RIP Dr Clare Broadbridge


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Category: Trinidad Society 03 Sep 17

A long time ago when my children were tiny I was covering news story after news story of murdered women, mostly in domestic abuse. This was amidst the everyday carnage on the roads, people butchering one another like dogs. There were high profile hits on prominent people. Then there was the murder and rape of women in westmoorings, their throats slit while their babies played, unaware that the blood on the ceiling was of their mothers.Then there was the spate of kidnappings that culminated with a decapitated headless man on the front page of newspaper. ( everyday we were being more and more desensitised ) I was terrified when I went out with my children. I saw menace everywhere - Oh it's just drugs and gangs people say now everyday when young men are killed and kill in depressed areas. Oh it's just a hit - a private matter, they said when there was a shocking murder of a minister, oh it's just a private dispute when there was the shocking murder of a woman in the plum area of St Clare. Oh she was exposing people they said when Dana Seetahal a top notch lawyer working on high profile cases was executed by gunmen. It's just people who saw an opportunity they said when tourists were murdered in Tobago or old middle class people murdered in south. In between I understood the frenetic rush from fete to cricket to Christmas.

The truth is this rot runs throughout this ugly layered cake made with oil and drugs and cepep. People from top to bottom are murderers and victims are also the same. Yesterday when Dr Clare Broadbridge, a vibrant woman, fierce protector of our history, the former curator of our nascent identity was murdered so was somebody from Carenage. Every life matters. We speak of those we know and with whom we identify. Today we are grieving Clare because she ran counter to the death culture, the culture of decay, sloth, and talk without action, a preserver of past life. Even as we raze heritage homes, fail to remember the excellence we once had amidst us ( from Dr Williams to Naipaul- we let petty prejudice keep us from from remembering excellence and standards) and increasingly fail to inject humanity in our people by keeping them ignorant , keeping functionally illiteracy shockingly high, and dependent with make work programmes. We know it's not the small man who keeps the drug trade flourishing. The rot starts at the top and worms it's way all the way to the bottom. That's how we are the second or third most murderous non warring country in the world.

The one police chief from Canada who was actually tackling this was cut down by the previous administration by a jackass. It's top to bottom rot folks and today if we are shaking, traumatised, a nation in grieving it's because like the worst horror film we don't know whether Clare's killer came from the top, middle or bottom of our layered cake, and we don't know whose next in this country for butchering, (be you a cepep worker, a small business owner or the cream at the top) now not only bereft of history, but of humanity. I salute you Clare, the flick of your hair on your timelessly beautiful face, your sharply piercing eyes, your protective fastidious meticulous passion to preserve who we were as a young country as a curator. Thank you for all the years you served us. Thank you for being a light in this darkness. We hope without hope for your killers being brought to justice. We will not forget. May your children and all those who knew and loved you find comfort if not in the failing institutions around us, in one another, in the dwindling numbers of those who still believe in humanity and in this country you adored. May you fly into the light. Rest in peace.

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All Articles Copyright Ira Mathur