he provided him when he suffered his greatest challenges and difficulties.  Although Riad could be very demanding and trying of the patience of an angel, Fred never wavered in providing support, reassurance and encouragement.

Riad also greatly admired how readily Uncle Freddie could provide brilliant and knowledgeable answers and explanations for every article of the Catholic faith which is testimony to the validity of his nickname at High School - Diamond.

May he rest in peace.

Nephews Paul, Oliver, and families

Uncle Fred we will always remember you as a Clark Kent cum Superman of an uncle: seemingly mild-mannered, humorous and relaxed on the one hand, yet with a huge intellect, immense strength of will and a stubborn sense of rightness, intergrity and fairness.

You always were and will be a great role model to us and to many others. You showed us the quest for scientific truth could be used to strengthen a person's belief, and through combining science and faith a person's life could be immeasurably enriched.

Although your calls were infrequent they were always memorable and full of insights, laughter and love. You never missed a birthday or Christmas opportunity to send a card and express your love and support for us.

We will miss your pationate defense of West Indian cricket and indeed of all matters Caribbean, from food to history, politics, society, and culture.

We will miss your softly spoken encouragement and drive, your desire for us to always excel at everything we do.

But we will always remember the essence of who you are: a learned man of science, fervent man of faith, wise counsellor, fun-filled man, and loyal, committed and loving uncle.

You will forever be in our thoughts, hearts and prayers.

Harry Hergash

Sister Hazel and Siblings, other members of the Campayne family, ladies and gentlemen, good evening.

I am Harry Hergash, President of the Ontario Chapter of the University of Guyana Guild of Graduates and both personally and on behalf of the members of the UG Guild , I wish to express our deepest sympathy to the members of the Campayne family on the passing of Dr. Freddie Campayne.

Dr. Freddie Campayne came to UG as a lecturer in the Department of Physics in 1967. At the time UG was an evening institution conducting classes at Queen's College and I was a senior student in the Biology Department of the University. As the Biology and Physics laboratories were located in  the same wing of Queens College, I occasionally crossed path with him in the corridor and we would exchange greetings.

My knowledge of Dr. Freddie were based on those brief exchanges of courtesies, on seeing him on many occasions walking acoss the paved grill square that served as a parking lot in Queens College compound, on hearing glowing reports of my friends who were students in his Physics class, and on my discussions with former UG lecturers who were collegues of his in those pioneering years at UG.

My personal recollection of Dr. Freddie Campayne is that of a quiet, serene, dignified person who emanated an aura of spirituality, and who, I felt, was well suited for the priesthood.

To his students he was a brilliant scientist and an excellent teacher. I remember the excitement he created when he joined the UG staff. He was not only a Guyana Scholar but a scientist in a leading-edge field that was making headlines in the news on a regular basis. He was a nuclear physicist.

Let us reflect on what that meant in 1967. This was just five years after the Cuban Missile Crisis when the world's two superpowers, the US and the USSR, came very close to unleashing a nuclear war and when the nuclear arms race between these two world powers was escalating.

This was the environment in which a humble man, a Guyanese, one of our own, Dr. Freddie Campayne, equipped with a knowledge of the most current and lethal technology known to mankind, came to UG. You can imagine then the pride we all felt in him at the time.

As I learned of Dr. Freddie's passing, I contacted  some of his former teaching colleagues and they confirmed my view of him. One went further and stated that Dr. Freddie was a born teacher, a man who loved teaching and who enjoyed working with children.

The period from the late 1960s to the early 1980s is often considered as the golden years of the UG.  This is the period when the Natural Sciences Faculty had at least three PhDs on staff, two of them, Dr. Littleton Ramsahoye and Dr. Freddie Campayne being Guyana Scholars.

Dr. Freddie was one of the people who helped build the reputation of the Physics Department in those days. After he and his colleagues, Dr, Ramsahoye  and Dr. Kunar left in the 1980s the decline started and today there is no Physics Department. UG's loss was UWI's gain and these men went on to distinguished careers at UWI campuses in Trinidad and Barbados.

To the Campayne family, as you mourn the passing of Dr. Freddie, take solace in the fact that he touched many lives, and through his work, fulfilled the Lord's calling. May your treasured memories of him see you through these difficult days. And may his soul rest in peace.

Thank You.

Lloyd Kunar

For those who don't know me, my name is Lloyd Kunar.  I want to say a few words in memory of my friend, my brother, and the godfather of my children.

