TRINIDAD and Tobago has lost “a brave and fearless soldier”, former government minister, Pam Nicholson, said yesterday on Wednesday’s passing of former president and prime minister Arthur NR Robinson.
Speaking via telephone from her home in Tobago, Nicholson extended condolences to Robinson’s family on behalf of herself and the people of Tobago.
Nicholson remembered her mentor as one of the greatest political icons to have crossed the local landscape and said:
“He stood for total morality, integrity and honesty.”
Robinson was responsible for making her the first woman Parliamentarian to come out of Tobago, Nicholson said and remained one of her “true mentors and guides” throughout.
“I used to call him ‘chief’,” she recalled.
Robinson’s will to defy corruption was an integral part of his political style and leadership Nicholson said and she will always remember some of his rules.
“In my early days in Cabinet, with his guidance and insistence, all contracts had to go to the Central Tenders Board. This was a hallmark move to defy corruption and not waste taxpayer funds.”
Robinson had also ruled that gifts given by visiting dignitaries were to be left in the public office upon the departure of the recipient, Nicholson said, as he had stressed that such items were the property of the country.
Nicholson said she will also remember Robinson’s tireless efforts to uplift and educate the people of Tobago and his fight for internal self-governance for the sister isle.
“My view is that Trinidad and Tobago has lost a brave and fearless soldier,” she said.