Former Cabinet Minister, Trinidad and Tobago
Rennie Dumas was a Trinidad and Tobago politician and former Cabinet Minister.
Early life and education
Rennie Dumas, also known as "Stretch" was born in 1955 in Plymouth, Tobago. He was educated at Bishop’s High School and the University of the West Indies, St Augustine.
Dumas taught at primary and secondary schools in Tobago; and was involved in the Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) over 1984 to 1990.
Dumas served during successive People’s National Movement (PNM) administrations from 2002–2010, first in the Upper House as a senator and subsequently as Member of Parliament for Tobago East in the Lower House.
With early political roots in the Democratic Action Congress (DAC) and National Alliance for reconstruction (NAR), Dumas switched to the PNM in 1986 when he contested Tobago West, but lost. In 2000, he served in the Senate as an Opposition Senator during the 6th Parliament.
Following victory of the PNM at the polls, in 2001, Dumas was appointed a Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister from December 2001 to October 2002. He was later appointed Public Utilities and Environment minister from October 2002 to November 2003. From November 2003 to November 2007 he served as Local Government Minister. He was also PNM’s Mayaro Coordinator at one time. He was elected to the House of Representatives on 5 November 2007 as the Member for Tobago East. He was appointed Minister of Labour and Small and Micro Enterprise Development in November 2007. He did not contest the 2010 election.
Dumas had been coordinator of the Strategic Oversight Unit with the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) under past THA leader Orville London’s tenure. However, he immediately resigned after he was charged with assault in 2011. He was convicted in 2013, but in 2016, he won his appeal for a new trial. At the time of his death, the new trial had not been heard.
Dumas, though, didn’t feel the charges would have affected his bid to become PNM’s Tobago leader when London retired in 2016. Contesting the leadership, Dumas said he’d served party and country for over 20 years and was “ready to be Chief Servant.”
Though he did not win (losing to Kelvin Charles), Dumas obtained the post of Education Officer in the Tobago Council.
Dumas died on 14 May 2017 at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences (Mt Hope) Complex where he’d had heart surgery four months earlier, in January. He was 62.