Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 18th 2017 Contents A6 news
guardian.co.tt Sunday, June 18, 2017
Former prime minister Dr Eric
Williams was "informed on sev-
eral occasions" about the alleged
acts of corruption committed by
his cabinet minister John O'Hal-
loran, political activist Ferdie
Ferreira has claimed in his new
book Political Encounters 1946-
However, Ferreira cannot say
whether Williams, this country's first
prime minister, profited financially
in any way from O'Halloran's alleged
The name O'Halloran has long
been associated with corruption in
In 1983 bribery charges were lev-
elled against O'Halloran who even-
tually fled to Canada where he died.
"Following the infamous saga of
Johnny O'Halloran, several people
asked me if I believed Williams knew
of Johnny's acts of dishonesty and
whether he shared in the spoils," Fer-
reira states in Chapter 11 of his book
entitled The Doctah I Knew.
"From my knowledge, Williams
was informed on several occasions
about Johnny's alleged acts of cor-
ruption. Whether the evidence was
ever made available to him or not, I
am in no position to say," he stated.
Ferreira said it was "no secret" that
Williams had "absolute confidence"
On the question of whether Wil-
liams shared in O'Halloran's alleged
, Ferreira stated:
"Neither Williams nor O'Halloran
would have shared that secret with
anyone, if in fact there was such a
In Chapter Eight of the book, Fer-
reira talks of his relationship with
this country's most popular whis-
tle-blower Gene Miles.
Miles is the godmother of Ferreira's
son, current government senator Dr
Miles was in a relationship with
O'Halloran and used to wait to see
him outside Parliament, Ferreira
"Every Friday, the voluptuous,
burly Gene would appear in Parlia-
ment with her always more-than-at-
tractive outfits. That beautiful and
attractive woman became the cen-
tre of attention of course," Ferreira
"We could not see Williams' eyes
under his dark shades but all the
rest of government and opposition
members were captivated by that ma-
jestic creature. With her sexy hips,
charming smile and a body built by
General Motors, Gene was irresist-
ible," he stated.
Ferreira said during the Parlia-
ment's tea breaks he and Miles used
"As we became closer, she started
telling me about her attraction to and
relations with Johnny O'Halloran.
Friday after Friday I had to listen to
some story about Johnny. Sometimes
she would expect Johnny to come out
and speak with her," he said.
O'Halloran, however, once asked
Ferreira why Miles was coming to the
Parliament "every Friday to embar-
"This is a good opportunity to put
to rest once and for all the misinfor-
mation, the now well-entrenched
but incorrect perception that the
untimely and unfortunate demise of
my dear friend Gene Miles was as a
consequence of her expose on the gas
station licensing racket, her evidence
at the Karl de la Bastide Commission
of Enquiry, and her persecution by
the PNM (People's National Move-
ment) Government," Ferreira stated.
"Gene's conflict at the Ministry of
Petroleum and Mines had nothing to
do with Minister Johnny O'Halloran
or the PNM Government. Her con-
flict at the ministry was with her boss,
factory inspector Kenneth Tam who
had sole authority for issuing licences
for the construction and operation of
petroleum stations," he said.
Robinson...'one of the
most skilful political
navigators in the world'
Ferreira said this country's sec-
ond prime minister, George Cham-
bers, "was not only one of our better
prime ministers but he was an excel-
lent constituency representative, an
excellent political leader who, against
all odds, rose to the occasion when
asked to assume leadership of the
party and country in 1981"
"I can speak with a measure of au-
thority on his leadership and his po-
litical capacity which he demonstrat-
ed in the general election of 1981. As
party organiser for the ONR (Organi-
sation for National Reconstruction) I
was among his major opponents and
George put us on the defensive from
round one,"Ferreira stated in Chap-
ter 12 of the book entitled Who was
George Michael Chambers?.
Ferreira said Chambers' "punch
, such as "Not a damn seat for
, remain "indelibly written" in
"We in the ONR never recovered
from the devastating political punch-
es he delivered with remarkable pre-
Chambers led the PNM to a victory
at the 1981 general election.
Williams died on March 29, 1981.
"Even in death, Williams' timing
was perfect. Even in death he was an
asset to the party," Ferreira stated.
In 1986 the PNM lost the general
election to the National Alliance for
Reconstruction led by Arthur Napo-
leon Raymond Robinson 33-3.
Robinson was this country's third
In Chapter Ten of the book entitled
ANR Robinson Aspiring and
• Continues on Page A11
account of PNM politics
Political activist Ferdie Ferreira's book Political Encounters 1946-2016.
PHOTO: JOEL JULIEN
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