The Energy Chamber of Trinidad & Tobago joins the national community in commemorating and celebrating the remarkable life of Mr. Errol Mahabir and his impact on the society and economy of Trinidad and Tobago, and in particular on south Trinidad.
Errol Mahabir was a firm supporter and advocate for the Energy Chamber and its predecessor South Trinidad Chamber of Industry and Commerce. As a senior and respected member of the Cabinet, Errol Mahabir supported the work of the South Chamber, especially in the formation of the Point Lisas industrial estate.
In the mid-1960s, when many members of the national community ridiculed the South Chamber’s ambitions to establish a deepwater harbour and heavy industrial estate at Point Lisas, Errol Mahabir was a firm and consistent advocate who helped build support and confidence in the idea. As Minister of Energy in the 1970s he was instrumental in operationalising the plans and establishing the world-class petrochemical and heavy industrial estate that we know today, though always recognising and acknowledging the pioneering work done by the South Chamber.
Errol Mahabir was always open to dialogue and to hearing all views and opinions, both those in favour and those against an idea. He was a firm believer in the need for consultation and was always open to hearing and responding to the views of the Chamber. He encouraged the South Chamber to not only play an active role in national development, but also to place a special emphasis on the development of south Trinidad. He took up many of the issues championed by the Chamber and, in turn, encouraged the Chamber to be proactive in its approach.
The South Chamber went through a period of hiatus in the 1970s, after it merged with the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber and both bodies created a South Committee. When this approach did not seem to have the desired results, Errol Mahabir urged the rebirth of the separate and independent South Chamber and gave confidence to the leaders of the organisation that this was a feasible and worthwhile action and one that he was prepared to defend.
Errol Mahabir remained committed to supporting the South and Energy Chamber throughout his time in government and his subsequent business career. He was always available to provide advice and guidance and to quietly assist whenever his help or advice was sought.
In 2010, when the board of the South Chamber took a decision to recommend a change in name, to the Energy Chamber, Errol Mahabir played an active role by sounding out a range of opinions on the change amongst the membership. Despite his lifelong advocacy and love for south Trinidad, Errol Mahabir understood the reasons for the change and was a firm supporter of the decision. His support was crucial in swaying opinions on this emotive issue.
On behalf of all of the members of the Energy Chamber, we express our heartfelt gratitude for all that he did and our sincere condolences to Errol Mahabir’s family and friends.
Mr. Errol Mahabir’s nephew, Mr. Dwight Mahabir, CEO of Damus Ltd., is a Vice Chairman of the Board of the Energy Chamber.