Caribbean leaders have hailed former Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Patrick Manning, who died recently as a “true champion of CARICOM,” saying that he had advanced the regional integration movement.
Manning,69, died at the San Fernando General Hospital on July 2, some 24 hours after he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia (a rare type of blood cancer).
CARICOM Chairman Roosevelt Skerrit, prime minister of Dominica said that he had the honor of working with Manning over an extended period of time.” I can always rely on him to draw on his wisdom to national and regional matters.”
St. Vincent and Grenadines Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves, who visited Manning in hospital a few days before he died described him as “one of the titans of the regional integration movement.”
“Patrick was a famous man… his virtues are not written in stone at home or elsewhere but in the hearts and minds of ordinary men and women that cross this region and we shall remembers him forever,” Gonsalves said.
Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr. Keith Rowley said Manning’s death “represents a tremendous loss, not only to the people of Trinidad and Tobago but also to the Community and the entire Caribbean.”
“Mr. Manning will be remembered as a visionary, a patriot and a Caribbean man who was committed to excellence and to the Caribbean Community. In this vein, I know that I will continue Mr. Manning’s legacy,” he added.
New St. Lucia’s Prime Minister, Allan Chastanet, described Manning as “a great visionary man. A man of tremendous insight, while Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness and Suriname’s President, Deis Bouterse also paid tribute to Manning.
Prime ministers and other dignitaries from the Caribbean arrived in Trinidad a day before his funeral on Saturday (July 9).