The Division of Sport and Youth Affairs (DSYA) is deeply saddened by the recent passing of Youth Auxiliary, Lavern Manswell-Clarke. Lavern served outstandingly as a valued team member of the DSYA family in the Department of Youth Affairs. Her passion for youth work was evident in the multiple initiatives she championed which were geared toward the holistic development of Tobago’s young people. Her dedication to duty and exemplary service stands as testimony to the potential that is resident within each of us and serves as a call to selfless and committed service to our community. Lavern was most recently attached to the Mt. Grace-Moriah District, and had spent several years of her career servicing areas in Tobago’s North-East where she worked in the interest of developing our youth and youth groups.
Youth Development Director, Ann Marie deGazon expressed, “My interactions with Lavern was inspirational, her work ethic was outstanding and she willingly and sacrificially worked in the interest of the young people she served with passion, alacrity and pride, which was actively demonstrated even while going through her own personal challenges.” Youth Development Officer II, Lyndon Wilson shared, “Lavern had a passion for youth work and worked tirelessly to see young people achieve their goals and aspirations.”
Fellow Youth Auxiliary, Adele Daniel highlighted, “This is an unimaginable loss. Lavern was a beautiful woman, inside and out. She was a wonderful friend to me, supporting me with her gentle and caring nature. She was always authentic with people and saying what needed to be said because it was good for the soul. She made helping young persons’ her priority. Lavern has left an indelible mark on the lives of everyone she interacted with. She will be sorely missed!”
The Castara Youth Group, one of the organizations Lavern has worked with over the years, also paid tribute to her commitment. In a post on its official Facebook page, the group expressed deepest sympathies and noted, “She was very vigorous and dedicated with her work here in Castara with the youths in this village and always encouraged us to get involved and elevate ourselves. This individual is a great loss to not only the youths of Castara, but to the youths of the entire Northside District.” The Bloody Bay United Raiders Youth Group publicly gave their condolences as well adding, “She will be greatly missed by our youth group. She was indeed a hardworking youth officer (and an) encouraging, motivated individual.”
The Division of Sport and Youth Affairs extends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Lavern Manswell-Clarke. May you find comfort and peace in celebrating the abundant life and experiences shared with Lavern, even as we all mourn her passing.