Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 25th 2014 Contents The only statement made by
Government Chief Whip, Dr Roodlal
Moonilal, during the debate on the
Retiring Allowances (Legislative
Service) Bill with which no one can
argue is that "we need to attract a
higher calibre of citizen" to the polit-
ical arena. Clearly the present citi-
zens who serve at this level do not
It appears to ordinary citizens
who have been caught off guard by
the obscenity which passed for par-
liamentary debate in that exercise
that the present crop of Parliamen-
tarians have no understanding
whatever of the concept of "Serve
the people, serve the people, serve
the people!" This includes members
of the Opposition as well as those
in government who claim to stand
on integrity and are always first to
pontificate on what is proper be-
These "outstanding citizens" see
nothing wrong with ignoring the
legally established body set up for
this specific purpose and proceed-
ing to set pension provisions which
do not exist anywhere else in the
world and which cannot be justified
under any conditions.
One can only hope that the Presi-
dent will exercise his good judge-
ment (he is a former judge of whom
the nation was proud) and not give
his assent to this outrage on the na-
Should His Excellency be unable
to exert his influence to prevent this
immorality from taking place, one
would have no choice but to con-
clude that the trade union move-
ment is right and that the country
needs a change of the political
I knew Gerry when we were
in the Sixth Trinidad Sea
Scouts at St Mary s College
together, and we both led win-
ning Chancellor Flag patrols.
He was a year younger than me
and he was brighter than me
and more creative in every way,
giving promise of things to
He was the older brother of
Tony, later Archbishop, and was
the oldest of a family of nine.
On the death of their father,
who had worked for Salvatori
Scott and Co, a great responsi-
bility fell on the oldest of his
children---Gerry, then aged
eleven. In fact, most of the
responsibility fell on their
mother, Agnes, and on her sis-
ter, Auntie Vi.
From the time I knew him,
Gerry was a creative intellectu-
al.He studied Science at Uni-
versity College Dublin, edited a
short-lived magazine, Tomor-
row s Labourers, and started a
Film Club at our seminary in
Dublin, filming the scholastics
at work and play.
He returned to CIC in 1958,
to teach Botany and Zoology,
and, after the labour unrest in
the late sixties and the Black
Power riots in 1970, he realised
that academic teaching wasn t
enough and that what was
needed was to rescue teenagers
from their ignorance, and give
them, boys and girls, a trade
that would enable them to earn
a living for the rest of their life.
He called his work Servol,
Service Volunteered for All, and
it was blessed by religious and
civic authorities, and is known
in many countries. He received
the Alternate Nobel Peace
Prize, the Trinity Cross and
other decorations, such as a
doctorate from Duquesne Uni-
From the beginning he was
helped by Sister Ruth Mon-
trichard SJC, who accompanied
him to Stockholm, to Israel and
elsewhere, preaching the good
news of self-help.
The whole island of Trinidad
is in mourning, and many of
his friends overseas.
It is easier for us, in Spiritan
House, to accept his passing, as
for the past three years he was
confined to his room with
Alzheimer s, with Sister Ruth
and nurses looking after him.
As the Book of Genesis said,
there were Giants on earth in
those days, and we won t see
the like of Gerry again.
May his great and generous
soul rest in peace. He is smiling
on us now from his place
Roland Quesnel CSSp
Wednesday, June 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Residents of Clifton Road, off St Paul Street, East Port-of-Spain carry a piece
of plywood to place over a badly damaged section of roadway to allow for a
car to pass. In May last year, then mayor of Port-of-Spain Louis Lee Sing
toured this exact spot and viewed the broken drain that contributed to the
erosion of the road. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Give an inch and they want a yard!
Really, you can never please a Trini.
The Government already created a
bailout plan for the Clico policyholders
and now they claim entitlement of the
I cannot think of where they will find
the one billion-plus dollars to pay hun-
dreds of people who chose to invest
their money and the risk didn't pay off.
Thankfully the Court of Appeal ruled
in favour of the State saving the coun-
try some much needed money and I
wait to see if the matter goes further.
Every time someone is killed by police
in the Port-of-Spain area, there's a big
protest for days.
So why isn't anybody protesting the
death of a mother of four who was
killed for nothing?
She was holding her five-month-old
baby. That baby could have been killed.
Her other young children could have
These children saw their mother
killed for nothing. So now we have four
motherless children who are going to be
severely traumatised for the rest of
their lives. But I'm not hearing or seeing
any protests about that.
I would love to have somebody ex-
plain that to me.
That's the breaks when taking risks
Protest only for police-killings?
GERRY PANTIN, A GIANT ON EARTH
President has final say on pensions outrage
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