It is with profound sorrow that Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes O.R.T.T., President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago notes the passing of Professor Courtenay Bartholomew O.R.T.T., a fellow member of the Distinguished Society of Trinidad and Tobago.

Awarded this nation’s highest honour the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (O.R.T.T.) in 2017, after having received a Chaconia Medal Gold in 1975, Professor Bartholomew was a son of the soil who achieved renown not just locally but on an international scale.

It was Professor Bartholomew who diagnosed the English-speaking Caribbean’s first case of HIV Aids. His interest and research on this retrovirus led to his being made a member of the World AIDS Foundation Scientific Advisory Committee. Professor Bartholomew was also a strong advocate for public education on AIDS and led HIV vaccine trials and research on retroviruses with several US institutions.

A specialist in internal medicine (University College Dublin) and gastroenterology (Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh) Professor Bartholomew went on to become the first Lecturer in Medicine and the first Professor of Medicine at the University of the West Indies St. Augustine Campus.

On behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago and on her own behalf, President Weekes offers deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Professor Courtenay Bartholomew on his passing. May he rest in eternal peace.