Most Read

4 hours 35 min

More appropriately, Tuesday’s debate on a package of legislation including for the Financial Intelligence Unit could have been dubbed the “Big Fish” bill. That may be...

You are here

The best of times and at times, the worst

Monday, April 14, 2014

It is a strange, disconcerting feeling when a happy memory suddenly pops into your head during a moment of grave sadness. That’s how I felt last week when I learned that former Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson had died. Some of the fondest memories I have of the 30 years I have spent in T&T come from the time Mr Robinson held office. Both my children were born after Robinson became Prime Minister. 


My daughter, Ijanaya, was born in 1987. Just a year before, on the day before Robinson’s 60th birthday, the National Alliance of Reconstruction (NAR) had defeated the PNM and incumbent PNM Prime Minister George Chambers by a resounding vote: 33-3. 


That time, defined by great hope and a feeling of co-operation that transcended race, ethnicity and even political parties, seemed like a miracle. A sweeping victory suggested we were all on the same page. Everyone seemed to realise that we had to work together to change this country for the better. T&T became a nation bubbling with happiness and optimism—and I don’t use the term “nation” loosely. 


Until that moment in time, I had thought of T&T as a bad marriage. Here, now, with a son of Tobago soil as Prime Minister, was proof that the two islands really did exist as one nation. I always felt that Prime Minister Robinson instilled a sense of grace and dignity into the position of Prime Minister. He never appeared to be haughty or pompous. This, I always thought, had to be an amazing feat for someone who had the middle name of Napoleon.