Notable Graduates



1908~Dr. Arnold Hamilton Maloney: Born in 1888, Arnold was among Naparima's first graduates. As theologian, then physician and research professor, he also became the first black pharmacologist in the USA. He is celebrated as the discoverer of the use of picrotoxin as an antidote to barbiturates (1931). He became head of the School of Medicine at Howard University, and was the recipient of numerous awards. (Source: US Office of Minority Health).

1934~Collins Alwyn Joseph: After the outbreak of WWII, Collins trained as a pilot at Piarco, enlisted in the RAF, and began operational duty in Feb 1942, flying the first Spit donated by Trinidad to the war effort. He saw action in Italy, France, Holland and Belgium, and at D-Day in France. On Dec 31, 1944, he was brought down on armed reconnaissance near Malmedy, apparently in error by US army ground fire.

...more

1935~Enos Sewlal: Enos was one of Naparima's earliest winners of the Jerningham Gold Medal. In 1958, while at the Dept of Agriculture, he produced a book entitled Bibliography of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1960, he was appointed the first director of the national archives, a position attached to the prime minister's office. He did postgraduate archival work at London University. Between 1963 and 1979, he set up the archival system currently still in use, and was an indefatigable resource on all national matters of historical record. He was awarded the Chaconia Medal for his service in this field. Enos was also a licenced chemist and pharmacist. He passed away in 1979.

...at work

1935~Ralph Laltoo: Sixth in the British Commonwealth upon graduation, English scholar, Dalhousie alumnus, and subsequent influential teacher of English Literature at Naps, Mr Laltoo became the first TT-born Principal of Queen's Royal College in 1955, a position held for many years; and the first principal of North-Eastern College.




1930s~Manny Ramjohn: As a student, Manny joined the 5th Naparima Scouts and remained in the scouting movement all his life. He was one of Trinidad's earliest stars as a long-distance runner. In 1946, he broke the record for 5000 meters at Baranquila, Colombia; and in 1948 was one of Trinidad's first Olympic athletes, at Wembley in London, where he placed in the 10,000-meter event.

Manny was also Naparima's only Olympic athlete to date! He retired from athletics to work as a research lab technician at Texaco. In 1982, he was awarded the TT Hummingbird Silver Award for Sports; and in 2001, the Union Park Stadium, not far from his home town of Gasparillo, was renamed Mannie Ramjohn Stadium in his honour.

1927~Dr Deonarayan Omah-Maharajh (1906-1999): Born in the village of Fyzabad, Deonarayan attended Siparia CM, Naparima College, and completed his medical degree at the University of Chicago in 1935. At Naps, he graduated with the College Gold Medal.

"In Trinidad, he distinguished himself in the Public Service practice of Medicine during the period 1937 to 1963, where he practised as both physician and surgeon.

In 1939, he initiated the first Indian Arrival Day celebrations at Aranguez Savannah. In the 1940's he served as President of the Hindu League, and in June 1945 he was a foundation member of the Indian Council, which attempted to unite all Hindu groups in Trinidad. He was appointed a "senator" in the short-lived West Indian Federation in 1958.

"He was one of the first foundation members of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha in 1950, and in 1952 was appointed a Trustee on its incorporation. He ... was appointed President General in [1973], a position which he held until his death. Dr. Omah-Maharajh was also Chairman of the Maha Sabha Education Board of Management.

"In 1988, Dr. Omah-Maharajh was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold)."
- from Caribbean Elections.



1939~Noor Hassanali, PhD (Hon): former President of the Republic of Trinidad & Tobago. In 1939, while a teacher at Naparima, he established "Founder's Day" as an annual event. Noor subsequently entered and became prominent in the legal profession. In 2015, the Law faculty at UWI (St Augustine) named its largest convocation hall after him.
click for film-clip video: Dr Hassanali at NAAC library donation 2002

1930s~Rawle Ramkissoon: scholar, classicist, (London), later Asst Director of Education

1942~George Anthony Edoo, LLB: George was born in 1926 and grew up in San Fernando. He passed away in 2013. At age 11, he won one of four available scholarships to Naparima. He made a lifelong working career in the nation's Justice department, culminating as Ombudsman and Appeal Court judge.

1949~Anna Mahase
Naparima College HC grad. Anna became principal of St. Augustine Girls’ High School. She did her BSc at Mt. Allison University and was later awarded honorary Doctor of Laws from UWI and from Mt. Allison University. She was a recipient of the Chaconia Medal.