Dr. Frederick Ignatius Campayne and I have been bonded friends for over 50 years.  We laughed, we cried, we learned to dance in the rain waiting for the storms to pass.  Freddie was a relatively quiet and humble man who loved people and life. People trusted, respected, and loved him also. If love could have saved him he would have lived forever. Freddie has departed from this world a little ahead of me and I must always remind myself of the Hebrew proverb: "say not in grief "he is no more" but live in thankfulness that he was."

I first met Freddie in 1960 at the Mona campus where he was already pursuing a degree in Special Physics, a notoriously difficult course. Freddie entered UCWI after winning the Guyana Scholarship in 1958 while attending St. Stanislaus College. His Guyanese colleagues, Dr. Algie Wharton and Dr. John Sparrock can attest to the brilliance of Freddie, one of the best, if not the best in the Caribbean at that time. Nicknamed "Black Diamond" at his High School, on account of that diamond's rarity and value. Freddie graduated with First Class Honours before going on to Imperial College to complete his doctorate in Particle Physics. Subsequently we came together in 1970 and worked in the Department of Physics at the University of Guyana. It is there where our relationship strenghtened considerably, so much so that one would not usually be seen without the other, either at work or at the bar. We loved to play bridge and very often we together with Prof. Lyttleton Ramsahoye would meet at the Hungarian mathematician Prof. George Lederer's place to play bridge and eat fish eyes and a seven-course meal. The dining table was placed in the bedroom because it was air-conditioned and many a time we took turns to run around the table to burn energy and find place for George's several courses.

The memories of Guyana are many. Freddie, Monty Salisbury and I liked very cold beers and so on many an evening we'd go for a few. It so happened that one evening we ran out of drinks while sitting on the sea-wall and Freddie and Monty took my car to fetch some more.  I waited, waited and waited for them to return. At about 3 a.m., a taxi stopped beside me and out comes Freddie and Monty.  "What's the matter with my car?" to which they both replied " the road ran out. They were talking while driving and drove across a T-Junction straight into a kitchen garden belonging to the police. My radiator was full of peppers and cabbage.  Luckily for us, the police investigator was a friend; so all was well.

Freddie and I enjoyed going to celebrations of any kind. We always had fun. I remember setting out, with some of our friends, for a wedding in Central Trinidad.After driving for more than the required hours, we were relieved and excited on hearing music blaring not far away.  The wedding was in full swing. We parked and entered the premises. We were welcomed, given preferred seats and were treated like the prodigal sons had come home. Then through conversations the truth hit us. We were at the wrong wedding! Oh how we laughed! Including our hosts!

I left Guyana in 1978 and Freddie soon joined me at UWI, St. Augustine. There he served the Department of Physics with fellow Guyanese Dr. Algie Wharton and Dr. Imran McDoom, both of whom had an eye on him to the very end, together with a another very dear friend from Longdenville, Mr Baldat Rambarran. Freddie was very close to my wife, Fabia, and the children. He never forgot the special occasions and was always there for us.  He is a much loved uncle to the children. On one occasion he looked after two of them while the rest of the family was in the United States.

I also remember, very vividly, suspicious looking people coming to his house at night with empty propane tanks and empty milk bottles, begging for money to buy gas and milk to take care of their children. They came more than once and Freddie never refused, even though he questioned their motives. Such was his kindness and generosity!

Freddie has been there for so many crucial and important events in my life. He has never failed me. When I opened my eyes from cardiac surgery at Johns Hopkins hospital in 1995, who was standing next to me? Freddie. He had come from Trinidad to the States and on hearing of my surgery, found me.

I enjoyed my discussions with him on Physics, Metaphysics, Philosophy, Religion, in particular the Supernatural and Reincarnation. Very often his views were grounded in his faith. The Church meant a lot to him and he lived the life of a devout Roman Catholic.

We emigrated to the USA in 1992 and missed Freddie, but he would come to spend time with us occasionally.  Unfortunately, with the dialysis, visits ceased. I last saw him in Trinidad in October, 2011 and spoke with him on Sunday, the day before he passed on.

Although Freddie suffered a lot during the last few years of his life, he did not allow this to stand in his way, and continued to work as long as he could.  Whenever we spoke on the phone, we would remind pourselves that we were still batting at the crease, not being able to hit 6s and 4s like before but 'chooksing' 1s to reach the century.

