by: Hazel Ross-Perot
“With Satisfaction and Thanks, Rupert Indar, Celebrating a Son of San Fernando,” Dr Hamid Ghany’s biography of surgeon and entrepreneur Rupert Indar depicts a life filled with purpose and accomplishment.
Rupert Indar’s drive and ambition has brought him success throughout all the stages of his life. Dr Ghany has divided Dr Indar’s life into eight chapters: The Student, The Doctor, The Businessman, The Banker, The Horseman, and Rupert The Man. A chapter titled The Family Man was written by Aasma Sinanan and the final chapter titled Tributes includes reflections written by Dr Indar’s family and friends.
Layout and design were by Paria Publishing and the biography in green and gold hardcover has a luxurious feel. The jacket cover, designed by Alice Besson, has a photo of Indar the handsome young graduate resplendent in fur-trimmed gown.
Foreword was written by Barendra Sinanan, SC. He wrote about Indar’s strong family bonds. “Rupert could not have achieved his success in life without the support of his siblings. His wife, Polly, with whom he shares a wonderful relationship, ably assisted him throughout his career. Together they have raised four children who are each successful in their own right as medical professionals. Rupert and Polly are now enjoying to the fullest extent the thrill of being grandparents.”
Indar combined a career as a surgeon in San Fernando General Hospital while establishing a pioneering private hospital, the Southern Medical Clinic, with his now-deceased brother-in-law Dr Percival Harnaryan.
While establishing the Southern Medical Clinic, Indar also launched Carib Containers Ltd, a paper manufacturing company. Senior Counsel Sinanan wrote: “Rupert’s business acumen and success did not go unnoticed by the business elite in Trinidad. Complementing this attribute, he was a man replete with social graces who was well respected by his peers.” He became chairman of the Bank of Commerce of T&T Ltd. “He was extremely successful in guiding the affairs of this bank and distinguished himself in the negotiations for the buy-out of this bank by Republic Bank Ltd.”
He also noted Indar’s passion for horse racing. “Rupert always had a fondness for horses and has become a successful owner and breeder of horses. The sport of kings is truly his passion.”
From doctor to horseman and in between
In Chapter One, we learn that Indar’s parents, Joseph and Maharani, owned a garage and were focused on ensuring their six children got a good education. Indar attended Grant Memorial Primary School and from 1939-1943 was a student in Naparima College. He moved to Queen’s Royal College in Port-of-Spain to study for the Higher School Certificate. He lived with his uncle who was the driver for then governor of T&T, Sir Bede Clifford.
In Chapter two, The Doctor, we learn about Indar’s path to a career in surgery. After QRC he studied in Ireland, in Trinity College, Dublin. He was admitted to the Faculty of Natural Sciences and subsequently chose to study medicine. After graduating in 1952, Indar was invited to join the staff of the Anatomy department as an assistant lecturer.
He eventually decided on a career in surgery and trained in England, the USA, and Europe. He joined the staff of the San Fernando General Hospital in 1962 as a consultant surgeon and worked there until 1989.
In Chapter three, we are introduced to Indar—The Businessman. We learn about the establishment of Carib Containers Ltd. In Chapter four, The Banker, the acquisition of Bank of Commerce by Republic Bank Ltd is discussed. Indar served as chairman of the bank between 1994-1997.
In Chapter five, The Horseman, there is a brief history of horse racing industry in Trinidad with excerpts from the 1968 Coffey Report. We learn about Indar as an owner, breeder, and administrator. He was an honorary medical doctor at the Union Park Turf Club from 1982 until 1988 when he joined the club’s management committee. After the centralisation of racing, he served as president of the Arima Race Club from 1997 to 1998. He also served as chairman of the Betting Levy Board from 1996 to 1998 and served as a member of the T&T Racing Authority.
Chapter six is dedicated to Indar the Man. Dr Ghany examines the factors in Indar’s success including his “core qualities of entrepreneurship, an unparalleled work ethic, an overarching humility and a desire to succeed”.
In Chapter seven, we see the portrait of Indar as The Family Man, who has combined a busy professional life with a fulfilling family life. Indar has been married to his wife, Polly, since 1966 and they have raised four successful children.
Chapter eight consists of tributes to Indar by his daughter Andrea; sons Adrian, Rupert Junior and Nicholas; his daughters-in-law Sareeta and Kimberly; his nephew Andrew Seenath; and friend and colleague Dr Lal Sawh.
Indar’s biography is illustrated with delightful pictures of family weddings, grandchildren, holidays, and gatherings, Royal Ascot, awards ceremonies and the Southern Medical Clinic. Indar was awarded the key to San Fernando in 2017 for his sterling service to medicine. In 2008 he received a Humming Bird Medal gold.
As Dr Ghany reflected “there has never been any room for failure in Rupert’s life because failure itself was never an option. In the evening of his years, he can look back at a life well lived and a legacy that can make anyone beam with pride”.