  • Autobiography: “I am my Mother’s Daughter”



  • 1949~Zalayhar Mohammed (Hassanali)
    1949 Naparima College HC grad, Zalayhar married teacher Noor Hassanali and became the partner of the first Indo-Trinidadian head of state. Mrs. Hassanali continues extensive work with over 60 charities and community organisations, particularly those furthering the empowerment of women. Her biography, Zalayhar: Life of the First Lady, written by Brinsley Samaroo, Yvonne Teelucksingh and Kenneth Ramchand, was published by the Naparima Association for Past Students in Association with Scotiabank and Scotiabank Foundation, Trinidad & Tobago.




    1952~James Lee Wah, LLD: A pupil of Ralph Laltoo, imbued with a similar passion for the English masters, James was a pillar at Naps for many years, in the role of Vice-Principal, master of English Literature, and nationally-recognized dramatic arts director and promoter. in 2012, his alma mater UWI recognized his contributions with an honorary doctorate.
    Dr Lee Wah: School Days video

    1952~Allan McKenzie, PhD: A contemporary of Mr Lee Wah and fellow student of the literary arts, Allan was the second Trinidadian-born principal of the school, a position he held for nearly thirty years. In 2014, Allan was awarded a national medal for public service.
    1960~Sir Trevor McDonald: Radio broadcaster at Naparima's Blue Circle Network, Trinidad's 610, and the UK's Independent TV, Trevor was knighted in 1999 for his contributions to British journalism. He has also published several titles.

    1969~Ralph Maraj: Nationally-renowned actor, writer, teacher, and political figure, Ralph was the Minister of External Affairs in the TT government of the 80's.

    1959~Brinsley Samaroo, PhD: Brins is a beloved figure among his contemporaries, a history scholar and chronicler of the Indian history of Trinidad, long-time professor at University of the West Indies, and former minister of the national government. In 2014, Brinsley was awarded the Chaconia Gold medal for public service.
    - Brinsley as author

    1953~Vernon Mulchansingh, PhD: Head of Geography Department at UWI, Jamaica. Vernon also was the calligrapher for Mona graduation certificates for many years.

    1959~Kenneth Ramchand, PhD: A pupil of Mr Lee Wah's, Kenneth is a world-wide authority in West Indian literature, and was a long-time Professor of English at UWI, St. Augustine.

    His career was illustrious, both academically and politically. He was an independent senator in the government and frequent consultant on related issues for many years.
    - Prof. Ramchand, author

    1940s~Mervyn Dymally: Born in Cedros, Trinidad, on May 12, 1926, Mervyn M. Dymally became a Member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1981 following a diverse career in education and government, which included Lieutenant-Governor of the State of California.

    1950s~Len Traboulay: Born September 19, 1934 in San Fernando, attended Naparima College, University of British Columbia and the University of Alberta. Elected Mayor of Port Coquitlam, B.C. in 1981

    Dr. Lall R. Sawh: Awarded Chaconia Gold Medal in 1994 for outstanding service in the field of medicine in Trinidad & Tobago. Recognized as the first surgeon to perform kidney transplant operation in the Caribbean; first to introduce "button-hole" surgery to the Caribbean; first to import lithotripsy machine for minor kidney surgery without incision. Recognized as a distinguished individual in "Who's Who in the World" since 1993. Currently an associate lecturer at Mt.Hope and personal urologist to the President of T&T. While at Naparima College, he served as Head Boy while in Sixth Form, then went on to study medicine in Jamaica, where he graduated top of the Caribbean, and was awarded a Commonwealth Scholarship to continue his post-graduate studies in Scotland.

    1947~Kenneth Ramsanta Lalla, in 1947 wrote senior Cambridge exams, and entered the Civil Service the next year. Over the rest of a long career, he was a teacher, writer, member of parliament, and a prominent lawyer for more than 50 years.
      At various times, he served on:
  • the Police and Public Service Commissions (chairman)
  • the Judicial and Legal Service Commission (member)
  • the Caribbean Court of Justice Legal Service Commission (member) and
  • the Defence Commission (member).

    He was also a founding member of the National Committee on Human Rights, (secretary or president, 1967-1980); and a founding member of the Caribbean Hindu Council, (president 1977-1980).

    He was awarded the Chaconia Medal (Gold) in 1998 and the Defence Force Medal in 2004.

    His autobiography, I am A Dream to my Village is thought to provide unique insights to the Indian experience in Trinidad; and his book The Public Service and Service Commissions is considered an essential reference for the TT civil service. Born in Dow Village in 1926, Mr Lalla passed away in July 2020.

    1953~Dr. Hollister Brewster.
    • Chief, Division of Cardiology at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
    • Clinical Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine
    • Undergraduate: Long Island University 1959
    • Medical School: Cornell University School of Medicine 1963


    Under Hollister's administration, a full range of invasive cardiology services is available at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center including cardiac catheterization, PTCA, intra-coronary stenting, permanent pacemaker implantation, trans-esophageal and trans-thoracic echo-cardiography, graded exercise testing including nuclear stress imaging, and stress echo-cardiography, Holter monitoring and cardiac rehabilitation.

