(PRESS SEC) – Prime Minister of St. Kitts and Nevis Dr. the Honourable Timothy Harris today extended condolences to Prime Minister Manning’s wife, Hazel, and their two sons, Brian and David, and other loved ones, as well as to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago.
Prime Minister Harris noted that Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean have suffered a great loss with the Honourable Patrick Manning’s untimely passing today from acute myeloid leukemia. Trinidad & Tobago’s former Prime Minister would have turned 70 years old on August 17th, 2016.
The Honourable Patrick Manning served as Trinidad and Tobago’s fourth and sixth Prime Minister from December 17th, 1991 to November 9th, 1995 and from December 24th, 2001 to May 26th, 2010. He was the longest-serving member of the House of Representatives, having represented the San Fernando constituency for the People’s National Movement (PNM) from 1971 up until his retirement from politics in February 2015. Mr. Manning served as political leader of the PNM from 1987 to 2010.
Describing Prime Minister Manning as one of the most successful political leaders in Trinidad and Tobago, Prime Minister Harris reflected upon his magnanimity. “He was a leader whose support the OECS could always rely upon, and he demonstrated his unwavering commitment in many ways,” Dr. Harris said, adding: “He will be sadly missed.”
Mr. Manning was a strong proponent of Trinidad and Tobago establishing closer ties with the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States by it entering into a political and economic union with OECS Member States.
Prime Minister Harris commended Honourable Manning’s approach to security matters, energy and development, as well as his handling of the financial difficulties faced by the CL Financial Group that included CLICO and its sister company BAICO. To keep the company running and protect policyholders, Patrick Manning’s government entered into an agreement with CLICO – giving it control of 49 percent of the company’s shares – and injected TT$7 billion into the company in 2009.
Prime Minister Manning’s plan to achieve developed nation status for Trinidad and Tobago by 2020 also stands out to Prime Minister Harris, who, while reflecting on Mr. Manning’s legacy, gave a nod to his “grandiose ideas.”
“He saw Trinidad and Tobago as a modern, first-world country, no less than any of them, and made an indelible impact on its economic life,” Prime Minister Harris said, noting the significant infrastructure works that Prime Minister Manning’s government undertook to modernize Trinidad and Tobago.
A geologist by training, Prime Minister Manning took a career detour, but still ended up making an impact on the earth.
In 2003, Prime Minister Manning was awarded the Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy’s (CGID) “Democracy Prize” for his exemplary works in promoting the principles of democracy in the Caribbean region. In 2004, he was awarded the Caribbean-Central American Action’s (CCAA) “Star of the Caribbean Award” in recognition of “distinguished service and committed efforts to improve the economic wellbeing of the people of the Caribbean Basin.” In 2007, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Letters by Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, which he accepted on behalf of the people of Trinidad and Tobago.
In August 2014, the Honourable Patrick Manning issued a statement, declining the nomination for Trinidad and Tobago’s highest award, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. “The primary reason is rooted firmly in my principled stance to not accept any T&T awards while serving as an MP,” he wrote. The award is given to a national of Trinidad and Tobago who “has rendered distinguished and outstanding service to Trinidad and Tobago.”