Saturday, February 17, 2018

Thompson-Ahye: Saddened by Panday’s remarks


Mark Fraser

Tributes poured in from all sectors of the society for the only man to have served as chief secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly, prime minister and president of this country, ANR Robinson, on his passing.

Hazel Thompson-Ahye,  attorney-at-law, mediator, educator and child rights advocate said: “Although it was not totally unexpected it is still very sad. Initially I think the national community in the Eric Williams era think of ANR Robinson as a very likeable figure but certainly in later years we grew to love him very much and were extremely proud of him especially the work he did in the ICC. He has always been someone easy to admire and to look up to someone who was not a very warm personality but someone who deserved the highest respect and we look at him as another one of our icons passing. He can really be looked on as one of our heroes and that makes us a bit less. But he has left a rich legacy. I was very sad to hear this morning that Mr (Basdeo) Panday didn’t have anything good to say memorable about him but the measure of the man is there he has left a legacy that remains intact.”

Prof Winston Suite -The Association of Professional Engineers:

“Mr ANR Robinson is a colossus. I knew of Mr Robinson when I was a younger man and he was a younger man. I knew him when he started agitating for this International Criminal Court that was pre 70’s and people felt that was irrelevant to the issue but time has passed and people have in fact seen that the man was seeing things that many of us did not see and that is one respect. I listened to one of the radio stations today, Mr Robinson was criticised for his fiscal changes on the public servant, and I heard a public servant saying he is thankful that Robinson gave him to opportunity to pay a price for the development of this country. I often wondered if Mr Robinson did not do that where our economy would have been. He was a giant and a lot of the things he fought single handedly for. He belonged to an age where people believed in nation building and whatever criticism people may have about him he was a nation builder. He believed in the country Trinidad and Tobago and he was prepared to sacrifice his whole life for that.

I had put down his name at the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT) that he should be given an honorary doctorate this year and Robinson goes and dies before it is done so I am sorry for that but my first thing when I get back to UTT is to tell them we have to do this because of his contribution. He has made several outstanding contributions and in his passing I put him in the same category as Sir Ellis Clarke and Dr Eric Williams.”