BYNOE – P.C.A.

Peter Bynoe – RCAF – Gunner – Coastal Command

[Source: CMHA, CG]

Mentioned by Ulric Cross

605614 – P.C.A. Bynoe – Trinidad – attestsed 16.6.43 – P/O A/B #2 RC 5.12.44
165745 – P/O – commissioned 14.7.44

[Source: NA AIR 2/6876]

Peter Cecil Alexander Bynoe, my father, was born on 16th June, 1918 to Alexander Roland Bynoe (aka “Papio”) and his second wife, Tryphena (nee Joseph). He was the fourth surviving son of his father and the third of the second marriage. Quintin was the fifth and last surviving son. I understand that a pair of twin boys who failed to survive were born fourth in that first marriage. I also understand that another pair of twin boys who also failed to survive were the first born to Tryphena.

Daddy said that when he was born his father said to him “These are your brothers”. For the rest of his life they were his brothers and he treated them that way and never allowed anything to come between them and himself. They were, (1) Roland Lovelace, father of Annette, Gemma, and Lennard (Bunny), (2) Hugo Alexander, father of Mervyn and Myrna, (3) Hamilton Arnold, father of Patrick, Kenneth (Ken) and Judy (deceased), and Quintin Alexander, father of Adele and Verity.

Daddy also kept extremely good relations with his mother’s family, the Josephs of which there is a large representation here today. It was in fact his mother’s brother Dr. Cyril Joseph, father of “Ray ‘Golden’ Appollon” who introduced both Daddy and Quintin to Freemasonry.

Daddy attended Tranquility for a period before he went on to make his name at St. Mary’s College where between 1936 and 1938 he won almost everything there was to be won at the school in the area of sport. He was football captain, vice-captain of cricket, Victor Ludorum in athletics, and boxing champion. He won an award for General Merit, was presented with the College Colours and was active in the Cadet Corps.  It is reported by George Chambers (better known as Joff Chambers) and Hugh Sealy that Daddy actually started as a goalkeeper for St. Mary’s and switched to left wing as there was a shortage of left footers. That is where he stayed.

After school he worked for a time in the oilfields prior to the outbreak of war. During that time he played football for Maple, North Trinidad and Trinidad. He was part of the North Trinidad football team of with Gerry Gomez, Jeff Stollmeyer, Hugo Day and Raffie Knowles. He also became friends with other Trinidad sporting legends. I am speaking of such people as Prior Jones, Andy Ganteaume, and Learie Constantine. In 1940 he left Trinidad to join the Royal Canadian Air Force where he trained and qualified as a navigator before leaving for England. He joined the RAF in 1943 and served for the duration of the hostilities and until 1946 when he was appointed a Liason/Welfare Officer with the Air Ministry and the Colonial Office looking after the Rehabilitation and Repatriation of West Indian Airmen. He worked there with Ulric Cross and Dudley Thompson.

It was during one of the parades at the end of the war that he noticed a pretty black woman marching with one of the Women’s Auxiliary groups and enquired after her name. Sometime later he saw her at a party and asked for a dance. According to her she put his name down on her card as usual and he had to wait about five more turns. But he clearly turned out to be unusual because she tore up the card after that dance. That woman was a Grenadian student, Hilda Louisa Gibbs, my mother.

They married in 1947 and would have celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on 3rd September.

Daddy intended to study Dentistry but applied too late to the school. He was, however, accepted to read Architecture at the Brixton School of Building, and the rest, as they say, is history. He also studied Town Planning at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the University of Bangor, North Wales.  He was later a Research Fellow/Lecturer at the School of Planning and Architecture in the University of New Delhi.

Of course Daddy continued his involvement in sport and he thereby became a very close friend of Frank Worrell. At Brixton he became President of the Students Union, captain of cricket and football, and champion athlete. He also played for the cricket team of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Somewhere he also found time to study. During this period he also became close to Michael and Stella Beaubrun, Bernard and Joy Warner, and Andre and Gloria Valere as well as a young Guyanese lawyer who was nicknamed “Odo”. That lawyer, Forbes Burnham, went on to become the first Prime Minister of independent Guyana. Daddy also became fast friends with Harold Forde of Barbados, Julian Marryshow then of Grenada now of Barbados, and Mummy’s two cousins, Derek Knight and David Pitt of Grenada. Uncle Julian and Uncle Derek are here today. Uncle Harold’s two daughters are here also as is one of Uncle David’s daughters. Daddy also met Mummy’s sister Rosie and other members of her family.

My mother also bore two sons, myself, in 1952 and my brother, Michael, in 1953.

