Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 10th 2013 Contents WORK IN PROGRESS
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
If there is one lesson we as
Trinbagonians can learn from
the life and legacy of the great
Madiba is the dignity of the per-
son, or self-respect. It s his sub-
duing of the self for the right-
ness of his cause which was to
free his people from the evil of
apartheid, and for that he never
for once thought of acting in his
own personal interest and saving
himself, despite the pain and
degradation of 27 years of incar-
ceration at the hands of the
Such faith in his cause was his
light in the darkness, his reason
for life amidst the living death
which threatened to engulf him,
and for which the world now
sings his praises.
We can t all be Madibas but we
can demonstrate our own per-
sonal dignity and self-respect in
whatever enclaves we find our-
selves, small or big, taking this
page from his book. Like looking
after our family, especially the
innocents, no matter how poor
or deprived we are.
We can do so by giving a fair
day s work for a fair day s pay,
especially in our social pro-
grammes, even though our boss
may not, and he is not looking.
Or by charging a just price for
our sorrel and ginger that would
bring a smile on a poor man s
face, rather than fill our pockets
with his last penny; or have a
Christmas party for the innocent
and disabled because we really
care and not just to pose for the
At another level we can accept
our true worth and competence
for what they are and try to do
better rather than dissemble and
be dishonest, as in the degrees
we claim or abuse, or the jobs
we accept for which, in all con-
science, we do not qualify. Or at
yet another level, that as leaders
we truly serve the people rather
than under the guise of doing so,
ensnare them into their own
subordination because of their
Your self respect is your soul,
and should you sacrifice that for
your own self-interest, no matter
what your riches, you are very
poor indeed! Are you of such
character to follow Madiba s
Urging citizens to vote in the 1986
elections, NAR supporter Gerry
Hadeed produced a Nelson Mandela
colour poster reading "For the right to
vote---this man is in prison for almost
After his release from prison in
1990 I made several calls for T&T to
honour the life of the man and the
memory of his struggle; sadly they all
fell on deaf ears.
Toronto renamed its oldest and his-
toric school on Shuter Street after
him; Jamaica has a Nelson Mandela
highway; and hundreds of cities, bor-
oughs and villages spread over Britain
paid tribute to Mandela's struggle by
giving the Mandela name to streets,
theatres, city halls, stadia, parks, gar-
dens and other places.
And in countries as scattered as
Australia, India, Venezuela, Brazil and
Zimbabwe public tribute was paid to
Mandela for his fight against
apartheid and for human dignity, with
no greater recognition than his bronze
statue in Parliament Square, standing
tall with other greats as Winston
Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin
Disraeli. But T&T was nowhere to be
When Britain under Margaret
Thatcher adopted a hands-off policy
towards the imprisoned Mandela, the
Glasgow City Council in 1981 chose to
give the freedom of their city to Man-
dela---a prisoner 6,000 miles away.
Following the people of Glasgow in
support of Mandela's fight for the
human dignity and the freedom of
millions of black South Africans, the
mayors of 2,500 municipalities in 56
countries worldwide gave Nelson
Mandela the freedom of their cities.
The world beyond South Africa was
standing solidly with Mandela in his
fight against apartheid.
When Mandela visited Trinidad in
April 2004, and was greeted by Prime
Minister Manning and Jack Warner at
Piarco, a golden opportunity was lost.
The PM, no stranger to symbolism,
was pre-occupied with silver coat of
arms to replace his official PM1 li-
For a start, "The Nelson Mandela
Interchange" now under construction,
should replace the current idiotic de-
scriptions, "Nestle Corner" or "Grand
But that's only a start.
Michael J Williams
Once again I have to depend on the
media to get through to WASA.
There is a leak coming from a line in
the street directly in front of No 18
O'Connor Street in Woodbrook.
As a landmark, it is in front of a
shipping company. It has been literally
pouring water into the canal for two
weeks now and I have been unable to
get anyone to answer the phone at
Maybe I'm using the wrong num-
ber. Maybe there is another more ap-
propriate number than WASA LEAKS
662-9272---PRESS 2 to report a leak.
The thing is, with the modern auto-
mated phone service you have to stay
on the line as "all our customer serv-
ice reps are currently attending to
other customers....etc, (really can't re-
member the speech).
Bottom line---can't get to report the
leak and my water pressure has di-
minished. In the meantime thousands
of gallons of water have gone down
the drain and continue to do so.
Around eight years ago I attended
a psychiatric symposium at which
Dr Varma Deyalsingh had invited a
school psychologist Dr Natalie Brown
to address a group of mental heath
caregivers to show the role and the
need for more such people in our
His cry was for the thousands of
abused female students and he criti-
cised the minister of education at the
time for her failure to expeditiously
address this issue.
He even suggested retired teachers
be brought back to serve in their com-
munities, to listen to and guide chil-
dren in schools.
Since then I have attended 11 dif-
ferent meetings at very posh environ-
ments, with lots of glossy literature
printed, was served sumptuous
meals---all under different ministers
of education who all want to be
speaking at these meetings, beating
their chests at these very expensive
Saying the same old talk but no ac-
Recently I heard Dr Deyalsingh
making the same call again, pleading
on behalf of our people.
The Prime Minister looked real
pretty attending the funeral of our re-
cently departed child.
I hope she has plenty more funeral
outfits as the good doctor stated we
must expect more child murders since
the present generation of child killers
has already been cultured this way.
The only hope is to catch the next
Will the government give us more
mental health and social workers as
the doctor suggested or would we
continue to see actors old talking
while our children are being killed?
Iwish to congratulate acting PM
Marlene Coudray on her appoint-
ment. I wish her well.
I would like to question what crite-
ria are used to select an acting PM.
When Mr Warner was the chosen
one, the AG boisterously said Warner
had received the most amount of
Now that he has fallen from grace I
wonder what are the prerequisites.
We have had so many "actors" but
no real life leaders.
Madame PM, you are doing the
same thing your maha guru did and
expecting a different result.
While giving all your ministers a
chance to act and get exposure is a
great thing, do not have them fighting
for a little ten days like crabs in a bar-
rel.An acting PM must have the po-
tential to become a real life PM one
Stop mamaguying people and giv-
ing them false hope.
Great leaders are born and then ed-
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Guardian, 22 St Vincent
WE CAN EMULATE THE SELFLESSNESS OF MANDELA
Workmen erect a sign at the traffic lights at the Valsayn intersection, Churchill Roosevelt Highway on Sunday.
This is just one of a series of projects managed by the National Infrastructure Development Company (Nidco)
to enhance traffic flow on the Churchill Roosevelt Highway and which will see the removal of all traffic lights on
the eastbound lane of the highway up to Macoya. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Dr Errol Benjamin
TOO MANY ACTORS
BUT NO REAL LEADERS
DIFFICULT TO GET THROUGH TO WASA
SAME OLD TALK ALL THE TIME
after Nelson Mandela
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