PNM Women remember Williams on 110th birth anniversary


Dr Eric Williams. –

One day after Trinidad and Tobago celebrated the 45th anniversary of Republic Day, the Women’s League of the People’s National Movement (PNM) is remembering the late Dr Eric Williams, who led the country into Independence in 1962 and Republican status in 1976.

Had Williams lived, he would have been 110 on September 25.

The league remembered him as the party’s founder, first and only Chief Minister, Premier and this country’s first Prime Minister. Williams died in March 1981 while in office.

“The National Women’s League views this occasion as most fitting for the young people to reflect on the historical facts of this giant of a man, aptly described as the Father of the Nation,” chairman Camille Robinson-Regis said in a statement.

She said aspiring politicians and leaders should use the struggle and sacrifices of Williams, as their guide.

“His story was like many great men and women, one fraught with challenges, which he overcame to become an inspired and inspiring leader.

“Dr Williams’ humble beginnings together with his great intellect shaped the political philosophy which in turn moulded this great nation,” she said.

The league recalled while he was at Howard University, Williams became associated with the Caribbean Commission that was established to coordinate the economic development of the region.

“His aggressive, commanding role in the commission, however, tended to alienate the then status quo but inspired the masses. He then ‘laid his bucket down’ in TT, becoming Chief Minister after the country’s first party-based election, forming a government.”

The PNM also celebrated the 65th anniversary of its first electoral victory.

“As Prime Minister, Williams practised a type of pragmatic collectivism, which emphasises social services, education, and economic development whilst supporting the tenets of democracy. This uniquely PNM policy was instrumental in making TT the leader in the Commonwealth Caribbean.”

The league said Williams was more than a politician – he was a philosopher who married his academic and political pursuits who fostered independence throughout the Caribbean.

Even with his passing, the league said he remained one of the most significant leaders in the history of modern TT. It recalled former US Secretary of State Colin Powell who heralded him, “as a tireless warrior in the battle against colonialism, as well Professor Wilfred Cartey, distinguished Professor of Literature at City College who said, “Of all the leaders I can think of, he moderately and almost totally moved peacefully toward a democratic socialist vision of reality.”

The league quoted Williams that, “Whatever the challenge that faces you, from whatever quarter, place always first that national interest and the national cause.”

It said while the country faces challenging circumstances, as is the global community, “our citizens can rest assured that at this time we are being led by a Prime Minister who is exactly what our founding father envisaged, someone who has always placed national interest first. “

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