This Thursday, March 12 is the 20th anniversary of the death of Archbishop Anthony Pantin, the eighth archbishop of Port of Spain. Though no longer present in body, his words of wisdom and wit live in the minds and hearts of many. Senior writer Lara Pickford-Gordon spoke with a few on one of his most endearing traits.
“You ever heard this one?” Archbishop Anthony Pantin would say this before sharing one of his jokes. In a nation where mocking humour and cutting opponents down to size is a national pastime, the late Archbishop used his wit to positive effect. And he could give picong, too! Many people can still fondly quote his jokes.
Bishop Emeritus Malcolm Galt knew Archbishop Pantin since boyhood in the late 1930s. They were not in the same classes but got to know each other at St Mary’s College in the Sixth Trinidad Sea Scouts, through which Fr Toba Valdez CSSp was promoting vocations. Then, he was simply ‘Tony’ Pantin and his elder brother Gerard, ‘Gerry’. Both got into St Mary’s on an ‘exhibition’: “He was a special boy—the special boys in those days were the scholarship winners. They were called the exhibitioners,” Bishop Galt said.