Relatives, friends, fellow members of the karate family and dozens of residents have spent the past 36 plus hours reminiscing on what a “good” man Ivan Rodrigues was, following his sudden death Saturday afternoon.
His brother, St. John’s Rural West MP, Londel Benjamin, told OBSERVER media last night that “he was always been a caring person, I call him baby brother because he is about 18 years younger than me, so he was 53 or 54 years old.”
Rodrigues, leaves to mourn his wife Dianne Lalla-Rodrigues who is the director of the Bureau of Standards, their twin sons Sean-Douglas and Sean-Michael, three siblings and many others with whom he spent his time when he was not at work in agriculture and subsequently as the Water Business unit manager at the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA).
Benjamin said his sibling was a senior, active member of the Ebenezer Methodist Church “where he spent much of his time apart from karake and APUA.”
He admitted to be broken hearted last night, while adding, “[My brother] meant everything to me. He was my baby brother. I loved him. We shared jokes. We visited each other at Christmas, birthdays. Our family is a small family and our mom always told us to stick to gether, four siblings, two boys and two girls … He was quiet, always full of life, very jovial with a fantastic memory.”
Benjamin said that like everyone else, he was shocked when he got the news Saturday afternoon.
“I was with him Saturday morning. One of his sons is getting married in August and he brought my invitation. By afternoon, I was on Point FM and when I got home somewhere between 4 and 5 p.m. I got a call saying to come to the hospital right away. When I got there I met his wife and I was told he had died,” Benjamin said.
On Saturday night and yesterday, Rodrigues’ karate friends paid tribute to him on social media.
Purple Dragons Antigua, of which he was a part, yesterday posted on Facebook, “It is with deep sadness in our hearts that we announce our beloved Shihan Ivan Rodrigues passed away suddenly [Saturday]. Shihan Rodrigues was a man of integrity, wisdom, strength and skill and will forever be missed. Our prayers are with his family, friends, collegaues and Purple Dragon family as we mourn the loss of this great man.”
Purple Dragon – Barataria World Headquarters, Trinidad W.I. also posted, “It is with great sadness that we announce the untimely passing of Shihan Ivan Rodrigues of our Antigua branch. We extend our condolences out to the Rodriques family, our brothers and sisters in Antigua and all of the Purple Dragon family. Shihan will be missed, his memories forever in our hearts. Sleep in Peace Shihan.”
While, the Purple Dragon, BVI, extended “heartfelt condolences to the family of Shihan Ivan Rodrigues and to Purple Dragon Antigua. Shihan Rodrigues will live on through all of us whom he may have touched. His name will NEVER be forgotten. To his family and all Purple Dragon Warriors, STAY STRONG and trust in the Lord. Rest In Peace Shihan Ivan Rodrigues.”
It is believed Rodrigues suffered a heart attack, however, an autopsy will have to be conducted.
Minister of Public Utilities, Sir Robin Yearwood, paid tribute to Rodrigues who worked under his ministry for several years.
Saturday night, he told OBSERVER media that Rodrigues was a hands-on manager who designed and helped construct the reticulation system which is vital in getting water from the source to the consumer.
“He was a man that could be trusted. He was a hardworking man. I will really miss him, he was at my side during those rough years without water, and he tried and he brought back all the [reverse osmosis] plants and he worked tirelessly. Just [last] week he was replacing pipes that didn’t have water for a long time,” Yearwood said.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)