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It started on Monday when we at Nations realized that Max had missed teaching a class – he didn’t miss classes. We tried calling, visited his apartment – no joy. On Tuesday we saw a photo in the media of an ‘unidentified man’ who had been struck down and killed by a motorbike as he was simply trying to cross the road. There followed a flood of messages from many parts of the world noting how Max had touched so many lives. He worked, part time, at Nations for more than a decade teaching the ABE courses on business and entrepreneurship.
He helped youth in Bartica, Mabaruma, Morawana and throughout the coast to establish simple income generating projects. He worked selflessly, quietly and without any desire for thanks or recognition. He played a crucial role in the Nations two-year consultancy with the IDB on prison reform. He made repeated visits to each of the prisons – helping the inmates develop plans for creating small businesses on their release from prisons.
Max then became a key resource person as Nations introduced the ABE programme with young girls in The Gambia and with Baha’i refugees in Turkey from Iran who had to flee their country as the regime prohibited them from attending University in their own country. He related to them in a profound way and this is reflected in comments they shared on his passing;
Shahin, one of the refugees in Turkey, shared, “we were just informed of our beloved lecturer’s tragic death …his memory will always remain with us….. with great sorrow”
Another refugee, Shima , said,” I can’t find words to say how sad I am to hear this news… he was a very lovable person that we all respected so much.”
Hoda, also a refugee in Turkey, added, “he was one of the best tutors we had … he was so kind.. my heart broke when I heard the news .. I told my friends how proud I was to be his student.”
Keressa Carrington, the Head of ABE in the Caribbean shared, “Max was a light…..he was such a cheerful spirit. The students loved him….I saw this first hand…….The sacrifices he made to support the most far flung regions was more than admirable…..he was warm, welcoming and always willing share his knowledge…may his soul rest in peace.”
Without any doubt : a life well lived
Dr Brian O’Toole