[UPDATED] Former PM’s ashes scattered in Gulf of Paria

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Mickela Panday scatters the ashes of her father, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, in the Gulf of Paria in this screenshot taken from her Facebook video.

MICKELA Panday said her final goodbye to her father, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, when she scattered his ashes into the Gulf of Paria.

This was shown in a video posted on her Facebook page on Saturday. It is not clear when the ceremony took place, but this is usually done the day after the cremation, which took place on January 9.

Mickela posted: “We have scattered our dearest father’s ashes into the sea. It was a peaceful moment filled with treasured memories of the past and hope for the future.”

Panday, 90, died in the US on December 1. He served as Trinidad and Tobago’s fifth prime minister between 1995 and 2001.

He had gone  to the US in mid-December for medical treatment.

Panday was cremated at the Shore of Peace, Mosquito Creek, South Oropouche on January 9, after a state funeral at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

The video showed Mickela walking around the cremation site with her hands clasped in prayer, cradling the urn with her father’s ashes, taking it down to the water’s edge and scattering the ashes in the sea.

As she finished, Mickela briefly looked up to the sky and smiled.

When she delivered the eulogy at Panday’s funeral, Mickela said, “Exactly one month ago, when our family and loved ones travelled abroad, never in a million years did we think that our father would not be coming back home to be with us.”

The family, she continued, never entertained that thought “because of his sheer will, determination and fighting spirit with which he lived his life.”

Mickela said Panday never complained about anything “because he never wanted anyone to worry about him.”

She added, “Up until the last moment, nothing changed.”

While her family was grappling with disbelief, shock and sadness over her father’s death, Mickela said the sense of duty which Panday instilled in her and her sisters kicked in.

“Yes, he is our dad, but he did not belong to us alone. He loved people, and people loved him.

“While we knew this was one of the most difficult things that we were ever going to face in our lives, we had to balance our own grief, looking after our mother (Oma) and putting country before self, as our father would do.”

President Christine Kangaloo, in her tribute to Panday at his funeral, said TT has much to thank Panday for.

“I thank Basdeo Panday for never giving up the political fight and for becoming the first person of the Hindu faith and the first person of Indian descent to become prime minister of TT.” She added that in doing this, Panday broke down barriers and cleared the way “for others to aspire to even greater heights than he himself achieved.”

She thanked Panday for being an exemplar to fathers “of how to love and nurture daughters to become self-actualised women who are not afraid to challenge the status quo but will claim their due and rightful place in what was once called the world of men.”

Kangaloo praised Panday for being part of an era that allowed citizens to be their best.

The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar were among those invited to attend the funeral. But neither was invited to deliver remarks.

This story has been adjusted to include additional details. See original post below.

MICKELA Panday said her final goodbye to her father, former prime minister Basdeo Panday, when she scattered his ashes into the Gulf of Paria.

This was shown in a video posted on her Facebook page on January 12. It is not clear when the ceremony took place.

Mickela posted: “We have scattered our dearest father’s ashes into the sea. It was a peaceful moment filled with treasured memories of the past and hope for the future.”

Panday, 90, died in the US on December 1. He served as Trinidad and Tobago’s fifth prime minister between 1995-2001.

He had gone there in mid-December for medical treatment.

Panday was cremated at the Shore of Peace, Mosquito Creek, South Oropouche on January 9, after a state funeral service at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando.

The video showed Mickela walking around the cremation site with her hands clasped in prayer, cradling the urn containing her father’s ashes, taking it down to the water’s edge and scattering the ashes into the sea.

As she finished, Mickela made a brief look up to the sky and smiled.