Former Public Service head Reginald Dumas has passed away

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Former Public Service head Reginald Dumas has passed away

Former diplomat and head of the public service, John Reginald Dumas, has passed away.

He died last night (Thursday), after being hospitalised in recent weeks.

Dumas reportedly had gastro-intestinal challenges, which culminated in his having emergency surgery at the Scarborough General Hospital. There had been calls for donations of blood during the period.

His death was confirmed by his daughter Sonja Dumas last night at 10.36 pm.

Dumas, who was a member of Tobago’s Council of Elders, died at age 88 – just over a month shy of his 89th birthday on April 4.

Ms Dumas, in a GML report said, “My father transitioned (last night). He fought an extended challenge of gastrointestinal failure over the past few weeks at the Scarborough General Hospital. We thank the various medical, surgical and anaesthesia teams for their Herculean efforts to bring him back to health.

“We thank too all the friends, allies, family members and strangers who donated blood and helped in various ways as advocates for his recovery.

“He leaves a legacy of integrity and honesty that I hope to follow as long as I’m on this planet and perhaps beyond. He is my ancestor now, looking down on me, guiding me.”

Ms Dumas added, “For many he was a great diplomat, a great orator and a great political analyst. He fought tirelessly for good governance. His generosity touched countless people, as did his wit (which was often acerbic). He was more stubborn than 10 mules put together and could dismiss you with a short tart phrase when he’d had enough of what he thought was nonsense. But his heart was huge and his mind brilliant.

She said her father’s death had caused a cavernous loss, added, “He was the biggest, safest rock in my life and I love him beyond measure. The memories will always be there.”

Mr Dumas wore many hats during his lifetime. He was Ambassador to the United States of America and Permanent Representative of T&T to the OAS, High Commissioner to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, High Commissioner to Canada, High Commissioner to India, with accreditation to Sri Lanka, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan and High Commissioner to Ethiopia, with accreditation to Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.

In 1998, he became co-founder of T&T Transparency Institute, the National Chapter of Transparency International.