PJ Patterson mourns passing of former T&T PM Basdeo Panday
KINGSTON, Jamaica— Former Prime Minister of Jamaica PJ Patterson in a tribute on Tuesday, hailed the late Basdeo Panday, former prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago as “a man of many facets,” noting that he was also a lawyer, economist, trade unionist and an actor.
Panday died on Monday, surrounded by family. He was 90 years old. He served as the fifth prime minister of Trinidad and Tobago and was the founder of the United National Congress (UNC).
“He was my colleague as a prime minister from 1995 to 2001 and during those years we developed a friendship which has endured. His passion to foster economic and social development in a country of racial diversity was matched by his commitment to advance the institutional capacity which would enable the creation of a Single Market and hence his leadership role in securing the seat of the Caribbean Court of Justice for Trinidad and Tobago,” Patterson said.
“I will remember his sincerity of purpose, his agility in moving from the attack to one of jovial indulgence during our deliberations,” he continued.
Patterson further stated that Trinidad and Tobago has “lost one of its most colourful political stalwarts” and described him as a man of great warmth, tenacity and wit, whose influence extended far beyond the corridors of power.
“As Trinidad & Tobago bids farewell to Basdeo Panday, his legacy will remain forever etched in the annals of the nation’s history. His determination and his unwavering dedication to the betterment of his country will continue to inspire future generations,” Patterson said.
“As we bid farewell to this devoted leader, we join his family and the nation in remembering his extraordinary life and struggles. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family. I extend sincere condolences to his wife Oma, the daughters and all members of his family and colleagues,” the former prime minister concluded.