Reverend Edward T. Lute

1953 - The Lutes arrive in Trinidad:
with children: John, Teddy, Jimmy

photos: Lutes to krm / United Church Observer, 1959
Reverend Edward T. Lute was the last of the Canadian missionaries to hold the principal's position.

There was undoubtedly debate within the Mission as to when would be the right time to pass this stewardship on to a Trinidad-born academic - and there was more than one potential candidate for this challenge. Large changes in the fabric of the mission had already taken place: The United Church of Canada had amalgamated with a part of the Presbyterian church in 1925; a Presbyterian "synod" had been formed in Trinidad in the 1930s; the Second World War had altered the sociological map of the world, and initiated the devolution of the British Empire; and the Mission had in fact accomplished its original goal, helping to produce an educated Indian middle class.

The end of Reverend Walls' long tenure would have been a natural departure point.

However, although the Church might have been prepared for such a transition, perhaps more preparation on the local scene was needed. In any case, this was the climate of change in which Reverend Lute was brought from a school in Jamaica to be principal at Naparima.

Reverend Lute made a flourishing finish to the Canadian Mission's guardianship of Naparima College. In a few short years, he constructed a fine modern institution, with a new science lab, new classrooms and administrative space, library, audio-visual and public address facilities, large gymnasium and playing fields. He was youthful, energetic, approachable and thoughtful. He hailed from the big city of Toronto, whereas all of the other missionaries were from smaller towns in the Maritimes. Having a school-age family of his own, he seemed to relate easily to the students, while still delivering daily morning homilies and prayers within the school's religious tradition.

Though his tenure was all too short, he made a lifelong impression on one generation of students, and passed the torch for the Mission: he re-built and re-energized a strong and dynamic Naparima to bequeath to a newly-independent country.
In 2009, two students of his time, Milton Moonah and Chanka Narayansingh proposed honouring the memory of Reverend Lute by inviting his sons and other guests from Canada to attend Founders' Day 2010, and by having the city officially name after him the street that he built.

This was done in February 2010. Carl Sammy met Ted Lute at the airport, the first time Ted had returned to Trinidad since leaving as a boy some fifty years earlier. Contemporary scholarship winner Stan Algoo organized donations for the event; Dr Brinsley Samaroo delivered an address at the ceremony, and Ted Lute received the honours for his father.

FOUNDERS' DAY 2010 - [click on picture to select next]
2010 photos provided by Stanley Algoo
Rev. Lute's drive named by the City of San Fernando
L to R front: Riaz Mohammed, Sachin Jamraj, Stefan Mohammed
L to R back: Prof. Brinsley Samaroo, Mr. Bhadase Seetahal-Maraj, Mr.Taran Maharaj,
Mayor Kenneth Ferguson, Mr. Edward (Ted) Lute, Rev. Joy Abdul-Mohan, Dr. M. Dowlath.
Photo: Ronald Chung