The St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies has issued a statement mourning the passing of its former Registrar Richard Saunders.

Mr. Saunders died on Sunday, after suffering a heart attack while swimming at Macqueripe Bay. He was a regular swimmer there, and was a past President of the group known as the Macqueripe Early Morning Swimmers Association-MEMSA.

In its statement of condolences, the university said it was with deep sadness that its community learned of his passing. He has been Campus Registrar from March 2013 to July 2018. University vice chancellor, Sir Hillary Beckles said Mr Saunders’ untimely passing has painfully torn the fabric of his family and friends, sapping the spirit of the university community. His grace as a gentleman is well known and the calmness of his character resonated as a standard to be emulated.

Campus Principal, Professor Brian Copeland said he shared fond memories of Mr Saunders as campus colleagues for several years. He said Saunders brought a special grace in the discharge of his duties, through his charm, his impeccable dress and consummate eloquence.

The statement added that as a senior executive for over 40 years, Mr Saunders operated in such areas as Project Development, Project Implementation, Real Estate Sales and Marketing. He led trans-functional, multi-level management teams to enhance stakeholder value. His professional experiences bridged the industrial, public and private enterprises and academic institutions.

He held senior executive positions in both the public and private sector, including TSTT, Alstons Building Enterprises Limited, the Airports Authority of Trinidad and Tobago, Guardian Properties Limited and, most recently, he was Managing Director of TTPost.