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Villagers of Castara are calling for Tobago to be the final resting place of former president and prime minister Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson. During a visit to the rural fishing village and birthplace of Robinson yesterday, where the news had already circulated about his passing, everyone described him as a hero, good man and the proverbial father of Tobago.
Businessman and Castara resident Lorris Walker said the news was not shocking since they were aware he was ailing for years. He said the community of Castara had lost an icon and called for him to be buried on the island. “I feel sad that he is gone but he did great things for us in his time. I would appreciate it if he is buried in Tobago. It doesn’t have to be in Castara but in Tobago, so we are looking forward to that,” Walker said.
He also expressed his disappointment about the poor progress of the proposed museum and ethics centre planned in honour of Robinson. The sod was turned for construction of the museum on September 5, 2008 but work is yet to start. “The monument should have been built already. They have waited until he died to start building something and that is not right. We should have gotten that already so I will like to see them do something right now,” he added.
When the T&T Guardian visited the site it was overgrown with bush and a derelict vehicle was parked in the lot. Keon George, the godson of Robinson and his wife Patrica, also felt his godfather should be laid to rest in the island of his birth as Tobagonians should get the opportunity to attend the funeral “He was a good one because he fought for both Trinidad and also Tobago,” George said. Robinson’s former bodyguard, Winston John, said Robinson lived a good life and was indeed the father of Tobago.
Sending condolences to the family, John said: “He has lived his life and he has done well for Trinidad and Tobago and I, as a Tobagonian and a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, would be very happy if he as a son of the soil is buried at home. We are indeed happy and thankful for all his achievements, locally and internationally.” Another resident, Malcom Taylor, said Robinson was never appropriately honoured for his contribution to T&T.
He added: “Robinson was a king by himself and the airport that they renamed is nonsense in my mind. It should have been a brand new airport.