Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 25th 2015 Contents GEISHA KOWLESSAR
Members of the Opposition
were notably absent at yester-
day s Day of Prayer and
Thanksgiving at the Grand
Stand of the Queen s Park
Although the stands were not
filled to capacity, the majority of
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley s
Government was present along
with their spouses.
But also absent was Attorney
General Faris Al-Rawi.
As he took to the podium
Rowley began to quote the Bib-
lical story of Abraham who was
asked by God to sacrifice his son.
The PM, however, incorrectly
referred to Abraham s son as
Jacob instead of Isaac.
When the audience corrected
him, Rowley who appeared
somewhat embarrassed said,
"Well it was a long time ago."
He said the story was a reflec-
tion of the sacrifices which the
nation was now called upon to
"There is a lot we can learn
from that story. We are required
to make sacrifices and that will-
ingness to do so brings us God s
recongnition. This is a nation
that is called upon to make sac-
rifices at this time," Rowley said.
He then made reference to the
children s story of Chicken Licken
which had warned that the sky
But Rowley assured, that
T&T s sky was not falling.
Instead he said citizens had a
lot to be thankful for, especially
for the fact that this country had
been spared from natural disas-
ters namely storms and hurri-
canes which had ravaged
Caribbean neighbours like St
Lucia and Dominica.
"Whenever we receive a pay
packet large or small or wake up
in the morning without pain that
is a lot to be thankful for.
"And what better day to give
thanks than on Republic Day
where we can sing most lustily
and take a pride in our liberty,"
Focusing on children he said
they were especially vulnerable,
adding that as PM he had a
responsibility to them.
On his recent visit to the Cyril
Ross Nursery which houses chil-
dren afflicted by the HIV/Aids
virus, Rowley said he was espe-
cially touched by the prayers the
children offered on his behalf.
He also pledged to review the
$50,000 quarterly stipend which
the institution receives from the
"The home live largely on the
work of those volunteers from
St Vincent de Paul and I made
a decision right then and there
that this will have to change.
"Because the eyes that almost
came to tears when they prayed
and hoped are the same eyes that
would have seen where elsewhere
in this community there are those
who have been interfering with
millions that don t belong to
"That will have to change,"
He also called on citizens to
be "worthy" and grateful to this
country, adding that it was
important for harmonious rela-
tions throughout the country.
"If we work together...if each
of us do what we are required to
do whatever that might be the
model nation that Sparrow
(Slinger Francisco) sang about,"
He also praised the members
of the various organisations,
thanking them for their prayers.
Roman Catholic Archbishop
Father Joseph Harri, who echoed
Rowley s sentiments that care
must especially be given to chil-
dren, urged that this must also
be shown to the elderly.
"The population which does
not care for the aged and the
children and the young has not
future because it abuses its mem-
ories," Harris said.
Bishop Samuel Dick of the
Shouter Baptist Faith said a spe-
cial prayer for acting Police Com-
missioner Stephen Williams and
to his officers, asking that the
country be healed from violence
and corruption and that people
spend more time as families.
He also asked that God
"touch" Rowley s brain so that
he may be fed with food of
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Opposition leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar,
in a Republic Day message to the nation, has
acknowledged the maturity with which the
country handled political change after the Sep-
tember 7 general election.
This, despite openly challenging the validity
of the election results and reports of vile and
racist statements from citizens of both sides of
the political divide following the election.
"As we celebrate our 39th year as a democratic
Republic within the Commonwealth I am pleased
to acknowledge the maturity with which we
handled the political change, which happened
just a few days ago.
"While many issues are yet to be resolved,
the peaceful transition from my government to
another is a tribute to all of us who have shown
the world time and time again that while we
have political differences we are one people,
respecting our democracy and the will of the
people," Persad-Bissessar said.
Wishing citizens a happy Republic Day, Per-
sad-Bissessar reminded that the 1976 consti-
tution was and remained an expression of cit-
izens desire to respect one another and to
recognise each other s rights, freedom of speech
and freedom of association.
She said the constitution also ensured the
rule of law and equality of citizens, regardless
of religious, social, ethnic or political consid-
"Today let us recommit ourselves to those
values and to respecting one another. And join
me as I rededicate myself to the service of T&T,
especially the tens of thousands who need food,
shelter and clothing for themselves and their
"Let us also pledge today to protect the free-
doms we enjoy, to protect our families from
harm, and to continue to live as one family look-
ing after one another," she said.
"In 39 years together we have worked hard
at building a nation that is strong, free and
independent. But the task is incomplete. Let us
keep the torch burning and stand on guard for
President Anthony Carmona, PM Keith Rowley, Sharon Rowley and Minister of National Security
Edmond Dillon and his wife Ava hold hands while singing Let there be peace on Earth along with the
Lydians during the Prime Minister's Inter-Faith Service of Prayer Thanksgiving at the Grand Stand,
Queen's Park Savannah, yesterday. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
PM at Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving...
T&T must make sacrifices
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