January 17, 1929 – November 8, 2022
Rawle Hernandez-Ramdwar passed away peacefully on Nov. 8 2022 at Grace Hospital at the age of 93. Rawle was predeceased by his mother Valentina and father Stanley, his brothers Sam, Dennis and Clyde, sisters Mavis and Evelyn, and his wife Lillian. He is survived by his two daughters Simone and Camille, his grandchildren Luis and Andira, sisters Berniece and Betty, brother Leo, and many nieces and nephews.
Born in 1929 in Trinidad and Tobago, Rawle spent much of his youth on the sea, fishing and exploring the coast of South America with his brother Clyde. This is when he first fell in love with the guitar and would play as a troubadour throughout Port of Spain, including entertaining neighbours with “parang” music at Christmas. He also brought out his own Carnival band. He moved to London England in 1950 where he earned his accreditation as an engineer. There he met and married his wife Lillian (Hnatiuk). The couple moved to Trinidad in 1962, where their first daughter Simone was born. Not long after, they settled in Winnipeg, where their second daughter Camille was born.
Rawle was a multifaceted person – technically, musically, linguistically, and artistically gifted. He was employed as a civil engineer for 30 years with the City of Winnipeg, and was also known by many Winnipeggers as an accomplished guitarist whose group Trio Latino played numerous charitable events in the city over the years. Rawle also painted multiple portraits, still life, and landscapes, and happily gifted these to friends and loved ones. Rawle took great pride in his Crescentwood home, which he and Lillian renovated and refurbished over the years. In the 1970s, Rawle assisted numerous refugees and immigrants from Chile, Uganda, and elsewhere. Rawle and Lillian’s Latin parties were legendary, and it was not uncommon for a spontaneous flamenco dance to erupt in the foyer, accompanied by Rawle’s guitar. He also loved to cook for his guests, and his specialties were paella and dhal puri with curried chicken. Rawle was very active in Folklorama and instrumental in running the Tropical Latino pavilion, inviting musicians from Central and South America to perform. Fluent in English, Spanish, and French, Rawle enjoyed a cosmopolitan circle of friends. You could always hear Cuban boleros, classical Spanish guitar melodies, or flamenco emanating from the house on Dorchester Ave.
Rawle enjoyed travelling immensely, initially on solo journeys in his youth and then later with his family. They would pack into the Olds’ ’98 and head off to see family and sights throughout Canada and the US: through the Rockies to Vancouver or through Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon on the way to LA and San Diego to name just a few. Later in life he enjoyed visiting Cuba for the culture and music he loved so much. Until his final days he took great pleasure in exchanging travel stories with friends and acquaintances.
The family would like to thank the Tenant Companions at the Rosewood, the owners and companions at “Get U There Senior Services” and the nurses and aides at the Grace Hospital, Winnipeg.
In memory of Rawle, the family invites those who are so inclined to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society or their favourite charity.
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