Father Michael Greenidge performing final rite on former Mo Cliffton De Coteau at his home in Princes Town on Friday. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)
RADHICA DE SILVA
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Former Government Minister Clifton De Coteau had just returned home after buying newspapers this morning, when he collapsed on the floor and died.

The former Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, and Gender Youth and Child Development had been battling with health issues since 2013.

However, relatives said they were still shocked and saddened by his death.

Father Michael Greenidge performing final rite on former Mo Cliffton De Coteau at his home in Princes Town on Friday. (Image: RISHI RAGOONATH)

Around 9 am, parish priest of the St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Rev Father Michael Collin Greenidge, performed last rites for De Coteau as his body lay on the floor.

In an interview with Guardian Media, Rev Greenidge said he was a personal friend of De Coteau.

He said it was just a few days ago that he discussed a fundraising drive to purchase tablets for children of the church.

Mr De Coteau was seen a couple weeks ago on Nomination Day January 4th, lending support to Tylon Farrell, the UNC’s candidate for the electoral district of Hindustan/St. Mary’s in the upcoming Bye-Elections scheduled for Monday 25 January 2021.

De Coteau’s former Cabinet colleagues, friends and relatives are continuing to gather at the family’s home in Princes Town.

De Coteau, an educator for most of his life, joined the political arena in 2003 and served as the Local Government Representative for the Electoral District of Inverness/Princes Town until 2010.

He was elected to the House of Representatives as the Member for Moruga/Tableland in 2010 and served until 2015.

During his time in government under the People’s Partnership Administration led by Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC MP, Mr De Coteau served as a Minister of State in the Ministry of Education between May 2010 and June 2012.  He then held the portfolio of Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, between June 2012 and September 2013.  His final government portfolio was as the Minister of Gender, Youth and Child Development from September 2013 to June 2015.

Clifton De Coteau was a sportsman and athlete, participating in marathons, track and field, boxing, kickboxing and wrestling.  He was also a professional photographer.

Guardian Media will bring you more as more information comes to hand.