Former government minister Fitzgerald McArthur Jeffrey had a premonition that he would die in reverse to the first Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Eric Williams.
His interpretation of which he would explain to his only daughter Tehilla Jeffery days before he died. He was 69 years old
Jeffery’s wife a retired schoolteacher Julia said he knew he was going to die, he told his daughter he will die in September. He would die like Eric William, that he (Williams) died in March and was born in September, but he was born in March and died in September.
Julia said the former La Brea MP died at the Point Fortin Area Hospital on Saturday around 4 pm after losing the battle to lungs cancer and other respiratory-related conditions for the past three years.
She said Jeffery’s cause of death was listed as a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease but she also believed he died from neglect.
Julia said his conditions worsen at Vessigny/La Brea home and they rushed him to the hospital last Thursday. She said he indicated that he wanted to return home on Saturday morning and sadly did not get the chance to do so.
She explained: “We know he had a condition and he needed the oxygen to be living. He had challenges at home and he went to area hospital. They give me a lower level of oxygen that he got when he was home. And I noticed he wasn’t coughing at much as when he was home. A Cuban doctor took him off his prescribed medication and he wasn’t to be taken off for a long period. The doctor came for the first time with the idea to approach this thing and take him off the meds on Friday night. So two days he went without three medicines (name called). I think they neglected him, when you take somebody off something they should have replaced it with something else. But he wanted to come home on Saturday morning, but he never did.”
In November 2007, Jeffery was elected to the House of Representatives and was subsequently appointed the Minister of State in the Ministry of Science, Technology and Tertiary Education. He was re-elected in 2010 and served as an opposition MP until 2015.
In March 2016, Jeffery received his Instrument of Appointment and was duly appointed as High Commissioner for T&T to Jamaica until 2018.
Before Jeffery’s entry to Parliament, he served as an educator, firstly as a secondary school teacher then a vice principal and Principal of the Palo Seco Secondary School.
His first cousin and councillor for Cap-de-vill/Fanny Village Bryana Fortune-John said his passing leaves a void in the heart of his family and his constituents. She said Jeffery was not the reason she got into politics but he was certainly the driving force that manned her political career.
Fortune-John said: “We always had a good relationship and when I was new to politics he was an instrumental source of encouragement. He was service-oriented to serve our community. Always extend love and care and if anyone knows our family it is always about compassion and care. Always encounter to inspire you.”
She said for she screened for the August 10 general elections and although Jeffery was physically not able to lend that support his last words were: “You have what it takes and it is worth a try. Cuz keep pushing”
Fortune-John said Jeffery knew the constituency like the back of his hands and he gives her pointers although “He was going through what he going through and still he delivered, what he forgot he sent me in text messages…”
She said he was always vibrant and showed no signs of defeat.
He was also an avid believer in Christ and attended the Open Bible Churches. . There are no arrangements for interment.