She was one of the many who extended condolences to the family and friends of the cultural icon who passed away on Saturday afternoon.
Persad-Bissessar, in a media release issued yesterday, expressed sympathy on behalf of the Government and herself. Calling the deceased a distinguished citizen and patriot, she said it was not by chance Bishop passed while she was at a meeting with the Planning and Economy ministry making another valuable contribution to national dialogue on matters of culture and nationhood.
“It might be said of her that she lived her dream, that of being the best and enjoying what she loved most, music and the nation’s culture. Pat Bishop, apart from being an icon, inspired this nation on many an occasion with her musical genius and creativity, with her innovation and professionalism, her dedication to excellence and to ensuring that Trinidad and Tobago became known internationally for its talent and musical genius,” she noted.
Persad-Bissessar said Bishop will live in the nation’s mind and heart for years to come.
“She loved her people and she was equally loved. To have known Pat Bishop and to have experienced her performances was to have known what joy through work really feels like,” she said.
Also expressing condolences is the Congress of the People (COP). In a separate release, signed by COP chairman, Joseph Toney, the political party suggested Government consider creating a special scholarship to be awarded to young artistes and cultural practitioners and named after Bishop. The purpose of the scholarship would be to continue the work of the icon of providing leadership in the development of the country’s cultural identity. COP expressed the belief that the cultural landscape has been deprived of one of its biggest and splendid monuments in the person of Pat Bishop.
They noted her contributions as a cultural activist, developer and preserver who held a perfect combination of academic insight , practical experience and a pioneering intelligence in the development of our nation’s cultural horizon which led to her receiving the Trinity Cross.
National Carnival Commission chairman, Kenny De Silva said Bishop will be irreplaceable. Her loss, he said, does not only affect Trinidad and Tobago but every area she was involved in. He said she was the mother of many, quietly performing charitable duties.
“She was always available and gave a lot of herself unselfishly. She was more than an icon. She was very people oriented in terms of listening, guiding people and giving advice,” he said in a telephone interview, while lauding her intelligence and other admirable attributes.
Members of Bishop’s family issued a release yesterday expressing their appreciation for the overwhelming outpouring of sympathy and good wishes they have received from the many people who loved and valued the icon.
They stated a memorial service will be held on a date to be announced according to Bishop’s wishes. The Lydians, the choir which Bishop conducted, also assured the public the last concert series she was working on, Schubert’s Winterreise, will take place as scheduled on September 3 and 4 at the Little Carib Theatre and will be dedicated to her.