I miss you already, Freddie, but we'll meet again soon.  In the meantime I'll stay at the wicket for you.

Those we love don't go away
They walk beside us every day
Unseen, unheard, but always near
Still loved, still missed and very dear

In the words of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, "He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent, nay, more present than the living man."

Farewell, my friend! Farewell, my brother! You are in God's hands!

John Yip

I met Freddie in the St. Stanislaus 2A class in 1951. from the very start it was obvious that Freddie waas the 'bright boy' of the class. I suspect he placed first in class that term. At any rate he made it a habit of placing first during his entire time at St. Stanislaus.  I recall that one year Freddie acted as lab assistant to Father Feeney during our Chemistry exam and was exempt from writing it. He placed first in class anyway.

Sixth form was our introduction to independent work and with his recognised academic standing, Freddy was a natura;l source of help in the classroom. I don't recall anyone asking him for help ever being turned away.  I personally benefited very much from Freddy's generous help, and in fact continued to do so even after leaving Saints while we were both at University together.

By the end of my University days, Freddy had gone to England to work I seldom saw him after that as I emigrated to Canada while he went to the University in Trinidad.

it is very difficult to accept that Freddy has passed away. My sympathy goes out to his family, and I join them in prayers for his eternal soul.

Ron Camacho

I have known Freddie Campayne since our early days at Main Street (Sacred Heart RC) school.  We got to know each other even better in his latter years at Sacred Heart when we were both attempting to win scholarships to St. Stanislaus College. 

We spent many hours at each others homes discussing various topics and playing games.  We also spent time when chatting while cycling back and forth (between school and our respective homes) each day for lunch or at day's end.  Freddie of course had a longer distance to cover each day. We both attended St. Stanislaus College in the fifties for over six years.  During that time Freddie continued to excel in academics.  He was directly and indirectly responsible for my lesser achievements.  He encouraged me to study more and just being around him was just an inspiration.  I could not help marvelling at his depth of knowledge and his ability to answer any questions on most topics.

While at St. Stanislaus, we continued our close relationship and daily cycling habits (necessities). Now though, on our way to and from St. Stanislaus we had to stop by Sacred Heart RC school to pick up our respective siblings (Freddie's sister and my brother). This activity was required at the beginning and the end of the school day as well as at lunchtime.

Freddie may not have been noted for his athletic prowess but I can assure you that this daily cycling back and forth for miles every day (for a number of years) allowed Freddie to remain fit and maintain a pair of strong legs that would have stood him well in any athletic contest.

After completing our studies at Saints, Freddie and I attended UCWI (later UWI) in Jamaica.  There we continued to have many common friends. After our undergraduate years at UCWI he went on to he University of London to pursue his academic goals.

Freddie was an inspiration to me and many others. He was not a flamboyant leader but rather a bright introspective and caring individual. In his quiet and humble way he enlightened the lives of many while devoting his own to continuous learning and teaching.  He was a splendid human being. I have spent a lot of time with Freddie and never heard him speak an ill word about anyone.  No matter what life threw his way, he managed to cope with dignity and resolve. 

Freddie never complained in times of adversity; he just strived harder.  He was always admired by his fellow students and teachers for his brilliance in academic achievements, but I always was constantly amazed by the way he tackled any problem (academic or otherwise) with just plain old-fashioned persistence and hard work.

In the nineties when I came to live in Canada I saw Freddie more frequently.  With the help of Freddie's other friends in Toronto we would take every opportunity to meet with him whenever he visited his family. This allowed us to renew our friendships and enjoy reminiscing about old times.

Freddie was not always dealt the best of hands in life but he usually found ways to overcome difficulties and move on to ever increasing achievements. In academics he obtained a valued Guyana Scholarship and later a PhD in Physics from a world class University. In his personal life, he pursued a distinguished teaching career and achieved a reputation as an outstanding human being. The world would most certainly be a much better place with more individuals like Freddie.

It is with deep regret that I am away at this time and could not be there. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family. May he rest in eternal peace.

Leyland Grant

When John Sparrock suggested that I should write something about ny relationship with Freddie Campayne during our St. Stanislaus College years my first reaction was mild panic as writing has never been a favourite discipline. I did however think of a title/sub-title for the piece - I thought I was bright until I met Freddie.

