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Tobago mourns its most famous son

By Donstan Bonn

Chief Secretary of the Tobago House of Assembly Orville London today issued a statement on behalf of the people of Tobago, on the passing of former President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson, who was born on the island. The following is London's statement -

On this sad day for the people of Tobago, as we all reflect on the news of ANR Robinson’s passing, the Tobago House of Assembly extends its condolences to every Tobagonian and citizen of our Republic at home and abroad, and especially to Mr Robinson’s family and friends.
ANR Robinson was born in Calder Hall in 1926. After studying law at home and in London, England, Mr Robinson moved into politics, and this remained his passion for the rest of his life.
Mr Robinson’s career in public life took off in 1955, when he was elected to the then-Federal Parliament. In 1956, he became a founding member and treasurer of the People’s National Movement and was elected to the Trinidad and Tobago Parliament in 1961, as representative for Tobago East. In 1962, Robinson became the newly independent nation’s first Minister of Finance, responsible for restructuring the country’s financial institutions and reforming monetary policy.
He would go on to be instrumental in the success of political parties such as the National Alliance for Reconstruction and the Democratic Action Congress.
Mr Robinson is the only person in Tobago’s history to have held three of the nation’s highest public offices. First, he was Chairman of the Tobago House of Assembly from 1980 to 1986, and was thus the first leader of the modern THA. Second, he was Prime Minister of Tobago from 1986 to 1991. Then, from 1997 to 2003, Robinson served as President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Chief Secretary Orville London reflected on the life and work of one of Tobago’s finest sons.
“It is impossible for anyone associated with Tobago not to feel a sense of awe on hearing the name Arthur N.R. Robinson. His achievements are legendary, his influence was far-reaching, and his vision has left an indelible mark on Tobago’s history. MrRobinson was not only one of the founding fathers of modern Tobago, he was also one of the architects of Trinidad and Tobago as an independent nation. Robinson not only gave decades of service to his beloved island, he also achieved a glowing reputation as an international statesman, and in the process helped shine a light on Tobago that still glows today. He helped plant the very seeds of our society and then nurtured them into the Tobago we know and love today. For all that and more, he will always be remembered with pride.
“Today we offer our most heart-felt condolences to his grieving family, but we also offer our gratitude and joy at having been honoured by his presence, and having benefited so greatly from his selfless devotion. The great Arthur NR Robinson is now resting, but his legacy is eternal.”
Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, 16 December 1926—9 April 2014
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