Historian and author Angelo Bissessarsingh feels it is only fitting that former prime minister Patrick Manning be buried with his departed parents and sister at Paradise Cemetery, San Fernando.
Bissessarsingh is also calling on the People's National Movement (PNM) Government to rename the Chancery Lane Teaching Hospital after Manning, who died at 69 of Acute Myeloid Leukemia on Saturday.
"I think it's only fitting that Mr Manning be buried next to his mother Elaine N Johnson-Manning, father Arnold Manning and eldest sister Patricia," Bissessarsingh told the T&T Guardian yesterday.
Spending his entire life in San Fernando is another reason Manning's body should be laid to rest there, Bissessarsingh said.
"He was really a San Fernandian at heart. Mr Manning was deeply connected to the city, its people, history, social life and culture."
While the country was told Manning will receive a State funeral on Saturday, no details were given on where he will be buried.
Yesterday, Bissessarsingh produced two photographs of the tomb where Manning's parents and sister were buried in San Fernando. He took the photos in 2013 while completing research for his first book entitled "Walking with the Ancestors – The Historic Cemeteries of Trinidad."
The photos clearly show that Manning's mother, a devoted teacher, wife and mother of five died on November 16, 1977, at age 66. His sister, Patricia Alecia Grace Manning, died when she was only 17. She was the Mannings' first born. Manning (Patrick) was their first son and second child.
Manning's father Arnold passed away in 1998 at the age of 83. Engraved on the older Manning's tomb were the words "I have fought a good fight. I have finished my course. I have kept the faith."
Though Bissessarsingh did not include the photographs in his book out of privacy for the Manning family, he admitted to having regrets.
"It is regrettable now. The focus of my book was mainly on 19th century and prior internments," he said, noting the country had been plunged into mourning by Manning's passing.
"The passing of Mr Manning is a great blow to the nation, but more so to San Fernandians, since aside from being the MP for San Fernando East for an unprecedented 44 years he was loved dearly," Bissessarsingh said.
"People would remember him as a national leader, but to the people of San Fernando and environs he was one of their own, a man without a hint of the arrogance which taints so many in high office, and someone who retained a formidable dignity and warmth for all those who knew him. His untimely death has thrown many of us into a justifiably deep paroxysm of grief, for his memory will be cherished for many generations to come."
While Opposition MP Dr Fuad Khan has suggested the International Waterfront Complex be renamed in Manning honour, Bissessarsingh felt the Chancery Lane Teaching Hospital was a better choice.
"That building was Mr Manning's vision for an administrative complex in the city. It was not used for the reason intended, but it speaks to his vision of having something like that in San Fernando. It's a building of modern architecture, I believe it should be renamed in his honour because it was really his project."