Sir Fred a true family man
Sir Fred Gollop built a successful media organisation, but at his funeral service yesterday, his children revealed how the late retired chairman of the Nation Group of Companies and One Caribbean Media (OCM) similarly invested in family.
“Dad once said that his greatest satisfaction has come from sharing the growing up of my sisters and me and my mum, and being involved in the growing up of THE NATION,” Renee Kowlessar said in the appreciation she delivered on the behalf of her sisters Robyn Gollop-Knight and Reissa Galt.
Hundreds attended the official funeral service in the chapel at Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens. Among them were Governor General Dame Sandra Mason, Prime Minister Mia Mottley and members of her Cabinet, members of the Senate, Opposition Leader Bishop Joseph Atherley, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, people from the business community and from other sectors influenced by Sir Fred.
They listened intently as Kowlessar painted a picture of the businessman who put family on an equal pedestal with work.
“He had a private line on his desk in his office and when any one of us called and said: ‘Dad, are you busy?’ he always said: ‘I am never too busy for you, baby’.”
While many may have thought Sir Fred’s primary focus was his work, Kowlessar said the attention he paid to his children led them to feel that “he focused on us every day of our lives”.
Sir Fred filled many roles in his 77 years – as President of the Senate; as a Justice of the Peace; as a practising attorney for 47 years, and a Queen’s Counsel; as chairman of the Nation Group of Companies for 32 years, and subsequently chairman of OCM.
“Dad enjoyed every day of his working life,” Kowlessar said. “He guided us every day by his example and taught us the value of hard work . . . . Our education was paramount and he spent years telling us about university degrees.”
Kowlessar said the Gollop children “had no idea what dad was building” while her late father and his partners and associates were building THE NATION. But former leading Trinidadian media executive Ken Gordon, who was an intimate part of that process knew, the reason he was among several guests flying to Barbados to attend the funeral service.
Just before the casket was closed, Yvonne Lady Gollop leaned in to kiss her husband of 49 years and the man she often described as “a worthy husband” for the last time. Sir Fred’s daughters and his grandchildren followed suit.
The interment followed immediately afterwards in the Coral Ridge Memorial Gardens. (GC)