Port-of-Spain Mayor Louis Lee Sing is convinced that if there was ever a time that this country needed the guidance of the late prime minister, Dr Eric Williams, it is now.He said the racial tension stirred by controversial statements made by Police Service Commission chairman Nizam Mohammed about an ethnic imbalance in the hierarchy of the Police Service executive just over a week ago, could hurt this country's social fabric and called on the national community to reflect and learn from the late prime minister's teachings on racial harmony.In delivering tribute to Dr Williams at the 30th anniversary wreath-laying ceremony of his passing at the Military heliport in Chaguaramas, Lee Sing said: "All of us who have been following the news in the last week or two would agree that the country has taken on a divide, particularly as it relates to the statements made by the chairman of the Police Service Commission Mr Nizam Mohammed.
"Dr Williams, throughout his life, sought to bring the races and the nation together and when he specifically spoke about there can be no mother India, no mother Africa, he was alluding to the fact that there could be only one mother; mother Trinidad and Tobago."He said the legacy of Dr Williams remained lasting and that his teachings required no promotion and advertising campaigns.But Reginald Vidale, chairman of the Dr Eric Williams Memorial Committee, called on the People's Partnership Government to officially declare the first Saturday of April, Dr Eric Williams Remembrance Day, to truly preserve his legacy.
$100,000 to hostmemorial function
Addressing a gathering that included Dr Lincoln Douglas, Minister in the Ministry of the People and Social Development, Joan Yuille- Williams, deputy political leader of the People's National Movement, and a former Port-of-Spain mayor, Ethelbert Paul and members of the Diplomatic Corps, he said it need not be a holiday, but a day to commemorate and reflect on the life of the man commonly referred to as the "Father of the Nation."Vidale expressed doubt about hosting the event in the future.He had many challenges putting on the observance annually and wanted the State to take on the responsibility of preserving Dr Williams' legacy.
"It's becoming a little more onerous to have this. The sponsorship is hard in coming by and of course there are not many people who are as committed as I am to this and there are those who are as committed as I am."It can be bigger and if it has to be the way that I would really want it to be, it would take anything close to $100,000. And, I'm getting older and the task is getting harder and harder, because it's getting bigger and bigger. If it can't be taken over by the State, then certainly, I'm not too sure I'll be able to continue with it because of the enormous amount (of money) which needs to be put in to having this. So, it is for that reason that I'm contemplating it," he said.