Business pioneer, humanitarian, and philanthropist Helen Bhagwansingh ORTT will be laid to rest today. Bhagwansingh, who died at the age of 83, was bestowed this country’s highest honour the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for her pioneering business acumen and humanitarian works. The Chamber of Industry and Commerce paid tribute to the amazing woman and described her as “a visionary,” “a spectacular decision-maker” and, in 2000, the “Woman of the Millennium.” She was indubitably the force behind the build and the company she led, Bhagwansingh’s Hardware. She was a rare example of a home-grown business chain that has become a household name and a fixture on the local commercial landscape
Helen was born on October 7, 1940, to Daniel and Vilna Ramoutarsingh at a time when women were not expected to go into business. That did not stop her father from taking her out of school at age 11 and forcing her to run the bicycle repair department of his hardware business in San Fernando. By 1969, she had married Hubert Bhagwansingh and gone into commercial ventures of her own, including a stint as the owner of a popular drive-in cinema at Valsayn. Helen Bhagwansingh built an empire that today employs roughly 1,200 people and includes outlets in Chaguanas, Marabella, and Trincity. Mrs Bhagwansingh’s legacy is not just one of trailblazing female leadership. It is the embodiment of the capacity of local entrepreneurship to make higher and higher strides.
The funeral service for the late Helen Bhagwansingh will be held at the Aramalaya Presbyterian Church, Tunapuna, starting at 11 am. Following the service, her body will be interred at the Waterloo Cremation site, Waterloo Road, Couva. Bhagwansingh, the wife of the late Hubert Bhagwansingh, died on October 30. She was 83. She leaves to mourn her four children, Susan, Wendy, Trevor, and Terry, grandchildren and great-grandchildren