‘True champion’ Gavin Naraine was an eternal optimist
… GMR&SC president Stanley Ming By Isaiah Chappelle
Guyana Chronicle
October 2, 2002

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THE late National motor racing champion Gavin Naraine was called “a true champion” during a special service in his memory at the family’s Bel Air home, yesterday.

President of the Guyana Motor Racing & Sports Club Stanley Ming, MP, said Naraine was a man of character and was an eternal optimist, only seeing the good in people.

“Gavin was all about good character. He epitomised the true human spirit of goodwill to his fellow man and woman. He was always ready to compromise and to reach out to anyone whether he was in a potential conflict situation or otherwise,” Ming said.

Ming said the motor racer was an eternal optimist in that he believed in the good of people and goodwill to people. He related a story to emphasise his point.

The motor racing boss, also, read messages sent by sister bodies of Trinidad & Tobago and Jamaica.

Trinidad & Tobago’s association described Naraine as a “stalwart”, and extended condolences to his family.

“He was not only an affiliate, but also a friend and shining example of true sportsmanship and camaraderie,” the message read.

The Jamaica motor racing club was “shocked and deeply saddened at this loss” and offered prayers to his family.

Pandit Reepu Daman Persaud, MP, said prayers and related how he knew Naraine as boy and even performed his wedding on May 22, 1993 when he married Michelle Goolsarran.

“He was always a kind, friendly, courteous, polite and respectful individual,” Persaud said.

Anglique de Groot read a poem taken from the Internet, which was adapted and renamed “The True Champion.”

Michael Goolsaran read a letter from his sister, Michelle, urging everyone to gain strength from each other and move on with fond memories of her husband Gavin.

“Gavin has lived his life to the fullest. He always did what he wanted to do and went full steam ahead as soon as his plans were made. He was fun-loving and full of life. His laughter still rings in my ears and I know that he would not want you to be gloomy and sad,” Michelle said.

The wife pointed out that he was very committed to GMR&SC, working very hard to build the club.

“I implore you all to continue his good work and not let it go to ruin. Please let his name live on,” Michelle said.

Master of Ceremonies, Martin Goolsarran, read a message from his brother Anand Goolsarran, the former Auditor General, Naraine’s father-in-law.

“Gavin was a dear and beloved husband, an ever so caring father, a cherished son, a dedicated brother and an unforgettable friend,” Goolsarran said.

“He has been a good son-in-law to me,” Goolsarran added.

Longstanding motor racer, Jad Rahaman delivered the eulogy, relating how Naraine prompted the older racers to revive the sport in the eighties.

Naraine started racing in 1985, dominating Group 1 in a Ford Escort, then bought the Mazda RX machine in 1994 from whence he dominated Group 2A and ventured into Group 3.

“He was a dedicated competitor,” Rahaman said.

Naraine was also a committed club member who sought to improve the facilities at the club in Thomas Lands and the South Dakota circuit.

“He was a true sportsman,” Rahaman said.

The late racer always gave his sponsors the mileage and at one time attracted as many as 11 companies.

Today, the body will be flown to Canada to be interred by his wife and mother.

The funeral procession will leave the National Cultural Centre tarmac at 08:00 hrs, heading to the South Dakota Circuit, Timehri, where the sporting fraternity will observe a minute’s silence and stage a final ‘Lap of Honour’.