“A dream made reality” was how the chairman of the Dr Eric Williams Memorial committee described an announcement that the Piarco International Airport would be renamed in honour of Dr Eric Williams.
Dr Williams was the country's first Prime Minister and led the country on the road to independence.
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley made the announcement while speaking in New York on Tuesday.
Speaking to Guardian Media yesterday, committee chairman Reginald Vidale could barely contain his excitement.
He said yesterday, September 25, Williams would have been 108 years old.
“It’s long in coming I would say, it is worthy of a great son of the soil, a great contributor to this country, to our Independence and a great contributor to our Republicanism,” Vidale said.
He said he believed that Williams would have been very happy with the decision and would have felt appreciated.
He said since 2012, he has been calling for the airport to be renamed after Williams.
“Today I am very elated and happy, I feel like I can take a national flag and just jump up and down, waving it and commending the Prime Minister for giving to Dr Williams what is long overdue,” Vidale said.
People’s National Movement (PNM) foundation member, Ferdie Ferreira also commended Rowley for his decision.
“Although in fact Williams stated prior to his death that he did not want any monuments named after him but that is what they usually say but historically it is the international standard to name airports after statesmen, people who have contributed handsomely and there can be no two Dr Williams,” Ferreira said. Asked if he felt Rowley made the decision to gain political mileage ahead of two major elections, Ferreira said the public must always remember that the Prime Minister is a politician.
“The first thing you have to take into consideration is that the Prime Minister is a politician, they all look for things that are advantageous to them or what they consider to be political assets, so if he thinks this is a political asset in which he would obtain support, I don’t see any problem in that.”
He said this could also be Rowley’s way of paying tribute to Williams during his own tenure in office.