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The end of an era
On November 13, 2013, Kelvin Albert Watche was laid to rest after succumbing to health complications on November 8. Born on January 28, 1933, his was a God-fearing life filled with good living and excitement from his youthful days until his death.
This was evident at the funeral service held at the St Francis RC Church in Sangre Grande, where people from all over T&T came to pay their last respects. A devoted family man, a forester with the Forestry Division and an avid sports hunter has gone! Coming from humble beginnings, Watche grew up at La Seiva Road, which was situated on the outskirts of Sangre Grande.
He was the only boy in the family. He lived with his grandmother, mother and sisters. Under the strict supervision of his grandmother, education and religion were of paramount importance.
He and the rest of his siblings had to journey several miles on foot to attend the Vega de Oropouche primary school and also church services.
His grandmother did gardening to supplement the family’s income. She got help from the rest of the family in their spare time, so that she could sell her produce in the market on weekends.
His mother died when he was approaching 20 years, and this propelled him as the new breadwinner of the family. It was a tough life, but the family was content and comfortable.
One of his first stable jobs was that of ‘monitor’ teacher in his primary school at Vega de Oropouche.
This stint would not be for a long period since he was eventually employed in the Forestry Division; a job he would hold on to until he retired.
Watche worked in forests throughout Trinidad—as far as Point Fortin in the South; Rio Claro, Biche, Plum Mitan, Tamana, Cumuto, Brazil, San Raphael and Talparo in the central range; the whole of the northern range from Chaguaramas in the West, Valencia, Matura, Salybia, Balandra, and as far as Toco/Matelot.
He always boasted that it was his gang of workers who planted the pine trees above Mt St Benedict seminary and along the rest of the northern range.
He was a past student of Eciaf, and he was instrumental in the formation of the fire guardians, which was a collaboration between Forestry Division and the Fire Service for the dry seasons.
Many senior forestry officials often consulted him for advice due to his vast knowledge and experience in this area.
After dedicated years of service, he retired as Ag director of Forestry (Northern range reforestation project).
Due to his exposure to the forests, he became attracted to the sport of hunting.
Besides his forestry job, this sport became his passion and would preoccupy a great part of his life. He joined the Trinidad East Hunters Association and excelled in his new sport.
He always bred and had top rated hunting dogs in his kennels; interacted with some of the island’s best sport hunters; was a crack shot with the first gun he owned—a 16 gauge single barrel shotgun—until death.
Watche eventually became president of East hunting association and expanded the membership to as far as Paramin/Maraval, Diego Martin, Tabaquite, Biche, Rio Claro, Chaguanas, Guayaguarare, not forgetting the entire north coast starting from Sangre Grande to Matelot.
He assisted many members in acquiring firearms for the sport and was always willing to give advice to those seeking. Up to his death, he was still the president.
Despite not growing up with his father during the early part of his life, Watche was not neglected by him.
Watche developed a tighter bond with his father prior to getting married, and he also got support from his brothers and sisters.
He married the daughter of a prominent estate owner of the district, and this marriage blossomed for 56 beautiful years.
He fathered eight children (four boys and four girls), ensuring they were brought up under the same disciplines he grew up with; going to church, getting a proper education and working hard towards their goals and achieving them.
From a Christian point of view, Watche is now en route to eternal paradise.
He will be roaming the enchanted forests surrounded by all the inhabitants and hunts no more; he will finally be at peace! His 80 years on this earth was well spent.
His inspiration and interaction with all he encountered was worth it! St Peter, the guardian at the gates of heaven would be awaiting his arrival with open arms to tell him, “Kelvin my son, welcome, you did very good!”
RIP Kelvin Watche.
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