We returned to the West Indies in late 1953 where Daddy experienced difficulty in obtaining a professional appointment with the civil service. In 1955 he received an invitation from his friend Odo and off we went to the then British Guiana where he did get that professional appointment as Architect to the Government. We stayed there for four years where we became close to Aubrey and Aileen Fraser and the Angoy family and to Cecil Murray and Ovid Johnston both of whom are here today. We have also heard from Howard and Allison Fraser. Daddy also became friendly with Cheddi Jagan even though they were very far apart politically.

We eventually returned to Trinidad in 1958 where Daddy rejoined the Public Service and rose to become the Chief Architect and Director of Construction. He was also, with the late Carlisle Chang, part of the committee which designed our National Flag. During this period he became close to Eldon and Irma Warner and deepened his friendship with his cousin Jack Bynoe.

In 1968 Mummy was offered and accepted, with Daddy’s permission and blessing, the post of Governor of Grenada. He resigned from the Trinidad Public Service and cheerfully took the back seat to the Queen’s representative. He, however, found much to occupy him. He was Chairman of Grenada’s CARIFTA Expo 1969, Chairman of their Development and Planning Authority, and of their Independence Celebration Committee, and a Director of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (the forerunner of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank). We remained in Grenada until 1974 when we returned to Trinidad where we have stayed. Daddy then went into private practice.

His professional activities have been numerous and intensive. He served as President of the T&T Institute of Architects, President of the Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects in the Caribbean, Visiting Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at UWI, St. Augustine, as well as External Examiner at the University of Guyana and at the Caribbean School of Architecture in Jamaica. He was also a Director of the Inter-American Rural Housing Association, Deputy Chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority, and a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority.

During all of the movement Daddy remained active in sport. In Guyana he became a member of the Georgetown Cricket Club, he was an executive member of the Guyana Amateur Athletic and Cycling Association, a vice-president of the old Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Athletic Association, and a member/delegate to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Association. He attended the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as a representative of the AAA and stayed on in the Far East, at the expense of the Trinidad and Tobago government to attend the University of New Delhi. He also attended the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica and was thus privileged to see at first hand two of the greatest sporting moments in the history of this country. He had also previously seen Mannie Ramjohn and McDonald Bailey run at the 1948 London Olympics.

In 1979 Daddy received the Humming Bird Medal, Gold for services to Architecture in Trinidad and Tobago.

In later years, Daddy was very active in the Trinidad and Tobago Institute for the Hearing Impaired (DRETCHI) serving on their board for over twenty years and designing their headquarters.

As Chief Architect, he would have been heavily involved in the design of some of the older public buildings in this country. The John S. Donaldson Technical Institute, for example. Daddy came back from India with some fairly strong ideas about tropical architecture and the use of natural ventilation. This found expression in what became almost the standard for school buildings in Trinidad. I am speaking about the use of what I call “breeze blocks”.

In private practice he designed the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School and renovated and restored the Georgetown Hospital together with another good friend, George Henry of Guyana. He went on to serve as assessor in numerous  architectural competition throughout the West Indies including the Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and, of course, Trinidad and Tobago.

That was the public man.

Since I have been aware of such things I have never seen Daddy meet someone who knew him previously who was not glad to see him again. He had the ability to inspire friendship while remaining a private person.

I have mentioned Cheddi Jagan. He was very aware that Daddy and Mummy were close personal friends with his arch enemy, but in my presence at Piarco he gave a wide smile and stuck out his hand saying “Peter!”

An extreme example of this involved my mother’s father. Papa was a member of the Federal Parliament and had to come over from Grenada often to attend sessions. Mummy invited him to stay with us when he came so that he could save the out-of pocket allowance provided for accommodation. After two visits he said to her that he would not be coming back as Daddy did not like him. She had to explain that he was not making an effort to entertain because he had thoroughly accepted Papa as a member of his family. They became the greatest of friends.

Another anecdote comes from my cousin Mervyn whom Daddy for some strange reason called “Muffit”. Some of Mervyn’s friends came back to Canada from a holiday in Trinidad and said that on a bus trip from Toronto to New York they met a bus driver who told them that he had known a Trinidadian during training with the RCAF who was so popular that when the news came to Canada that his mother had died the entire camp cried. He commented that what struck him was that no one ever saw him cry. He said that the man’s name was Peter Bynoe.

Children loved him. When Nandi, his granddaughter, first came back to Trinidad from the US where she was born she was extremely shy and would not smile or mix with the rest of the family. One day by some happenstance she and Daddy were alone in the drawing room and we heard her burst out laughing. The ice was broken for all of us. Daddy never explained how he did it.

