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Tobago to celebrate son of the soil

By KARL E CUPID Tobago Bureau Thursday, April 10 2014

click on pic to zoom in
HALF MAST: Flags were flown at half mast yesterday to mark the passing of former President and Prime Minister ANR Robinson. This flag at half mast was...
HALF MAST: Flags were flown at half mast yesterday to mark the passing of former President and Prime Minister ANR Robinson. This flag at half mast was...

The late Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, former prime minister and president of Trinidad and Tobago, credited his success to “patience and time”, according to Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Chief Secretary Orville London.

Paying tribute to Robinson, London recalled that once in Parliament, as a “green” politician and Opposition Senator, he asked Robinson, who was then a Government Minister, what was the reason for his success.

“And I always remember what he said, you know, ‘patience and time’”, London related, during yesterday’s post-THA Executive Council briefing. London further noted, “And then a second time I remember meeting him at the airport (which has since been renamed the ANR Robinson International Airport in his honour and now memory), and he said something to me...because he wasn’t a man who spoke very much...‘You know when I come to Tobago, as I come off the plane and I take the first breath, I feel like I’m home.’”

London said much of the influence that Robinson would have had on him was “really from afar...looking at him, doing the evaluation, and really beginning to understand the man. Because it took me a long time to really understand Robinson the man and what he was about, and, as you understood, you became more appreciative,” he said.

In extending sincere condolences to the family, friends and many admirers of Robinson, on behalf of the THA and the people of Tobago, London stressed that Tobagonians ought to celebrate his life and times. “I think that we as Tobagonians, while we mourn his loss, we have got to celebrate and take pride in his amazing life and his outstanding contribution and achievements,” he said. He noted Robinson was a man of many firsts...first chairman of the THA in 1980, and the first - “and likely to be the only person” - to hold the positions of prime minister and president.

A condolence book will be opened at the THA Legislature at the Assembly Chamber in Scarborough, and at the THA Adminstrative Complex in Calder Hall.

He said the hosting of other events in Tobago to celebrate Robinson’s life will be determined as the nature of the national itinerary unfolds. Meantime, efforts to reach Hochoy Charles who was virtually anointed by Robinson as Chief Secretary of the THA on the NAR election victory night in 1996, were unsuccessful.

Tobago Organisation of the People leader Ashworth Jack, who was an understudy of Robinson and his friend, indicated he would have issued an official statement, but up to late yesterday afternoon none was received.

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