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Tears, sorrow for Chaguanas principal

Published: 
Wednesday, March 4, 2015
Premlal Seecharan

“A genuine teacher” and “a champion of the students” were two of many ways Chaguanas North Secondary principal Premlal Seecharan was described by students, administrators and family, following his recent death.

Seecharan, 59, died on February 21 at the San Fernando General Hospital and was cremated at the Caroni cremation site following a procession through his hometown.

His death came as a shock to his wife, Ria, two children Priya, 16, and Ryan, 11, as well as many attached to Chaguanas North Secondary. 

Seecharan’s death occurred just two weeks after he was officially promoted as the school’s principal. For nearly two years, Seecharan acted as the school’s principal following the retirement of former principal Aletia Alleyne-Benn.

Seecharan began his teaching career in 1979 at Carapichaima East Secondary where he taught mathematics and physics. He was also head of the sciences department, before making the transfer as vice principal to Chaguanas North in 2010.

According to Seecharan’s family and others close to him, he never showed signs of ill health.

His widow, Ria said his two children remain devastated by his passing, as are many teachers and students of Chaguanas North.

Speaking in an interview, she said, “There are no words in the Lexicon dictionary to properly describe his loss. Words are inadequate to describe the magnanimity of the individual and what he has done.”

She said her husband had a passion for service, selflessness and also a sense of humour, but not one that many would grasp. 

Another person saddened by Seecharan’s passing was former student and head of Chaguanas North’s football team, Nicholas Griffith. 

Griffith said he had a great relationship with the principal given the latter’s dedication to the students and the footballers. “Seecharan was a champion of the students. He was a father to them,” Griffith said.

He gave Seecharan credit for the rise in the school’s recent success in the sport. “Everything we needed, he made arrangements for us to get it. He helped with the players’ self-esteem and sense of importance. He was very supportive. Sometimes in a climate of injustice and discrimination, Seecharan was the complete opposite.” 

When school reopened last Monday there was an eerie atmosphere at the building, according to Griffith. “The students were in tears. Some of the teachers were a mess and, of course, the footballers were extremely sad and shaken.”

Seecharan’s wife and children have extended gratitude to all well-wishers and those who have supported them.

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