|More pay respects to Robinson |
By Clint Chan Tack Thursday, May 1 2014
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FITZ FIRST: La Brea Member of Parliament Fitzgerald Jeffery signs the condolence book of former President ANR Robinson, on Tuesday, ahead of Prime Min...
DIGNITARIES and ordinary citizens yesterday came to Tower D of the Port-of-Spain International Waterfront Centre to pay tribute to former President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson, as his body lay in state there for a second day.
Amongst those who came yesterday to pay their respects to Robinson, who died on April 9 last at the age of 87, was Lenore Dorset who served as protocol officer at the Office of the President from 1996 to 2013. Robinson served as President from March 19, 1997 to March 17, 2003. Dorset warmly embraced Robinson’s daughter Ann Margaret after filing past his casket. She then proceeded to sign the condolence book under the watchful gaze of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Wade Mark, and Senate President, Timothy Hamel-Smith.
Speaking afterwards with reporters, Dorset said she was grateful to have been able to serve the country during Robinson’s tenure as President and Prime Minister. Dorset joined the public service in 1966. “I would say that I have learnt a lot by observing him. Perhaps there are some aspects of him that some people may not have seen. They may have seen the strict disciplinarian, a very cold kind of person,” Dorset said.
However she said she knew Robinson as “someone who was willing to listen as long as you can make your case in a way that could be understood.
“He was prepared to listen and consider, and I was able to work without feeling that I had to do whatever he said,” Dorset said. Recalling Robinson’s wisdom in dealing with various issues in public life, Dorset said she remembers views he took in 1989 when the West Indian Commission was being formed.
“What remains with me was a humility that many may not have seen, and a simplicity because he was not complex as some people think,” she said. Asked if Robinson was her favourite person who she interacted with during her time in the public service, Dorset smiled and replied: “He was one of the remarkable ones.”
Renowned story teller Paul Keens Douglas, who also came to Tower D to pay his respects to Robinson, told reporters he had fond memories of the former President and Prime Minister. “Every time we met we used to talk. He knew me as a story teller.