This was in 1951 and the intake into Form 1A contained an unusually high proportion of scholarship winners, many from the three Catholic primary schools in Georgetown. Fr. Brian Scanell, the Principal, was so proud of his capture that for years afterwards visitors would be brought to the form so that we could be shown off. 

Freddie and several others had arrived from the posh end of the school spectrum - Sacred Heart. There were a number of others from Brickdam and from the poor relation - Carmel, there was me.
Intimidating but I thought I could compete.

And compete I did - with Ronald Camacho and Winston Gomes and Terry Da Silva and Angus Zitman and Johnny Yip, etc. for the honour of coming second in class. Because, for the next five years (15 terms), first place was reserved for F. I. Campayne. Once , in the 2nd or 3rd form I managed to get within 15 marks of Freddie's total, which got Fr. Scannell all excited, but that was never repeated.

Our problem was that Freddie was good at everything - whether History or Chemistry or French. Of course, he could be beaten in individual subjects, but his consistency across the whole range was extraordinary. Whereas most of us had favourite subjects and varying degrees of interest in the rest, Freddie was interested in everything. Moreover, his brain seemed to have the capacity to absorb, process, file away, and retreive information with a facility which was denied to the rest of us.

And he could do so quickly,  very quickly.  I was once selected by the school with Freddie and others to compete for a place on a weekly teen quiz show on Radio Demerara. His breath of knowledge and speed of response were so good that he was a shoo-in as one of the four permanent panellists, whereas some of us appeared as guests from time to time.  He was in his element and excelled. And he performed with a humility - and slight embarassment- which was quite endearing.

It wasn't until the Sixth Form that I felt comfortable academically with Freddie as I could hold my own in our common A Level subjects - Pure and Applied Maths. Then another aspect of his character became evident - his generosity. Our Maths master, Fr. Lynch ("Jiggs" to us) had a simple but effective teaching method. He would introduce a new topic, do a few examples, and then leave us to get on with it and work through the chapter at our own rates. The boys who were furthest ahead would then act as consultants for the slower learners and, as the leader of the pack usually, Freddie spent a lot of his time guiding and giving advice to his classmates. I cannot even remember him refusing or bemoaning his fate. He was firmly of the opinion that knowledge was there to be shared, not hoarded, and he was a fine example to the whole class.

Freddie left for the University (College, as it then was) of the West Indies in 1958, and I followed him a year later. I met up with him a few times also in London by which time he seemed to have become disillusioned with the world of research Physics and it was no surprise when I learnt that he had returned to the Caribbean.  But what still shone through were his absolute religious faith and his belief in the essential "goodness" of Science.

John Sparrock suggested that I write this piece because, as he saw it, I was a "competitor" of Freddie during our Saints schooldays.  Technically true, but in fact, you didn't compete with Freddie.   You accepted him as a force of nature, one of those people whose role on this earth is to show us what is possible.

Frederick Ignatius Campayne will be remembered with great fondness and much respect.

Bunty Phillips, St. Stanislaus Alumni Association, Toronto

For those who do not know me, my name is Bunty Phillips and I am speaking here not only for myself but also on behalf of the Alumni of St. Stanislaus College.  There are some here who are better qualified to deliver this eulogy as they have known Freddie longer than I have. In fact this eulogy consists not only of my own personal recollections but also those of other Saints alumni from Canada, the UK, the US,  and Guyana.  Indeed Freddie was loved and highly respected by his compatriots. My thanks go especially to Joe Ajodhia, Ron Camacho, Lloyd Kunar, John Sparrock, and John Yip for providing me with their remembrances of Freddie.

Freddie attended Sacred Heart Primary School, then know as Main St, School, whereas I attended the rival school, St. Mary's, known as Brickdam School.  Our paths first crossed when Freddie entered Saints the year after I started there.  From the very start it was obvious he was the bright boy of the class.  He placed first in class in his first term, and he continued to make it a habit of placing first right up to 'O' Levels in the Fifth form. One year, Freddie acted as Lab Assistant to the Science Master Fr. Feeny, during his class' chemistry exam and so was exempt from writing it. He placed first in class anyway.

Freddie took part in the radio programme, "The Quiz Kids", and his performance on it quickly earned him the nickname of "Black Diamond". In the 1953 Saints Magazine Freddie wrote an article entitled "A Year with the Quiz Kids" in which he said "It was a year in which I was made to be more conscious of what was happening in the world and to be more interested in what I read". 