    Holly's younger brothers, Courtney and Burke Lai Hing, also were at Naps.
      

    1962~George Winston McKenzie: Younger brother of our former principal, he attended the University of New Brunswick, and taught at Naparima for a few years before entering the diplomatic service for T&T as a young man. He served as our ambassador in Guiana, London and elsewhere.
    He was the Permanent Ambassador to the United Nations in New York, until his passing in June, 2010. While a Naparima teacher, he was involved with Mr Lee Wah's Drama Guild, and also a supporter of the Better Village programme.   
    click for film-clip video

    1961~Winston Dookeran, LLD: Graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, London, and University of Manitoba, lecturer in Economics at UWI for 15 years. Awarded honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Manitoba (1991), Governor of the Central Bank of T&T (1997), Acting Prime Minister during the infamous coup crisis.

    1947~Dr Elisha S. Tikasingh: He taught at the Fyzabad C.M. School in 1948 and 1949 and then left to further his studies. He received a B.Sc. (biology, 1953) from Eastern Nazarene College; an M.A. (biology, 1955) from Boston University; and a Ph.D. (Zoology, 1960) from Oregon State.
    He returned to work at the Trinidad Regional Virus Laboratory (TRVL) in 1960 as a Rockefeller Foundation Fellow. When the TRVL became a part of the UWI in 1961, he was appointed Lecturer. In 1975, he left the University as Senior Lecturer to become a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Scientist (Parasitologist/Entomologist); and retired from that Organization in 1987. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed scientific articles, and written/edited four books:
    1. “The Hunt for Caribbean Viruses: A History of the Trinidad regional Virus laboratory” (Author).
    2. “The Story of Butler Tikasingh” (Author).
    3. “Studies on the Natural History of the Yellow Fever Virus in Trinidad” (Editor).
    4. “100 Years of Presbyterian Witness in the Woodbrook Area” (Editor).

    Dr. Tikasingh has received several awards from Caribbean organizations for his outstanding research in parasitology, entomology and novel techniques in arbovirology. Also, the lecture hall at the Caribbean Epidemiology Centre (now Caribbean Public Health Agency) is named the “Elisha Tikasingh Lecture Theatre”.

    1953~Stephen Ramsankar:. University of Alberta '61 BSc, '63 BEd, '89 LLD (Honorary) - and a fifties grad of Naparima College, Steve was the long-time principal of Alex Taylor School in Edmonton.

    His caring, service-oriented values and style transformed the school over 28 years, especially through innovative program linkages with the community. For his exemplary service in the field of education, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from his second alma mater, a United Nations Global Citizen award, and the Order of Canada in 1983. Only 18 Albertans have ever received the latter honour in education. He also became a citizenship judge. Dr Ramsankar passed away at Edmonton in July, 2007.

    Back at Naps, Stephen played inside left forward on the 1953 1st Eleven.








    1954~Selwyn Ryan: Lifelong journalist and pollster, Selwyn graduated in 1954, and subsequently obtained his first degree in history from U of T, and then his doctorate from Cornell. He became a professor at UWI where he remained for 30 years. He also wrote several books, and a largely political column for the Express for 41 years. He is credited with the establishment of political polling in T&T.

    1963~Krister (Krishna) Sairsingh, PhD:. Mentored by his uncle Larry Lutchmansingh, and principal Allan McKenzie, Krister gained a scholarship to Yale in 1967, where he studied philosophy and religious studies. He then obtained his doctorate at Harvard in historical and philosophical theology. While there, he was appointed as chaplain to graduate students in the Harvard Memorial Church. After Harvard, Dr Sairsingh took what was to be a one-year teaching appointment in theology at the Russian State University in Moscow. In 2020, he is still there, now lecturing in the history of western philosophy at the National Research University. He is a renowned speaker and researcher in his field, publishing in Russian scholarly journals. Krister's wife Nancy is also an academic, in the field of Russian art history. The couple have two sons, working in the United States.
    - From Naparima Hill to Red Square

     

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    Students from all secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago wrote the same school-leaving exams annually for Cambridge University in England.

    Sir Hubert Jerningham, governor of TT 1897-1900, instituted a prize for the student with the best showing from all the schools. Initially, medals were given for Junior and Senior Cambridge exams; after 1937, for Senior Cambridge and Higher Certificate.
    The prize was renamed The President's Medal after TT became a Republic.

    The medal is about inch across, in gold or silver. This copy bears the inscription: Regimen reginar in Sanrfax Trinidadia insula, "The Queen's Government in San Rafael(?), island of Trinidad". The reverse (mouse-over to view) cites the achievement.

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    photos: Prem Rattan/Dev Rattan (2014)