Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Farewell to a Carib queen; Dr Rowley pays respects to Jennifer Cassar

Farewell to a Carib queen; Dr Rowley pays respects to Jennifer Cassar

“[…] Jennifer Cassar worked tirelessly to sensitise us to the role and contributions of the First Peoples Community and continuously strived to preserve and revitalise Amerindian history and traditions.”

The following press statement on the passing of Santa Rosa Carib queen Jennifer Cassar was issued by prime minister Dr Keith Rowley:

Photo: Trinidad and Tobago Carib queen Jennifer Cassar.
(Copyright News.gov.tt)

On behalf of the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago, I wish to extend condolences to the family of Santa Rosa queen, Jennifer Cassar and the Santa Rosa First Peoples Community on the passing of the beloved stalwart.

Mrs Jennifer Cassar worked tirelessly to sensitise us to the role and contributions of the First Peoples Community and continuously strived to preserve and revitalise Amerindian history and traditions.

The Carib Queen was one of the key advocates who lobbied government to honour a long-standing call for a one-off holiday to formally recognise her Community’s presence and contribution to our country.

Government granted the request and the holiday was celebrated on 13 October 2017 with queen Cassar leading a procession through the streets of Arima.

She was a member of the cabinet-appointed Amerindian Project Committee from 2007 and also a member of the Regional Carnival Committee of the National Carnival Commission with responsibility for coordinating National Stick Fighting Competitions.

Photo: The First People hold an indigenous heritage procession through Port of Spain in 2016.
(Copyright Maria Nunes)

She joined the public service of Trinidad and Tobago in 1971 and served this country for over forty years. She worked in several ministries including Education, Community Development, Culture, Sports, Health and the Judiciary. She was also a certified home health care worker.

Queen Cassar’s life was a true depiction of dedication and devotion to her community and service to the people. May she rest in peace.

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One comment

  1. Shouldn’t she be referred to as a ‘self’styled’ Queen? I know the media get goo gah anytime someone say’s they’re indigenous or ‘first people’ but a a little objectivity would be nice. It appears that she had a de-facto leadership group in this ‘community’ but lets stop pretending that she had any real power or standing – its just the same as the Carnival King and Queen.