An unusually lengthy tribute was paid to deceased MP Ken Valley, in the Senate on Tuesday, by the People's Partnership Government because he was a son of the sugar belt, Subhas Panday, Minister in the Ministry of National Security, said. He said Valley had all the warmth of people from the sugar belt.
Describing Valley's Parliament character, he said, as an MP, he had the killer instinct and went for the jugular of anyone who came up against him. Panday said Valley was also a man of vision who could have seen a dictator around the corner.
Alluding to Valley's fallout with former PNM political leader, Patrick Manning, Panday added, "In 2007, he said it was time to remove him (Manning)." Pennelope Beckles-Robinson, giving the Opposition's tribute, said Valley, one of the first PNM Opposition senators to be appointed in 1986, played a pivotal role in the renewal of the party. She also lauded his contribution to the revival of the economy and the Caricom Free Trade Agreement. Independent Senator Basharat Ali said he knew Valley for 30 years. He said they met when Valley was a public officer in the Ministry of Finance in 1981 and he was employed at the National Energy Corporation (NEC).
Ali said he was impressed by Valley's performance in the international arena, recalling that the former minister helped raise $US50 million for T&T for methanol on the London market. Senate President Timothy Hamel-Smith said he knew Valley in the field of insurance. He said Valley was a most affable character to deal with but was also a most forthright man who stood by his convictions. Hamel-Smith said Valley would go down in the history of Parliament as an icon to be remembered. Valley died of colon cancer at age 63 last Friday. He will be cremated today at the Long Circular crematorium after a 1 pm service at the Finbar Ryan Church in Diego Martin.