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Son of the soil rests today

By Elizabeth Williams

Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London was one of the hundreds of Tobagonians to sign the condolence book in memory of former president Arthur NR Robinson in Tobago yesterday.

Robinson, also a former prime minister, died on April 9 at the age of 87.

Yesterday  marked the fourth day of the five- day State funeral for Robinson.

Observances started in Trinidad on Tuesday and on Thursday evening the body was flown to Tobago for final rites.

Robinson’s body lay in state at the Assembly Chamber, between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. yesterday. 

Hundreds visited the chamber to pay their last respects. 

London said the day yesterday marked one of recommitment to the issue of constitutional reform for Tobago. “I think that his greatest unfulfilled vision, that unfulfilled vision should in fact be achieved in the shortest possible time,” London said. 

While, also paying his last respects,  Finance Secretary Joel Jack said the THA’s win against Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, in the Milshirv matter, serves as the continuing quest for internal self-government for Tobago. 

On Wednesday, Justice Ronnie Boodoosingh in an 18-page judgment, ruled  it is clear from the fifth schedule of the THA Act, that the THA has power over lands, and all State lands in Tobago are vested in the THA, by Section 54 of the act.

“And we remember the struggle for autonomy for Tobago, and the ruling by the courts on the Milshirv matter has to be seen in that context,” Jack said. 

Tobago East Member of Parliament Vernella Alleyne-Toppin told the Express that Robinson was never about self, but about serving the people and she intends to follow suit.

She said service to the people is the best service we all can give to God. 

“He has given me access to use his office. The office that he occupied as the member for Tobago East ... in Scarborough, he gave me that more than a year ago, and I am still to open it. Now I will open that office in his honour and his memory,” Alleyne- Toppin said. 

Robinson, who was born in Tobago, is being buried on the island today.

                          See Pages 5 and 9

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