While his relationship with late PNM MP Ken Valley "was not always smooth," former PNM leader Patrick Manning has said he could have relied on Valley."I'm of the view that the country has lost a son, one of the sons of which I have been very proud and I hope he now finds rest in the bosom of Almighty God," Manning added in the House of Representatives yesterday.Manning was among those paying tribute to Valley who died last week at 63 from cancer. MPs observed a minute's silence to honour Valley.Manning brought Valley into the PNM in 1986, but dropped him from PNM's election team for the 2007 polls.
Yesterday, breaking his silence on his former colleague, Manning said: "I couldn't allow an occasion like this to pass without making a small contribution to what I thought was the very significant life of Kenneth Cyril Valley."My relationship with Ken Valley wasn't always smooth, but I always sought to treat with him as indeed, I seek to treat with all others-without fear or favour and without affection or ill will," the former PNM leader said.
"In 2007, when I thought the time had come for Mr Valley to give way to somebody else in Diego Martin Central, the matter was raised with him and of course he didn't agree."But eventually I did as a political leader had to do...I did it without fear or favour, without affection or ill will-and so be it."It in no way diminished the contributions Mr Valley made to the political life of T&T or T&T's economic life, nor did it in any way- as far as I was concerned-my friendship with him or the contribution he made to T&T."Saying Valley would go down in the annals of PNM history and T&T's history as a very great warrior and hard working Government minister, Manning added:
"...One on whom any Prime Minister could have relied-I could have relied on Mr Valley and I would like to record that also."Apart from being a critical member of PNM's speech writing team, Manning said Valley also headed a team in 1986, including PNM's Mariano Browne which formulated PNM economic policy which has seen T&T through some very difficult economic times.PNM leader Keith Rowley said Valley's life had demonstrated there was honour in public service."He gave his life to the public service in T&T and did it with a joie de vivre that was unique," he said."He saw public service as an opportunity to make a sterling contribution to the society as a whole.
"He was not just big in physical size, he was big in heart, he was a happy, helpful, reliable person."Ken Valley was a man for whom work was never too much," Rowley said, noting Valley's many portfolios in Government and his role as a "limer" also.Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar said the Government "would find ways to honour Valley appropriately."She said Valley was a man "who was in every sense of the word, a 'big man.'"Persad- Bissessar said Valley's contribution was so luminescent "that today Ken Valley's light is neither out, nor can it be hidden under a bushel." She said Valley showed MPs "the warm personification of the sometimes cold principles of the Westminster tradition."
Saying the PP Government would miss Valley and would not forget him, Persad- Bissessar added: "There is a headstone in Ireland which reads: 'Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, but love leaves a memory no one can steal.'"PNM MP Colm Imbert said Valley was one of the PNM's "Big Three"-Diego Martin MPs Rowley, Imbert and Valley- who, he said, were unassailable.Imbert said Valley was big in heart, spirit and integrity, full of life and reliable."They don't make politicians like that, they broke the mould when they made him-he was a tremendous asset to PNM," Imbert added.Deeming Valley a brother in the PNM, Imbert said he will miss him.