Freddie caught up with me in the Sixth Form which was the student's introduction to independent work, and with his recognised academic standing he was a natural source of help in the classroom. No one asking him for help was ever turned away.  We all benefited very much from Freddie's generous help, and in fact, those of us who went with him to University continued to be recipients of his help.

In the Sixth Form, the Demerara Bauxite Company (DEMBA) invited the whole class to spend a 4-day weekend at MacKenzie to view its operations as it was promoting University scholarships in Engineering to encourage students to return to work with the company after University graduation. One evening there, a social was arranged to meet the senior class of the MacKenzie High School. Unlike Saints, which was then a boys-only school, MacKenzie High School was co-educational, so there were female students at the social. This, of course, made some of the Saints boys embellish their accomplishments when the subject of sports was raised. Freddie was seated next to a young lady who turned to him and asked "And what do you do?"  Without missing a beat, Freddie came back with the quick response "Oh, I'm an all-rounder!".

Freddie was always a hard studier, and never really went out for sports. Nevertheless, the Jesuits who ran the school believed in "A healthy mind in a healthy body" and encouraged - no- insisted that everyone should take part in some form of sports.   It turned out that Freddie was a good natural sprinter who could have gone further if he had only trained seriously.  As well, when he turned his hand to cricket, he was found to be a very competent batsman. It would seem, after all, that Freddie's self-analysis of being an all-rounder might not have been too far off the mark!  Some of his athletic prowess and his strong pair of legs probably can be attributed to the fact that he had to cycle for miles every day to get to school and back home again. though he would have to stop at Main Street School to pick up his younger sister to take her home with him.

Freddie's academic excellence at Saints can best be summed up by the article, "Highlights of 1968" in the 1959 Saints Magazine.

"Academically the chief high-lights were the winning of the U.C.W.I. Federation Open Scholarship by F.I. Campayne to be followed by a Guiana Scholarship. This Guiana Scholarship is the third in four years (for Saints). In 1957, J. Sparrock had three distinctions with an average of 87%.  In 1958, F.I. Campayne beat that record by 1/3 %.  We congratulate Frederick Campayne on his honours, his proved ability and exemplary industry, and the College staff on the excellence of their teaching"

When we went off together to University in Jamaica in 1958, we were placed in the Taylor Hall residence, he to Block B and I to the notorious block D.  Freddie readily adapted to University life much better than I did.  Of course, our first year just happened to be the last year of studies for his sister, Hazel, so he had the privilege of having "big sister" checking up on him and guiding him through his first year of independence from home. 

Freddie held the view on studying based on " What you get out is based on what you put in", and he certainly wasn't shy on putting in the most he could.  He knew how to burn the midnight oil!  His room waas on the third and top floor at the far end of his Block from which could be seen the desolate path leading to the distant University Teaching Hospital beyond which, even more distant, was the village of Papine where we could catch the bus to go into town (Kingston). On returning from a night-out on the town and to get back to the halls of residence after getting off the bus at Papine, students would have to go through the hospital and then walk across a large open area which had only one overhead light. On a dark moonless night, it w as difficult to see one's way. However, to guide his way the returning student could always rely on "the beacon" which was the name given to the light, ever shining through the transom above Freddie's door!

Freddie was enrolled in a Special Physics degree course, and in his final year, the Physics department launched an essay competition which Freddie won hands down with a paper on the Neutrino. The neutrino is an elementary particle of nature which was postulated first in 1930 but never discovered until 1956 (a scant 5 years before Freddie's paper) for which discovery the scientists were awarded almost forty years later with the 1955 Nobel Prize in Physics.  None of the Physics textbooks we were using at the time had covered the neutrino, so Freddie must have gone to the library and researched this topic. Freddie was clearly into Physics, and in a big way.

Freddie graduated with his BSc. degree obtaining First Class honours and shared the Joseph Luckhoo Memorial Prize for the best performance in finals at U.C.W.I. It may well be that his winning essay led him to Imperial College, London, where Theoretical Physicist Abdus Salaam was working on the theory of the neutrino.  Prof. Salaam was a brilliant Pakistani theoretical physicist who won the 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics. Freddie studied High Energy Nuclear Physics, working with teams consisting of the best and brightest physicists not only at Imperial College in the UK but also at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN)  in Switzerland, dealing with problems that were too complex for any single human being to tackle.  It is safe to say that Freddie had outgrown the Caribbean. Freddie, the genius, was approaching the pinnacle of his career.