Whenever you met him and asked how he was going he would answer “On my best behaviour”. He was. All the time. The strongest language I ever heard him use was “Oh sugar!” I have heard him describe someone as a “Damn Fool” on few occasions. I was very careful around such people. They always proved to be complete idiots.

He was helpful to all who sought his assistance and advice and there were many. The advice was always sound. One cousin, Mandy, Rosie’s daughter, says that he was able to make her feel that the outcome was her idea in the first place. A lot of people evidently felt indebted to him. I know of one instance where Daddy took a young relative to a work place asked to see the Chief Executive and after being admitted and exchanging pleasantries said “This is my cousin and I would like you to give him a job”. The request was met.

He was what I describe as a “long time cowboy”. He rode for the brand. There are a lot of public servants in Trinidad like Daddy. They give truly independent advice when it is asked. On one occasion he was asked by a relative to give evidence on his behalf in a matter. The evidence turned out to be contrary to the good of the relative. They eventually became friends once more.

I would like to hope that it was in recognition of his integrity that he was asked to serve on the Commission of Inquiry into the Piarco Airport Project which was his last service to his country. In the early stages of his last illness he continued to make an effort to follow the proceedings on television.

In latter years Daddy became a member of Queens Park Cricket Club and attended all Test Matches played. I was very happy to be able to bring him up to Antigua last year to see South Africa play.

Adele and Verity are unable to be here with us today. They have asked that their best wishes and condolences be expressed by me. In the interest of brevity we have chosen not to have remembrances from the congregation and I hope that I have done a decent job in representing all of you in that regard.

On behalf of my mother, my brother and myself I would like to thank all of those members of the medical and nursing fraternity who provided care for Daddy in his last days. I would like to make special mention of Alan Patrick, Michael Telemaque, Richard Clarke, and Courtney Bartholomew.

I know that I have failed to mention a host of people and I hope that you will all forgive Mummy and Mickey for that omission as the act is entirely mine but there are just so many of you. I would finally like to thank Fathers Knolly Knox and Father Rochard of the Roman Catholic Church for consenting to participate in this Anglican service.

Thank you all very much.

[Source: Roland Bynoe, Jan. 23, 2012]

3 additions to “BYNOE – P.C.A.”

  1. Roland Bynoe adds:

    A Reflection on the Life of Peter Cecil Alexander Bynoe

    Peter Cecil Alexander Bynoe, my father, was born on 16th June, 1918 to Alexander Roland Bynoe (aka “Papio”) and his second wife, Tryphena (nee Joseph). He was the fourth surviving son of his father and the third of the second marriage. Quintin was the fifth and last surviving son. I understand that a pair of twin boys who failed to survive were born fourth in that first marriage. I also understand that another pair of twin boys who also failed to survive were the first born to Tryphena.

    Daddy said that when he was born his father said to him “These are your brothers”. For the rest of his life they were his brothers and he treated them that way and never allowed anything to come between them and himself. They were, (1) Roland Lovelace, father of Annette, Gemma, and Lennard (Bunny), (2) Hugo Alexander, father of Mervyn and Myrna, (3) Hamilton Arnold, father of Patrick, Kenneth (Ken) and Judy (deceased), and Quintin Alexander, father of Adele and Verity.

    Daddy also kept extremely good relations with his mother’s family, the Josephs of which there is a large representation here today. It was in fact his mother’s brother Dr. Cyril Joseph, father of “Ray ‘Golden’ Appollon” who introduced both Daddy and Quintin to Freemasonry.

    Daddy attended Tranquility for a period before he went on to make his name at St. Mary’s College where between 1936 and 1938 he won almost everything there was to be won at the school in the area of sport. He was football captain, vice-captain of cricket, Victor Ludorum in athletics, and boxing champion. He won an award for General Merit, was presented with the College Colours and was active in the Cadet Corps. It is reported by George Chambers (better known as Joff Chambers) and Hugh Sealy that Daddy actually started as a goalkeeper for St. Mary’s and switched to left wing as there was a shortage of left footers. That is where he stayed.

    After school he worked for a time in the oilfields prior to the outbreak of war. During that time he played football for Maple, North Trinidad and Trinidad. He was part of the North Trinidad football team of with Gerry Gomez, Jeff Stollmeyer, Hugo Day and Raffie Knowles. He also became friends with other Trinidad sporting legends. I am speaking of such people as Prior Jones, Andy Ganteaume, and Learie Constantine. In 1940 he left Trinidad to join the Royal Canadian Air Force where he trained and qualified as a navigator before leaving for England. He joined the RAF in 1943 and served for the duration of the hostilities and until 1946 when he was appointed a Liason/Welfare Officer with the Air Ministry and the Colonial Office looking after the Rehabilitation and Repatriation of West Indian Airmen. He worked there with Ulric Cross and Dudley Thompson.

