Alfred Edward Lala was born in Arima on March 2nd, 1926. He was the only child of Edward Ramjattan Lala and Mabel Caroline Lala, nee Fernandez.
He attended the Arima Boys’ Government School from 1932 to 1940 before entering the Pupil-Teacher system which played a critical role in the education of many of the nation’s youth in those days.
He served there until 1944 when he was appointed an Assistant Teacher.
In 1949, he was promoted to Teacher 1 and taught at his alma mater, Arima Boys’ Government School for several years.
In 1967, Fred Lala, as he was popularly known, became Principal of the Blanchisseuse Government School. In subsequent years, he served as Principal at the Eastern Boys’ Government School in Port of Spain and at the D’Abadie Government School from where he retired in 1986.
Fred Lala dedicated his life to the service of the people of Arima and of Trinidad and Tobago.
He was Scout Master of the 1st Arima Scout Troup, a member of the Friends of Arima Hospital and the Arima Historical Society.
He served as Chairman of the Council of Voluntary Organisations for Social Care in Arima and Environs, Public Relations Officer of the Arima Branch of the Retired Government Pensioners Association and, from 1990 to 1992, as Co-Ordinator of the Arima Schools Arts Festival.
He also served as Returning Officer for the Elections and Boundaries Commission for the Constituency of Arima for both Local and General Elections from 1950 to 1995.
He had many hobbies which included Hiking, Camping in places like Paria Bay and El Tucuche, Building and Flying Model Airplanes, Motorcycling and exploring Trinidad and Tobago, his favourite areas being the Devil’s Woodyard, Cedros and Moruga as well as Big Bay beach in Sans Souci.
He was also an avid Photographer and his photography skills ran the gamut from taking pictures to developing and printing them himself in his tiny darkroom at his home on Prince Street in Arima.
On August 12th, 1951, he married Elizabeth Yan Hip.
They became the proud parents of four children, Annette, Alfred Junior, Cheryl and Dawn. Their union lasted for 55 years until his passing on February 22nd, 2006.
By Kazim Abasali
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