Maxwell Awon (10th Mar 1920- 18th Oct 1998)

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Maxwell Awon was the son of Joseph and Alice Awon and the fifth of nine children. Born on March 10th, 1920 in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, he attended Belmont Boys’ Intermediate School, moving on to Queen’s Royal College in 1932 and St. Mary’s College from 1937. He went to England next, where he studied at the University of London, attaining a Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Economics in 1941. He then attended the National University of Ireland where he received a Bachelor of Science (BSc) and a Master of Science (MSc) in Physiology in 1950 and 1952 respectively. He completed his Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of the Art of Obstetrics (MB BCh BAO) there in 1953 and pursued postgraduate studies at the Institute of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Hammersmith Hospital in London, England in 1958, becoming a Member of the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecology and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (FRCSEd) in 1960. He later became a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (FRCPI) in 1970 and a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FACOG) in 1974.

Dr Awon was a leader in the field of obstetrics and gynaecology for over 25 years. He was also active in national politics, serving as a member of the House of Representatives from 1966 to 1976, Minister of Health from 1957 to 1971, and Minister of Local Government from 1969 to 1971. Dr Awon took a keen interest in local culture. He was head of the Stick Fighting Association and was a popular carnival bandleader. His band, Max Awon D’Midas and Associates, won Band of the Year in 1984 and 1987. He was involved with the Orchid Society, the Horticultural Society and the Family Planning Association. He was the chairman of several private companies and even invented an energy-efficient combustion engine.

Dr Awon was humble, passionate and dedicated to the health sector. For his commitment, he received the Father of the Year Award from the National Father’s Day Council in 1976, a Long Service Award from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in 1981, and a Long Service Award from the Family Planning Association in 1996.

Dr Maxwell Phillip Awon passed away on October 18th, 1998.