‘Those who come first, leave first'
Petroleumworld.com 07 05 2016
ONE DAY in Parliament, in early 2010, Patrick Manning passed a note to Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
The note had a simple message: “Those who come to you first may be those who will leave you first!” For the Opposition Leader, who yesterday recalled this story in Parliament, this note demonstrated the importance of loyalty and commitment and what those virtues meant to Manning.
“I rise to join the nation in mourning the death of Mr Patrick Manning, who served in this honourable House for 44 unbroken years,” Persad-Bissessar said as the House paid tribute to the controversial former Prime Minister who died on Saturday. He had served 44 years in Parliament. “No one in our country has served the people that long…and that alone is testament to the former Prime Minister's dedication to the people of San Fernando East and our great country,” the Opposition Leader said.
Persad-Bissessar said people will disagree with some of the decisions Manning made, but none dispute the fact that he had a vision. “While many of us would continue to challenge some of the decisions he made, at least he had a vision that charted the course for the decision he made,” the UNC leader said. “And I have no doubt that in all sincerity he believed that whatever actions he took were in the best interest of Trinidad and Tobago.” Manning often worked with people who held conflicting views.
“Patrick Manning served his people with integrity and loyalty,” she said. “He worked with a range of other people to achieve the greatest good for the general population, often with people who held conflicting political views.” Persad-Bissessar further said, “We stood on different sides in the political battlefield and crossed swords on many issues. We had different visions on how to take our country forward but the common thread was that we were both committed to Trinidad and Tobago; our respective visions were developed out of our love for country and our commitment to the enhancement of the life of the people.” The Opposition Leader said Manning will be immortal. “Who in all honesty can forget Patrick Manning, who guided his party and this nation through some the most difficult times?” she said. She said Manning's strength of character defined him, “as did his deep sense of humour, his laughter and his infectious charisma”.
“Even his harshest critics agree that Mr. Manning was an outstanding and charming gentleman,” Persad-Bissessar said. “He was never afraid to stand up and say what he felt was needed to be said, even though at times it may have seemed to be politically incorrect.” The UNC leader said, “I endorse the sentiment of Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley who said Mr. Manning made development and the well being of Trinidad and Tobago a priority and in doing so dedicated his life to serving our twin island state.” Persad-Bissessar said Manning was, a simple, humble man who achieved greatness through dedication, hard work and a deep commitment to his party and Trinidad and Tobago. “Greatness, Madam Speaker, was what he achieved on his own,” the Opposition Leader said. “When circumstances sent him back to the Opposition, he remained steadfast in his determination to guide his party along a path that he defined. And that resilience is what caused him to return to government with clear mandates in 2002 and again in 2007. Mr.
Manning was a worthy opponent.
Story by Andre Bagoo
newsday.co.tt| 07 05 2016
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