I am deeply saddened by the passing of a guide and teacher in the person of Loknath Dube on Tuesday, October 24, 2023.
A graduate in Economics from The UWI, Loknath went on to serve for several years as CEO in several regional corporations in the Ministry of Local Government.
He was also an active member of the Sri Satya Sai Organization, serving at the administrative level of the organization, writing books on the experiences of devotees, and making visits to Prashanti Nilayam where he held audiences with Sai Baba.
I had the pleasure of knowing Loknath through his brother Krishna who was a member of the Hindu Jawan Sangh and the Hindu Seva Sangh. In 1978 when the Jawan Sangh sponsored Caribbean Hindu Conferences at the St Augustine Campus, Loknath coordinated the cultural events that were held in the evening. Through his hard work, scores of people from the neighboring villages attended those programs.
Loknath also became engaged in writing biographies including two volumes on the Builders of Chaguanas. The then Mayor of Chaguanas, Dr. Suruj Rambachan, acknowledging Loknath’s talent as a writer, commissioned him to coordinate the completion of these two volumes. Loknath not only coordinated researchers and writers but also edited the contents and ensured the finished product was published and launched.
Loknath was versed in Sanskriti which he owes to Professor Bhattacharya who was the principal of Tagore High School where Loknath was employed as a teacher. Professor Bhattacharya also held classes which were open to the public and Loknath was among those students who seized the opportunity to learn from this great teacher.
Choka Fest at Simplex in Tableland was an annual event on the anniversary of Indian Arrival Day (May 30). With several chokas – baigan, eddoes, alloo, tomatoes, saltfish, smoke herring – to eat with sada roti, Loknath taught me not to mix the chokas but eat them individually with the roti to get the taste.
Wanting someone to deliver the feature address in a graduation ceremony at the Williamsville Secondary School I joyfully recommended Loknath. Prior to the event he coordinated with the graduation committee to get all the relevant details, information, and statistics to craft his speech. His speech was well received by all, and he did not exceed his time by one minute. For this I felt a sense of pride but more so was the confidence and charm he exuded in the presence of the ladies who were assigned to work with him.
The Williamsville Festivals Committee was also happy to provide him with a plaque in recognition of the contribution he had made to culture.
The passing of Loknath is a major loss to the community. His services which he voluntarily provided would be missed and more so his personality which radiated warmth and charm; and the Vibhuti which he always had in his possession to paste on our foreheads.