    It was during one of the parades at the end of the war that he noticed a pretty black woman marching with one of the Women’s Auxiliary groups and enquired after her name. Sometime later he saw her at a party and asked for a dance. According to her she put his name down on her card as usual and he had to wait about five more turns. But he clearly turned out to be unusual because she tore up the card after that dance. That woman was a Grenadian student, Hilda Louisa Gibbs, my mother.

    They married in 1947 and would have celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary on 3rd September.

    Daddy intended to study Dentistry but applied too late to the school. He was, however, accepted to read Architecture at the Brixton School of Building, and the rest, as they say, is history. He also studied Town Planning at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, and at the University of Bangor, North Wales. He was later a Research Fellow/Lecturer at the School of Planning and Architecture in the University of New Delhi.

    Of course Daddy continued his involvement in sport and he thereby became a very close friend of Frank Worrell. At Brixton he became President of the Students Union, captain of cricket and football, and champion athlete. He also played for the cricket team of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Somewhere he also found time to study. During this period he also became close to Michael and Stella Beaubrun, Bernard and Joy Warner, and Andre and Gloria Valere as well as a young Guyanese lawyer who was nicknamed “Odo”. That lawyer, Forbes Burnham, went on to become the first Prime Minister of independent Guyana. Daddy also became fast friends with Harold Forde of Barbados, Julian Marryshow then of Grenada now of Barbados, and Mummy’s two cousins, Derek Knight and David Pitt of Grenada. Uncle Julian and Uncle Derek are here today. Uncle Harold’s two daughters are here also as is one of Uncle David’s daughters. Daddy also met Mummy’s sister Rosie and other members of her family.

    My mother also bore two sons, myself, in 1952 and my brother, Michael, in 1953.

    We returned to the West Indies in late 1953 where Daddy experienced difficulty in obtaining a professional appointment with the civil service. In 1955 he received an invitation from his friend Odo and off we went to the then British Guiana where he did get that professional appointment as Architect to the Government. We stayed there for four years where we became close to Aubrey and Aileen Fraser and the Angoy family and to Cecil Murray and Ovid Johnston both of whom are here today. We have also heard from Howard and Allison Fraser. Daddy also became friendly with Cheddi Jagan even though they were very far apart politically.

    We eventually returned to Trinidad in 1958 where Daddy rejoined the Public Service and rose to become the Chief Architect and Director of Construction. He was also, with the late Carlisle Chang, part of the committee which designed our National Flag. During this period he became close to Eldon and Irma Warner and deepened his friendship with his cousin Jack Bynoe.

    In 1968 Mummy was offered and accepted, with Daddy’s permission and blessing, the post of Governor of Grenada. He resigned from the Trinidad Public Service and cheerfully took the back seat to the Queen’s representative. He, however, found much to occupy him. He was Chairman of Grenada’s CARIFTA Expo 1969, Chairman of their Development and Planning Authority, and of their Independence Celebration Committee, and a Director of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Authority (the forerunner of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank). We remained in Grenada until 1974 when we returned to Trinidad where we have stayed. Daddy then went into private practice.

    His professional activities have been numerous and intensive. He served as President of the T&T Institute of Architects, President of the Association of Commonwealth Societies of Architects in the Caribbean, Visiting Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering at UWI, St. Augustine, as well as External Examiner at the University of Guyana and at the Caribbean School of Architecture in Jamaica. He was also a Director of the Inter-American Rural Housing Association, Deputy Chairman of the Chaguaramas Development Authority, and a member of the Air Transport Licensing Authority.

    During all of the movement Daddy remained active in sport. In Guyana he became a member of the Georgetown Cricket Club, he was an executive member of the Guyana Amateur Athletic and Cycling Association, a vice-president of the old Trinidad and Tobago Amateur Athletic Association, and a member/delegate to the Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Association. He attended the 1964 Tokyo Olympics as a representative of the AAA and stayed on in the Far East, at the expense of the Trinidad and Tobago government to attend the University of New Delhi. He also attended the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica and was thus privileged to see at first hand two of the greatest sporting moments in the history of this country. He had also previously seen Mannie Ramjohn and McDonald Bailey run at the 1948 London Olympics.

    In 1979 Daddy received the Humming Bird Medal, Gold for services to Architecture in Trinidad and Tobago.

    In later years, Daddy was very active in the Trinidad and Tobago Institute for the Hearing Impaired (DRETCHI) serving on their board for over twenty years and designing their headquarters.

