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Eulogy of Rudolph Samuels

By Selwyn R. Cudjoe
Read By Victor Bernard Wordsworth Bailey (Giles)
Posted: September 23, 2014

Sookooloo, oh what a name. How he got that name, we will never know. But ever since we knew him, we all knew him as Sookooloo. We knew Mrs. Samuels was his mother and Violet was his sister but how he came to be known as Sookooloo, we will never know. But Sookooloo was Tacarigua and Tacarigua was Sookooloo. He was not a doctor, or a lawyer or teacher. He was just a simple 'districker' whom we all grew to know and to love. We remember his football days. We all knew that he use to play right wing. He was fast. It was difficult to get to him when he sped down the right flank, but whatever happened to his left foot? It was made to walk and run on; never to kick a ball. I have never seen Sookooloo use his left foot to kick a ball.

Sookooloo worked at the Tunapuna Regional Corporation for many years. He lived at Back Street, Tacarigua. On that spot, in front of where the Lewis's lived, and on the eastern side of the Saunders, Sookooloo stayed there and made himself a man. Almost from nothing he built up his house, took care of his family, and became one of the outstanding members of the village. He was always part of that large cadre of young men who made Tacarigua what it was.

He then joined the St. Mary's Anglican Church, where he became a faithful member. Every Sunday morning you could see him sitting at the southwestern side of the church, on the back seat with Bunchers (Carl Cupid) and Skip Jack (Archer Morris), praising their God and being extraordinary exemplars to the community. He seemed to have such pleasure in communing with his fellow 'districkers'.

Sookooloo was a savannah man. Every evening you would find him with Ulric "Buggie," Haynes, Skip Jack, Chase and other retirees sitting at the northern end of the Orange Grove Savannah, passing the breeze talking on all current affairs; giving one another fatigue and generally making a go of things. He was a tremendous supporter of what Buggie, Eddie Hart, Tacarigua EX Pupils and Paradise Youth Organization did. He was friendly with everyone from Paradise, Dinsley, and El Dorado villages. Everyone knew Sookooloo. So it was no surprise that he spent the last day before he died on the Orange Grove Savannah where he practically lived his life with all of his childhood friends.

Sookooloo was a very good friend of my brother Winston, who long departed this life. The two were practically brothers, so much so, he had Winston stand as the godfather of his daughter Maureen. He was also a good friend of Macka (Trevor Bailey). Macka would never come to Trinidad without seeing Sookooloo. They bonded in way that was unbelievable. We cannot forget how much he loved Buggie, even though he and Buggie would fall out sometimes. The two were inseparable.

I have taken time out to praise Sookooloo because it is seldom that we give praises to the sons of our soil; those humble beings who, through their very presence and commitment to the small things of life, make it worthwhile living. The are the ones who become the pillars of the villages and make for strong and solid communities.

Today we mourn the death of Rudolph Samuels (that was Sookooloo's Christian name), because in his life he meant so much to us and gave so much to his community. May God go with him. But there is just one question that I have to ask, "Just what is going to happen to his bicycle?" It should be placed in a museum-a Tacarigua Museum-to remember the wonderful life that he lived. Today we can say, he walks with God because he walked with his people.