400-Page Bio on Patrick Manning – a Man of Vision, Faith

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By Chantalé Fletcher

A FOUR-HUNDRED page biography  in honour of the former prime minister Patrick Manning was launched on Sunday at the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA).

In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley said the biography titled Manning: Faith and Vision authored by Professor Bridget Brereton delved into the life of the late politician, covering his early childhood through his years as prime minister.


In attendance was Manning’s wife, Hazel Manning, a former education minister, and their sons, Brain Manning, Minister in the Ministry of Finance and MP for San Fernando East, his wife Shelly Dass-Manning and brother David Manning.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, right with Brian Manning. Photo: Facebook/Brian Manning

There were also several dignitaries as, Dr Keith Rowley, his wife Sharon Clarke-Rowley; Prime Minister of St Vincent and the Grenadines Dr Ralph Gonzales, his wife Eloise Gonzales; Mayor of Port-of-Spain Chinua Alleyne, several  government ministers and Members of Parliament.

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Mrs Manning reminisced about the times with husband as she welcomed guests to a “Sunday evening lime with Patrick.”

She said, “On a Sunday evening Patrick would say, look how good this house looking, let us invite some people. And he would pick up the  phone and he would make the phone calls and in a short time there would be a large number of people entering the house. He would prepare the bar, lots of drinks and I would prepare some pone and some sweet bread and some saltfish and some hops and then we would settle down to ole talk, to laugh, loud laughter and even louder talk, jokes, until the wee hours of the morning.”


Mrs Manning said one could hear the sounds of back-in-time tunes, bound-to-dance by Joey Lewis, Kitchener and the “haunting sound of Red, Red Wine.”

Hazel Manning. Photo: Facebook/Brian Manning

She added, “Many times as I listened, it reminded me of a calypsonian trying to walk on a tightrope because Trinidad is not an easy place to fix. And so with that background, I want us to relax like we did so many years ago, and to listen and to enjoy.”

While Brian Manning thanked Professor Bridget Brereton for taking on the challenge of amalgamating and selecting the moments for his father’s biography, he described his father as “a man of great faith and vision.”

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Manning said, “Reading the draft of the book myself many months ago made me see for the first time, I had a lot more in common with my father than I thought growing up. For most of my life I saw Patrick Manning through the eyes of his son. I saw a side of him behind closed doors than none of you could, he was after all my father.”

Professor Bridget Brereton. Photo: Facebook/Brian Manning

He said, “In going through his things after his death, I saw his notes, journals and read some of his innermost thoughts about events which had transpired. Times he was at his most powerful to his thoughts where he found himself alone. Many of them were surprising, others insightful. In all of them I saw his choice to be a man of faith and vision, his experiences, perspectives  have all taken a special meaning to me as I walk my own path.”

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Patrick Manning served as San Fernando MP for 44 years. He was also Trinidad and Tobago’s fourth Prime Minister from 1991 to 1995 and again from 2001 to 2010.

Under his tenure, Manning implemented state funded tertiary education known as GATE in 2004. 


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