The Antoine Family of Arima

Jean Marie Alphonse Antoine and his wife, Bernadine, lived at the corner of Hollis Avenue and Woodford Street, Arima until the end of the 1960s, where Mr Antoine owned a radio shop and Sports Pool. Subsequently the family lived on St. Joseph Street and finally at 1, Woodford Street on Calvary Hill.

He was the youngest son of French emigrants and was a first generation Trinidadian. Mr Antoine was himself a well-known personality.

Bernadine was a descendant of the Noel family of St David’s, Grenada, many of whom were schoolteachers. Her father, Cornelius Huggins, was a Trinidadian. Mrs. Antoine was secretary to Fr. Edward “Ned” Foley, Principal of Holy Cross College.

Mr. Jean Marie Alphonse Antoine, Mrs. Bernadine Antoine, Camille, Jennifer, Eldon Subero, Rosemarie, Therese.

The Antoine siblings are: Thomas, Christopher, Jean, Robin, Jennifer, Therese, Rose Marie and Camille.

*******

Thomas is the eldest child of Jean Marie and Bernadine Antoine. He immigrated to Britain in 1961 and has been involved in various cultural and sporting activities, in particular cricket and the Notting Hill Carnival.

Tommy qualified as a mechanical engineer manufacturer. He worked in Hatton Garden as a diamond lapper/ designer and spent twenty years employed with London Transport, where he specialised in heavy diesel machines. He has been a builder with a particular interest in restoration work.

He is a regular visitor to Trinidad. He has four children and five grandchildren.

*******

Christopher is the second son of Jean Marie and Bernadine and moved to the USA in the seventies.

Chris worked as an electronic engineer and as a diesel mechanic in the States.

He has been a keen huntsman and fisherman for much of his life and was intimately familiar with remote parts of Trinidad during his youth.

*******

Jean Antoine Dunne is the eldest daughter and third child of Jean Marie and Bernadine Antoine.

Jean left Trinidad in 1975 after graduating from UWI, St Augustine and teaching for a short period at St Joseph’s Convent, Arima and Bishop’s in Tobago.

She married Seamus Dunne and lived in Ireland from 1977, where she completed a doctorate in English at University College Dublin and became Unilever Newman Scholar in Modern Literature and Film in 1997.

She also lectured at Trinity College and Waterford Institute of Technology. She has worked as an Arts journalist and newspaper columnist in Ireland.

She has four children and five grandchildren.

Jean returned to teach Literatures in English at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine in 2005. There, she co-designed the first BA in Film in the Anglophone Caribbean and was its first coordinator.

She has edited a number of books on film and on Caribbean literature and she is the author of a monograph on Derek Walcott, entitled Derek Walcott’s Love Affair with Film.

Jean founded the UWI Network and Outreach for Disability Education and Sensitisation, which hosted the conference on Social Integration for Persons with Disabilities in 2015.

She is an academic, a literary critic, painter, disability activist and filmmaker. She also writes a weekly column for Trinidad Newsday.

*******

Dr. Robin Antoine is the third son and fourth child of Jean Marie and Bernadine Antoine.

Robin attended Arima Boys Government School and then Holy Cross College after attaining third place in the Common Entrance Examinations of the day.

He is a mathematician and is a Senior Lecturer in Statistics at the University of the West Indies, St Augustine. He was, until recently, Head of the Department of Mathematics and Statistics.

Robin won a University of the West Indies scholarship in 1971 and studied Mathematics at the University of the West Indies, Mona. He is also a graduate of Florida State University.

He has lived for most of his life in Arima. Robin is very much part of the Arima community with a special interest in Carib life and culture. He has had a lifelong interest in astronomy and the natural environment.

*******

Jennifer Subero is the second daughter and fifth child of the family.

She was married in 1976 to Eldon Subero, now deceased, who was Principal of Aripo R.C. School and Santa Cruz R.C. School. His last appointment before retiring was as principal of Carapo R.C. School.

Jenny and Eldon were active participants in Catholic and community life in Arima.

She is a qualified chef and a member of several community and social groups, including St Joseph’s Convent Past Pupils Association.

She has six children and two grandchildren.

*******

Sr. Therese is the sixth child and third daughter of Jean Marie and Bernadine Antoine.

She attended Arima Girls Government School and St Joseph’s Convent, Arima, St. Dominic’s Convent, Malick, and then St. Joseph’s Convent, St. Joseph.

Sr. Therese is a member of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena.

She made her final vows in 1990 and worked at St. Dominic’s Convent and the Holy Name Training Centre, before going on to live and work for ten years in the Gran Couva Parish. She then returned to Arima in 2000 to take charge of the Novitiate. She was made Provincial in 2004.

She was elected the Prioress General of the Congregation in 2012, a year after the Dominican sisters moved their Mother House from Etrepagny in France, to Malick, Barataria, Trinidad.

Therese has a BA in Theology from the University of the West Indies and is trained in Media and is well known for her work in Catholic Communications in Trinidad and Tobago.

She is also a poet and was an active member of the 5th Arima Scout Troop and the Santa Rosa Youth Group.

*******

Professor Rose Marie Antoine is the seventh child and fourth daughter of Jean Marie and Bernadine Antoine.

She attended Arima Girls Government School and then St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph, where she was Head girl.

Professor Rose Marie Antoine is currently Dean of Law at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.

She has won numerous academic awards, including twice winning the University of the West Indies Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence, first for research and then for public service.

She holds a Masters degree from the University of Cambridge and a doctorate from the University of Oxford.

She became Professor of Labour Law and Offshore Financial Law in 2006 while at the Cave Hill Campus, Barbados. Rose Marie served as Director of the LLM and Deputy Dean at Cave Hill.

She is a former President of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and former Rapporteur on the Rights of Persons of African Descent and Against Racial Discrimination and Rapporteur for Indigenous Peoples. She is a well-known Human Rights Lawyer. She is also current President of the Family Planning Association and a member of several national committees.

She is wife of the former Prime Minister of St Lucia, Dr Kenny Anthony, whom she married in 2000. She has dual citizenship and lives in Trinidad and St Lucia.

Rose Marie has written a number of books on Offshore Financial Law and Caribbean Law, as well as being an international law consultant. She is also a trained singer and has a keen interest in sports and gardening.

*******

Camille is the last of the Antoine siblings.

She is a well-known dancer and has performed in many parts of the world. She remembers with great fondness dancing with Beryl McBurnie and with Jay Telfer.

After completing a degree at UWI, St Augustine, she taught at secondary school in Barataria and then completed a Masters degree in Development Studies at the University of London.

She has been deeply involved in feminist activism and with NJAC and was Outreach officer with the UWI Centre for Gender and Development Studies (now an Institute).

Camille is a former member of the Board of Directors of First Citizens Bank.

*******

The Antoines have the distinction of being the only family to have three lecturers teaching at the UWI, St Augustine at the same time.

All the Antoine girls attended Arima Girls Government School and St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph.

By Kazim Abasali


Kazim Abasali is a multimedia artist who enjoys creating his empowering and inspiring art, music, videos, ebooks, published articles, and websites, for himself and others. To access his artistic projects, kindly visit his website.


“Empower with Art” – Hearts empowering lives.
www.EmpowerwithArt.com