Today Trinidad and Tobago was plunged into mourning at the passing of our former Prime Minister and former political leader of the People's National Movement, Mr Patrick Augustus Mervyn Manning.
Mr. Manning will be remembered as a visionary, a patriot and a Caribbean man who always strived for excellence. He made the development and well-being of Trinidad and Tobago his priority and in so doing, dedicated his life to serving our twin island state.
During Mr. Manning’s tenure as Prime Minister, the country experienced unprecedented growth and development, the benefits from that period are still helping us through the trying times we face today.
Up until his death Mr. Manning remained a source of guidance and inspiration to a generation of national and regional leaders who still sought his counsel even after he left active public life.
To Mrs. Manning and the Manning family, my family and I join you and the rest of the country in mourning his death. I extend our heartfelt condolences and gratitude for sharing him with us, since his service to the nation meant time away from his family.
To the constituents of San Fernando East whom he represented for his entire political career, we extend our deepest sympathy, we empathise with your loss.
In recognition of Mr Manning's passing, flags are to be flown at half-mast at all public buildings and foreign missions from today until the day after Mr Manning's funeral. Subsequent to consultation with the Manning family, it has been decided that a state funeral will be held for Mr Manning, the details of which will be released in due time.
Dr Keith Rowley