On Sunday, November 26, Gail Austin-Pinder received a Papal Blessing at the St Charles Borromeo Church, Tunapuna. In presenting the blessing to Austin-Pinder, parish priest Fr Ian Taylor informed the congregation that he had worked closely with Austin-Pinder while she was Principal at Mundo Nuevo RC Primary for over 40 years. She has served as an educator for most of her life, teaching in Catholic schools in rural areas such as Talparo, Aripo, Carapo, Lopinot, Upper Guaico Nestor and Mundo Nuevo.
Serving for eight years at Mundo Nuevo, a community attached to San Rafael parish, Austin-Pinder supported the evangelisation crusades held by Fr Taylor at the school compound for the community. Children were baptised, instructed in the faith and received their First Holy Communion.
She also organised, with the help of the staff and the Ladies’ Auxiliary, an annual November Affair on the Feast of Christ the King and a biennial Family Fun Day on Indian Arrival Day. These two events brought together the residents of the community regardless of religious beliefs and customs to support the school and have fun together.
As a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Red Cross, she served as the Youth Director for 14 years, promoting the formation of Red Cross Links in our nation’s schools and ensuring that the youth live out the Red Cross motto to ‘Serve One Another’. She is currently the Youth Adviser.
Austin-Pinder is also the Deputy Organiser of the Ladies’ Auxiliary to the Knights of St John International, women who give invaluable service to our archdiocese. Among their many charitable works, they support the seminary, Cathedral and church restoration, and families in need.
As an executive member of the Association of Principals of Catholic Schools, she has served the Church as a catechist and a lay minister and was fondly known as the ‘Bishop of Aripo’ because of her work there and her dedication and commitment to the people. – Terrence Caesar, Principal