May 25 2017.
His Worship, The Mayor of The City of San Fernando, Aldermen & Councillors of The City, Surgeon, par excellence, Mr Rupert Indar, Snr .,Mrs Indar, Mr Rupert Indar Junior, friends of the City and special invitees to this unique function.
Firstly, let me warmly congratulate the Mayor and his Aldermen, Councillors and The City as a whole, for hosting this function to honor an individual for whom to simply refer to him as Mr Indar does a grave injustice and is a totally inadequate salutation for an icon of Surgery who has served not only this City but the whole Country and indeed the Caribbean, and I dare say the UK as well.
I feel honored to be called upon again as I did when the entire Surgical fraternity did similarly when we bestowed on him an award to mark and acknowledge his service to his profession some years ago.
Indeed, not too long ago The American College of Surgeons honored him at a function in the US for his surgical achievements.
Athletes run a mile or so and win a race once in a lifetime or make lots of runs in a game or throw some object and they are National Heroes, overnight, with public stadia named after them even as they soon disappear into oblivion having done little more than that to serve humanity.
How does Society celebrate someone like Mr Indar who has spent countless hours during long days and dark nights, for decades, using his skill to save life and train the young surgeons and mentor them to help others, I ask .
Everyone in this room knows the answer,
There may be no stadia or statue or airport called Rupert Indar but it does not matter to him as the satisfaction he got from silently doing what he was superbly trained to do is his quiet reward.
I stand before this august audience to merely superficially present an atom of this genius whom I had the pleasure, to be associated with from my junior and slimmer days in surgery to now my much later and broad based era in surgery.
Dr Rupert Indar or rather in the British Noble Traditions of surgery, Mr Rupert Indar had the unique advantage and privilege to be trained on both sides of the Atlantic in very prestigious Institutions and returned home to serve his people for over decades.
Had he remained in the UK he would have been knighted by The Queen or , had he stayed in the US he would have been given the accolade of a Professor.
Nevertheless, he chose Trinidad where, alas, surgeons are often times maligned rather than appreciated.
Mr Rupert Indar has trained most young surgeons of my era and moulded us in to what we are today.
Some of us even became half as stern as he is.
He was relentless in his desire to excel and produce great outcomes for the surgical patients.
Just looking at him operate was an inspiration to be even a bit like him in the operating room.
Surgeons can be fickle in an operating room due to the stressful job that surgery is but I have never heard him swear at the staff or throw instruments in anger.
He always remained a gentleman even under stress.
He did have a very short temper for ineptitude and slackness and I have seen those eruptions.
I am happy to say up to this day I was never at the receiving end of one of those outbursts although it can still happen.
Ladies and Gentlemen, there is no way I could do justice to this surgical giant for even in so called retirement he continued to improve his medical centre which he founded in 1970.
Look what he has done in the sunset years of his career.
He has equipped that Centre with the best imaging modalities in the Caribbean .
An Oncology Centre with the latest treatment modalities for cancer, a state of the art Cardiac suite, an Intensive Care Unit on par with those abroad, a modern laboratory with all facilities functioning at the beck and call of patients are all part of his dream come true for San Fernando in the first instance and Trinidad and Tobago and the rest of the Caribbean.
e has always insisted on and attracted the best medical and surgical skills available in the City .
As a result of this quality insistence or passion, only the best are allowed privileges at his Centre.
He silently monitors what takes place in the operating theatre, because of his insistence on quality surgery.
He used to peek through the main theatre door as he traversed the corridor between his office and operating theatre, strategically placed so that he can see what was happening inside the theatre.
That came to a stop as someone quietly put an inside tower bolt on that door, in the name of privacy.
We knew that that just meant he would use the back doors in the prep room to look through the glass and still be able to see how the surgeon was doing inside. Remember that he designed this building and operating theatre.
Personally, I looked forward to Wednesday mornings, my operating day, as he headed to his office before 7.00 am each day, again using that same corridor and not the front door of the building.
He would always greet me as Dr Sow. I take it that it was his special name for me for reasons best known to himself.
He knew that I would probe him without admitting it for some quick and expert advice if I had a difficult case to start at the usual 7.30 am.
I would tell him what my challenge was that morning and in two to three sentences he would share with me a few pearls from his experience , always pointing out potential pit falls and difficulties to be anticipated for that particular case.
I would miss that dialogue of a few seconds when he no longer greets me on Wednesdays.
But, ladies and gentlemen that’s the Rupert Indar I know.
But that’s not all, he was an entrepreneur in other none medical business: horse racing and paper cups come to mind. I once suggested that he should be wary of expanding the cancer service as the Government of the day, had indicated then that they were constructing a cancer centre at Mount Hope.
“Dr. Sow,” said he, “I am a horse racing fan and I don’t lose, plus it’s the Government, you know what that means.”
To date ,that Cancer Centre has not come off the ground and I take it that he still wins at races.
As a grand father and father he brought into this world four well established children in four different medical specialities and they too serve a wide cross section of the population here, in the UK and Canada.
As a husband to Mrs . Polly Indar.
Mrs Indar, as we all know authored best selling cook books that brought her Alma Mater tremendous income and fame.
She used her culinary skills and ,I understand that her husband was the person on whom the taste testing was done before the recipe reached the print. Rumour has it that whilst he had very discriminatory taste buds , his skills in the kitchen are best not discussed. Thank Goodness he is a surgeon and not a chef !
This one man had the visions of many, the skill of innumerable and the surgical passion of an entire medical school. He put all that together and would leave this City with an unforgettable legacy.
It is only truly deserving and fitting that the City honor a gentleman, a scholar, an innovator a mover and a great Surgeon.
It is one of my greatest pleasures to be called upon to salute Mr Rupert Indar for which I thank this City.
Presented by Dr. Lall R. Sawh
City Hall. May 25 2017.