Arthur Sanderson –
MEMBERS of the House of Representatives paid glowing tribute to former MPs Marlene McDonald and Arthur Sanderson on Wednesday.
McDonald and Sanderson died on December 8 and November 26 respectively.
Port of Spain South MP Keith Scotland led the government’s tributes for McDonald.
He chronicled McDonald’s entry into politics in 2007 and all the various ministerial portfolios (community development and culture, housing, public utilities and public administration) she held before she left electoral politics in 2020
But Scotland told MPs, “That does not tell the story of Marlene McDonald.”
Throughout her career in public life, he continued, McDonald faced all her challenges “with grace, resolve and dignity.”
Scotland said her passion for her home constituency was evident in everything she did.
“She was Port of Spain South, and Port of Spain South has never left her. Port of Spain South was her family. Her navel string is buried in Port of Spain South.”
said it was difficult for many UNC MPs to come to grips with McDonald’s death.
Moonilal recalled his working relationship with McDonald in Parliament while the People’s Partnership (PP) coalition government was in power from May 24, 2010-September 7, 2015.
“I had the opportunity to work closely with her as chief whip when I served as leader of government business.”
While McDonald differed with him and other UNC MPs on policies and programmes, Moonilal said, “We never disagreed on personality.”
Moonilal said the respect McDonald got from the UNC led to her always being the last PNM MP to speak in budget debates when the PP was in office.
He said that as community development minister from 2007-2010, no UNC MP could ever complain that McDonald treated them unfairly.
Moonilal said McDonald represented her constituents with distinction, passion and courage.
Marlene McDonald –
He added that he will fondly remember her “generosity of spirit and kindness.”
Speaker Bridgid Annisette-George recalled McDonald as a strong advocate for women’s rights. She agreed with Scotland and Moonilal that McDonald was “a model for all change-makers to follow.”
McDonald’s funeral takes place on Friday.
Earlier in the sitting, Communications Minister Symon de Nobriga remembered Sanderson as a man who “put country before party.”
He said Sanderson’s dedication to his Fyzabad constituents remained strong even after he changed political parties from the NAR in 1986 to the PNM in 2002. De Nobriga added that Sanderson also demonstrated a commitment to serve as a former trade unionist and police officer.
Fyzabad MP Dr Lackram Bodoe said Sanderson was a humble man who often engaged him on ways to improve the lives of the people of Fyzabad. He remembered his first meeting with Sanderson in 2015, when Sanderson presented him with a developmental plan for Fyzabad.
Bodoe said Sanderson was a man who left an indelible mark on everyone who knew him.
He added this was evident from the tributes paid to him at his recent funeral.
Annisette-George praised Sanderson as a tireless advocate for social justice.