Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 5th 2016 Contents A7
Tuesday, July 5, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Possessed with a loud laugh, a love
of dancing, hailed as a political teacher
and with the drive to work at a gruelling
pace even from 4 am soon after a cancer
operation, here are more memories from
those who worked alongside the late
former prime minister, Patrick Manning.
Ex-PNM minister, Jerry Narace
"We have lost a great leader and great
man. I have lost a dear friend.
"Our relationship started through fam-
ily connections but was cemented in 1987
when Patrick Manning asked me to join
I had never intended to get involved
in politics but when he shared his vision
for the country and people with me, I
couldn't help but be mesmerised. His
vision fully aligned with mine. I admired
how deeply and truly he cared for the
"Through numerous, lengthy discus-
sions over politics, I understood his deeply
embedded feeling that he had a divine
responsibility to improve lives.
"Politics was a vocation to him and
when faced with tough decisions, he had
the courage to do it. We didn't always
see eye-to-eye on issue, but there was
always a thread of respect on every occa-
"I respected his vision and commitment
to the people. He respected my business
acumen and ability to deliver on mile-
stones effectively. Patrick Manning will
go down in history as one of T&T's great-
est leaders, one of the greatest fighters
for the people within our region and one
of the greatest proponents of the region
as an economic and cultural force in the
Former COP leader, Winston Dookeran
"Being from San Fernando, I knew him
and his family and I always had a very
close relationship with him on a personal
basis. I am deeply saddened by his pass-
ing. I believe T&T owes a debt of grat-
itude to his stewardship, as difficult as
it has been.
"But he will be remembered for his
sincerity of purpose and his vision for
the nation. Mr Manning's political life
was one of courage and one in which he
never swerved from his commitment to
building a modern T&T. I always felt his
vision was laudable.
Former PNM minister, Mariano Browne
"It has been a long journey and Mr
Manning fought it well as only he knew
how. He never ran away from a challenge,
the kind of political work that most people
will not understand.
"He managed his heart condition
through a demanding work rate and when
cancer of the kidney almost struck him
down he paused only long enough to
recover and to take a fresh guard.
"I recall walking with him at 4 o'clock
in the morning after his surgery during
his recovery period and suggesting, rec-
ommending a lighter workload. I am sure
that I was not the only one. He continued
"Many things may be said about a PM.
Most opinions will be from an outsider's
view. In a position of leadership you can-
not please everyone and decisions have
"Not everyone knows or understands
the calculations or wide considerations
that must be addressed in decision-mak-
ing at the highest level. From my limited
experience they were made with the best
intentions for the good and well being
of the country.
"I didn't know him well as I was never
in his inner circle. I started working with
the PNM as a policy adviser and facilitator
through Ken Valley in 1990. I was a reluc-
tant convert given the leadership errors
"I never met Manning then but was
impressed. He was prepared to make the
brave, important decisions that allowed
T&T to recover from the structural
adjustment period of those years.
"They were difficult decisions disputed
by many in the business community and
urged by a group of technocrats. Despite
the many negative criticisms and interests,
he made the important decisions."
"I left T&T to work in Barbados in
1993. In 96 and 98 and I met him briefly
when he attempted to recruit me for
political office but I declined. He invited
me back to T&T before the 2007 election
campaign and we met several times.
"My recommendation and referral had
come from an improbable source and a
man with whom he did not have the best
relationship, Barbados prime minister
Owen Arthur PM. I was impressed with
the PM's vision and ambition for the
country but I took the narrow view of
He was not to be refused and engi-
neered my recruitment. It was during
this term of office I learned of his
strengths and weaknesses as a leader.
None of us are perfect.
" No man can ever be. Nevertheless I
can bear with witness to his strength of
purpose in pursuing major initiatives that
would benefit T&T and his passionate
belief in the capacity of his countrymen
to rise to the challenge of nationhood.
"History will judge him and his
achievements properly signposted now
that he has gone. He came, he saw and
he tried to make T&T a better place. For
that we ought to be eternally grateful.
"It was my honour to have worked
with him and I thank him for the oppor-
tunity to understand T&T a bit better
than I knew it before. Rest in peace Mr
Manning. You have earned it."
Ex PNM MP and minister, Gary Hunt
"Thank you honourable Patrick Man-
ning for teaching me the following from
When you steal from the public purse,
you steal from the poor and dispossessed"
(2007 PNM convention).
Just go and LOVE the people!" (2007
--- San Fernando East constituency can-
Politics is a vocation and not about
self-aggrandisement," (Office of the Prime
Gary, think it through..." (To Hunt,
who had a problem to solve in 2009).'"
Hunt added: "The good thing is that
I was able to thank Mr Manning for this
advice many times in person while he
Former PNM minister, Ralph Maharaj
"Patrick Manning was one of a handful who
helped change my life in a very positive, fundamental
way. I don't think I have ever met anybody who
worked harder than he did but he was very human
outside of work, a great sense of humour, a loud
raucous laugh, full of life...he loved music and danc-
ing, the performing arts and good company, a well
"We have lost a great T&T son. Patrick Manning
was an outstanding prime minister. He came in 1991
when the country was experiencing severe challenges
--- a dying economy, the highest level of unemploy-
ment ever, high poverty level, IMF conditionalities
and a T&T psyche damaged by the failed coup.
"He moved resolutely to deal with the economy,
dismantling barriers to trade, reviving investment,
rationalising state enterprises and floating the T&T
currency. One of his hallmarks was his level of pre-
paredness for the role of prime minister and gov-
Memories of Manning...
"A loud laugh" and the
"drive to work from 4 am
even with cancer"
Former PNM MP Dr Joe Laquis, left, Patrick Manning and Jerry Narace.
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