Popular Tunapuna masman, gym instructor and market vendor Balnarine “Balo” Bennie and 96.1FM employee Dane Savary are among those who lost their lives to Covid-19 this week.

The Express was told that Bennie passed away at hospital on Monday.

The 63-year-old was one of the five people who died from the virus on that day.

In a media release on Tues­day, the Trinidad and Tobago Carnival Bands Asso­ciation (TTCBA) noted that Bennie was born on August 21, 1957, in Tunapuna and lived there all his life.

“Balo was a big part of the Tunapuna Market, selling ochroes and other vegetables there. There are countless stories of him filling up bags and pushing away hands that were offering him payment for his goods,” the release said.

It said Bennie established him­self as an entrepreneur, farmer, contractor, builder, gym owner and trainer. He held the post of public relations officer of the Tunapuna People’s National Movement (PNM) executive, chairman of the Tunapuna Mas People Asso­ciation and was a founding member of the TTCBA.

The TTCBA said Ben­nie was employed as a senior assistant engineer with the Ministry of Works where he was loved by all.

“He had many passions and has been involved in Car­nival for the past 51 years. It all started at the age of 12 when he experienced mas for the first time. That passion soon developed, and he took on a more active role in Carnival.

“He has been designing, building and portraying senior King costumes for the past 15 years. He has a talent for being able to create his costumes by using recycled material such as plastic bottles and cardboard,” it said.

Chow Lin On mourns Savary: “I’m devastated”

Mourning the loss of Sava­ry yesterday was Antho­ny Chow Lin On, owner of the Trinidad and Tobago Radio Network, parent company of 96.1WEFM.

“I just lost someone very close to me, an OJO member. I will say more later, I’m devastated. To all those who feel that Covid is not real, I pray that you don’t have to feel the way I feel right now,” he said in a Facebook post.

Savary was one of four Covid-19 patients who died yesterday.

T&T recorded 399 cases of the virus yesterday, the most number of cases since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Today’s numbers hit me different, not just for the record-breaking 399 but one of the four deaths was one of my personal assistants at OJO,” Chow Lin On lamen­ted.

“May I remind everyone the 189 Covid deaths are not numbers, metrics, statistics or whatever else you want to call it. These are real people with people who love them dearly. Who feels it knows it Lord,” he added.


Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley did not attend yesterday’s sitting of the House of Representatives, causing consternation from Opposition Members because it was the day set aside for Prime Minister’s Question Time.

THE legislative road has been paved for the decriminalisation of pepper spray in Trinidad and Tobago.

The Firearms (Amendment) Bill 2021 was passed yesterday in the House of Representatives with no objection.