In 1966, Freddie, with about a dozen publications under his belt, received his Ph.D degree. This milestone was recorded in the section on "News of Old Boys" in the 1967 Saints magazine.

"FREDERICK CAMPAYNE has obtained his Ph.D in Nuclear Physics. He won the Guyana Scholarship in 1958.  After graduating at the University of the West Indies, he went to London University (Imperial College) to study Nuclear Physics. He is now lecturing at the University of Guyana."

Freddie accepted a position at UG in 1967 and stayed there until 198, during which time he served as Head of the Physics Department on and off for 6 years.  Incredibly, he was not awarded a Professorship even though he easily qualified for that position.  He worked alongside Lloyd Kunar who had met and studied with him in 1960 at University in Jamaica. Freddie and Lloyd developed a strong friendship, so much so that one would not usually be seen without the other, either at work or at play. Play included playing bridge regularly with other professors at UG and very often going out for a few very cold beers. Yes, believe it or not, Freddie became a "social" drinker!

Lloyd left Guyana in 1978 to work at the U.W.I. Trinidad campus at St. Augustine, and Freddie soon joined him there in 1981 as Lecturer in Physics, working there either full-time or part-time until his death.  freddie was very close to the Kunar family whose children regarded him as a much-loved uncle.  He showed his love for not only those close to him but for all humanity. His views were grounded in his faith which meant a lot to him, and he lived the life of a devout Roman Catholic. In trinidad, people who might be regarded as "suspicious-looking" would often come to his house at night with empty propane tanks and empty milk bottles, begging for money to buy gas and milk to take care of their children.  They would come more than once, but Freddie would never refuse them, even though he might have questioned their motives. Such was his love, kindness, and generosity!

Freddie was an inspiration to many.  He was not a flambouyant leader but rather a bright introspective and caring individual.  In his quiet and humble way, he enlightened the lives of many while devoting his own to continuous learning and teaching.  He was a splendid human being. No one has ever heard him speak an ill word about a single person. He was always admired by his teachers and fellow students for his brilliance in academic achievements and we were all constantly amazed at the way he tackled any problem (academic and otherwise) with just plain old-fashioned persistence and hard work.  The world would most certainly be a much better place with more individuals like Freddie.

No matter what life threw his way, Freddie managed to cope with dignity and resolve, and he never complained in times of adversity; he just strived harder.  He suffered a lot with his bad health during the last few years of his life, but he did not allow this to stand in his way and continued to work as long as he could.  I continued to see him every time he visited his family in Toronto, and a group of his old schoolmates from both ssaints and University would take him out for a meal every time he visited.  His Toronto family continued to try to get him admitted to Canada with immigrant status as the last family member outside of Canada.  Unfortunately, the Canadian government considered his bad health to be an insurmountable barrier to his successful application.  It is somewhat ironic that what he could not accomplish when he was alive has finally come to pass with his death!

I would like to conclude with two quotations and two prayers.  The first quotation is attributed to an American, Mary Elizabeth Frye.

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am in a thousand winds that blow,
I am the softly falling snow.
I am the gentle showers of raini am the fields of ripening grain.
I am in the morning hush
I am in the graceful rush
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the star-shine of the night
I am in the flowers that bloom,
I am in a quiet room
I am in the birds that sing
I am in each lovely thing
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there I do not die.

The second quotation is from William Shakespeare's Hamlet where Horatio speaks over the lifeless body of his friend, Hamlet.

Now cracks a noble heart. Good night, sweet prince, and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Finally, I would like to offer a prayer for the repose of Freddie's soul.

Lord, in Thy infinite wisdom. You have recalled our dear brother, Frederick, from this mortal life on earth to Your heavenly kingdom.  Through the intercessions of Your Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary, Your angels, St. Stanislaus, and all the other Saints, we beseech you to grant him pardon and full remission from all his sins, and to take him into Your embrace to enjoy the vision of Your glory in the paradise which you have prepared for him and for us for all eternity.

We further ask You to fill us, who are left here on earth, with wisdom and patience to understand Your grand scheme. Please give comfort to all his family he has left behind in this time of their great sorrow.  Have mercy on us all, O Lord, and lead us in time to Your heavenly kingdom.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual life shine upon him
May he rest in peace  


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