    As Chief Architect, he would have been heavily involved in the design of some of the older public buildings in this country. The John S. Donaldson Technical Institute, for example. Daddy came back from India with some fairly strong ideas about tropical architecture and the use of natural ventilation. This found expression in what became almost the standard for school buildings in Trinidad. I am speaking about the use of what I call “breeze blocks”.

    In private practice he designed the Sir Hugh Wooding Law School and renovated and restored the Georgetown Hospital together with another good friend, George Henry of Guyana. He went on to serve as assessor in numerous architectural competition throughout the West Indies including the Cayman Islands, St. Lucia, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Vincent and, of course, Trinidad and Tobago.

    That was the public man.

    Since I have been aware of such things I have never seen Daddy meet someone who knew him previously who was not glad to see him again. He had the ability to inspire friendship while remaining a private person.

    I have mentioned Cheddi Jagan. He was very aware that Daddy and Mummy were close personal friends with his arch enemy, but in my presence at Piarco he gave a wide smile and stuck out his hand saying “Peter!”

    An extreme example of this involved my mother’s father. Papa was a member of the Federal Parliament and had to come over from Grenada often to attend sessions. Mummy invited him to stay with us when he came so that he could save the out-of pocket allowance provided for accommodation. After two visits he said to her that he would not be coming back as Daddy did not like him. She had to explain that he was not making an effort to entertain because he had thoroughly accepted Papa as a member of his family. They became the greatest of friends.

    Another anecdote comes from my cousin Mervyn whom Daddy for some strange reason called “Muffit”. Some of Mervyn’s friends came back to Canada from a holiday in Trinidad and said that on a bus trip from Toronto to New York they met a bus driver who told them that he had known a Trinidadian during training with the RCAF who was so popular that when the news came to Canada that his mother had died the entire camp cried. He commented that what struck him was that no one ever saw him cry. He said that the man’s name was Peter Bynoe.

    Children loved him. When Nandi, his granddaughter, first came back to Trinidad from the US where she was born she was extremely shy and would not smile or mix with the rest of the family. One day by some happenstance she and Daddy were alone in the drawing room and we heard her burst out laughing. The ice was broken for all of us. Daddy never explained how he did it.

    Whenever you met him and asked how he was going he would answer “On my best behaviour”. He was. All the time. The strongest language I ever heard him use was “Oh sugar!” I have heard him describe someone as a “Damn Fool” on few occasions. I was very careful around such people. They always proved to be complete idiots.

    He was helpful to all who sought his assistance and advice and there were many. The advice was always sound. One cousin, Mandy, Rosie’s daughter, says that he was able to make her feel that the outcome was her idea in the first place. A lot of people evidently felt indebted to him. I know of one instance where Daddy took a young relative to a work place asked to see the Chief Executive and after being admitted and exchanging pleasantries said “This is my cousin and I would like you to give him a job”. The request was met.

    He was what I describe as a “long time cowboy”. He rode for the brand. There are a lot of public servants in Trinidad like Daddy. They give truly independent advice when it is asked. On one occasion he was asked by a relative to give evidence on his behalf in a matter. The evidence turned out to be contrary to the good of the relative. They eventually became friends once more.

    I would like to hope that it was in recognition of his integrity that he was asked to serve on the Commission of Inquiry into the Piarco Airport Project which was his last service to his country. In the early stages of his last illness he continued to make an effort to follow the proceedings on television.

    In latter years Daddy became a member of Queens Park Cricket Club and attended all Test Matches played. I was very happy to be able to bring him up to Antigua last year to see South Africa play.

    Adele and Verity are unable to be here with us today. They have asked that their best wishes and condolences be expressed by me. In the interest of brevity we have chosen not to have remembrances from the congregation and I hope that I have done a decent job in representing all of you in that regard.

    On behalf of my mother, my brother and myself I would like to thank all of those members of the medical and nursing fraternity who provided care for Daddy in his last days. I would like to make special mention of Alan Patrick, Michael Telemaque, Richard Clarke, and Courtney Bartholomew.

    I know that I have failed to mention a host of people and I hope that you will all forgive Mummy and Mickey for that omission as the act is entirely mine but there are just so many of you. I would finally like to thank Fathers Knolly Knox and Father Rochard of the Roman Catholic Church for consenting to participate in this Anglican service.

    Thank you all very much.

  2. Roland Bynoe adds:

    Daddy died in August, 2003 and is buried in the Woodbrook Cemetery, Port-of-Spain, Trinidad

  3. Michael Peter Bynoe adds:

    Flew as a navigator on Ansons

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