Opposition leader Mia Mottley today remembered the late former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning, as a gentleman and a fervent supporter of regional integration.
Manning died this morning from blood cancer at the San Fernando General Hospital. He was 69.
“I got to know him well when I had to report to him directly for two years when he was the Lead Prime Minister for Security in CARICOM and I led the security efforts in the 10 countries of the region preparing for the hosting of Cricket World Cup in 2007.
“Indeed, it is this work, and his leadership that led the way for CARICOM to agree that Security would be the fourth pillar on which our Caribbean Community would rest,” Mottley said in a statement.
She added that Manning was always a gentleman, “unfailingly courteous and always accessible”.
“While Mr Manning did not always agree with what you said, he was always willing to listen. I also benefited considerably as a young politician as he liberally shared his experiences. He was always interested in your welfare and development.
“Indeed, he reinforced in me the importance of remaining close and faithful to the people you represent. I would forever remember his constant caution that most politicians were enamored by the platform but that it was the personal interaction, the ground work, that made the decisive difference. In his words, the platform would never win you an election but it could cost you a victory,” Mottley noted.
She added that Manning served his country and the region well, and while his many battles with illness in the last few years is regrettable, “we know that he handled those too with his characteristic dignity and fortitude”.
“May his soul rest in Peace and may his memory forever live in our hearts whenever we recall our journey to better the development of our Caribbean and our people,” Mottley said.
The opposition leader also extended condolences to Manning’s widow Hazel, his sons and wider family, as well as to the people of Trinidad and Tobago.