Castara museum for Tobago son
Sunday, May 4 2014
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Former Independent Senator Dr Eastlyn McKenzie....
LATE President and Prime Minister Arthur NR Robinson will be memorialised in a museum in the Tobago village of Castara, announced former Independent Senator Dr Eastlyn McKenzie.
She announced that the ANR Robinson Library, Museum and Ethics Centre will be built in Castara as she delivered a tribute to Robinson at the State Ecumenical Service yesterday at the Dwight Yorke Stadium, Bacolet.
“Dollar by dollar we raise and block by block it will be erected,” she said.
McKenzie encouraged young people to study Robinson’s life and take example from him, grasping opportunities as he did and to find the hero, mentor, visionary, conqueror and academic with ethical behaviour and integrity.
“Learn to stand up and stand out for what is right even if you stand alone,” she advised.
She said through his work Robinson has left the world a better place and this island must carry on the struggle to ensure that Tobago takes its rightful place in this nation.
She said they were celebrating the life of one of Tobago’s finest sons and recalled while Robinson spoke perfect English and even some Latin phrases he loved Tobago dialect and phrases. She noted his navel string was buried in Tobago so it was here they would bury him.
“Tobago son, you home,” she said.
She also recalled that Robinson loved to sing and dance in church and both he and his wife had a special place in their hearts for children, especially the disabled. She noted he was a stickler for protocol, was always punctual, and there was no room for shortcuts, compromise or mediocrity.
McKenzie praised Robinson as being loyal and patriotic, especially to Tobago, and was a man guided by his faith and strong principles.
“Not even the threat of death could shift him from those principles,” she pointed out.
She also commented on his age defying good looks.
“He seemed like evergreen. Not aging at all. My gosh. He was a handsome man with a winsome smile to go with it. It can’t be fair for one man to have so many good gifts,” she said.
She also noted that he had a terrific sense of humour and would laugh loudly at a good joke.
Tobago House of Assembly Chief Secretary Orville London said the two outstanding tributes that can be paid to Robinson would be to ensure his vision of an autonomous Tobago and a strong, united and democratic state is realised and for leaders to emulate the courage of character “which made the ‘Castara Kid’ a special human being”.
“If we do that his soul will rest in peace,” he said.
The call for Robinson’s vision of an autonomous Tobago to be fulfilled had also been made by former THA Chief Secretary Hochoy Charles, who was also present yesterday.
London noted that in the past few weeks tributes have poured in for Robinson and he was remembered not only as a politician, a field he was in for 40 years, but also as a statesman, a patriot and a man of impeccable character.
London said on every occasion Robinson faced adversity, his decisions were based on a commitment to character and not compromise.
He said Robinson would not allow friendship, political alliance of rivalry to influence his decisions.
He noted, by the famous “attack with full force” statement Robinson placed preservation of character over preservation of his own life.
He said Robinson personified “Tobago love” and the respect he had for his late wife, Patricia, should be an example to all on how to treat their partners. He noted that the two had already been reunited in spirit and it was fitting that their earthly remains would be reunited; Robinson was later buried in the same grave as his wife.
“ANR Robinson has come home for the final time to the island of his birth and the island he loved,” he said.