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Wednesday 21 August 2019
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Former MP Gordon Draper dies in London hospital

Former government minister Gordon Michael Draper died yesterday at 8.15 am at St Mary’s Hospital, London of an aneurysm (sudden bleeding in the layer between the skull and the brain). He was 55 years old. At his side were his wife Chela, daughter Natasha and her husband, Colin West. His body is being flown home tomorrow, for burial next week.

Draper, who served in the last Manning Cabinet (1991-1995) was working as a university lecturer at the Mona School of Business. He came to London from South Africa on Sunday and checked into the hospital earlier this week, after complaining of a headache. Yesterday, as the word reached members of the Cabinet during its regular weekly session at White Hall, members stood for a minute’s silence. Prime Minister Patrick Manning quickly dispatched a condolence letter to Draper’s wife, stating her husband had made an invaluable contribution to the nation in his capacity as Minister of Public Administration and Information.

“I am certain that the entire nation will remember him by the integral role that he played in the Public Service Reform Initiative. He brought a high level of professionalism, enthusiasm and vibrancy to all of these endeavours while serving as a minister in the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and in other pursuits, including lecturing at the University of the West Indies,” Manning wrote. Saying the country was deeply saddened, Manning   assured Draper’s family the prayers of the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago were with them.

Former Speaker Occah Seapaul, Planning and Development Minister, Camille Robinson-Regis, and former Minister Ralph Maraj, all expressed sadness over the death of the former minister. Stevenson Sarjeant, a colleague in the profession and Draper’s friend,  said he was sorry that one of the foremost practitioners in human resource management and change management, who was a Trinidadian had died and especially at an age where he was gaining an international reputation. As a member of the Commonwealth Association for Public Administration and Management, Draper journeyed and was very active in South Africa. He leaves to mourn his wife and daughters, Jamila, Laureen and Natasha.

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