PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday July 4, 2016 – Former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who died on Saturday morning, has been remembered as a committed regionalist by top officials of The University of the West Indies (UWI) and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, said in a statement over the weekend that with the death of the former student of the university’s Mona campus, the UWI, Trinidad and Tobago, the region, and humanity have lost a good citizen.
“His service to national and regional politics will also be recognized within the context of nation building commitment and CARICOM consolidation. With him there was always concern for the fortunes of his fellow Caribbean citizens and through him, Trinidad and Tobago took its leadership of the region to a higher level,” he said.
Sir Hilary also noted that Manning, one of eight UWI graduates to rise to the level of Prime Minister, had left his mark on the university before entering Parliament at the age of 24.
He described Manning as “an exceptional graduate of The UWI”.
— UWI Museum (@uwimuseum) July 4, 2016
“Maybe as a student of geology he discovered the science of digging deep, exploring beneath the surface, a characteristic that served in well in his long, distinguished career in the political service of the people of Trinidad and Tobago, and the Caribbean,” the Vice-Chancellor said.
Manning’s alma mater has recognized his record of distinction. In 2002, the University celebrated his outstanding achievements at a special gala event organised by its New York based foundation. At the time, he reminisced about the making of his Caribbean consciousness and its roots within the activism of student politics.
“He spoke with pride of his UWI experience and was always keen to give back in constructive ways that more often than not, went quietly recognized. That was his choice, which we always respected. I admired him for his constant expressions of concern for the financial health and sustainability of the University, and enjoyed the many discourses that followed in respect of the role of higher education in our economic modernisation and social stability,” Sir Hilary said.
“His university, country, region, and humanity have lost a good citizen. The University community is proud of his contributions and honours the richness of his engagements over the decades.”
Meantime, CARICOM Chairman, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit of Dominica, has described Manning as a true regionalist and a man with a strong commitment to building his country and the wider CARICOM.
“He let his actions speak in that regard and was a willing partner in any activity which promoted regional unity. His progressive ideas for the strengthening of CARICOM led to many initiatives which redounded to the enhancement of the sense of community among our Member States,” Skerrit said, adding that Manning’s colleague Heads of Government were appreciative of the calm and unruffled manner in which he conducted himself, whether at CARICOM meetings or in interaction between CARICOM and other states.
“His willingness to share his country’s expertise to assist other Member States was just another manifestation of his dedication to integration. Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean Community have lost a truly remarkable man who has left a legacy of committed service to country and region,” he said.
Manning died at the age of 69, just days after being diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Lukemia, a rare form of blood and bone marrow cancer.
— Elizabeth Williams (@EWilliamstv6) July 4, 2016
His state funeral is scheduled for Saturday.