Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Housing Minister Camille Regis Robinson pay their respects to the late Dr Lester Henry’s at his funeral at St Finbar’s RC Church in Diego Martin, on Wednesday. – SUREASH CHOLAI
The Prime Minister will remember former PNM senator Dr Lester Henry as “a quality person” to whom service came easily.
Henry, the son of former PNM stalwart Ferdie Ferreira, died on October 25. He was 61.
Dr Rowley was speaking at Henry’s funeral at St Finbar’s RC Church in Diego Martin on Wednesday afternoon.
“When I first met Lester,” Rowley said, “I came to the conclusion very quickly that he was a highly qualified but humble person.”
He said he later learnt Henry was Ferreira’s son.
He admitted he was “a bit reluctant” to ask Henry to serve in public office for fear he would decline, “given what goes on in there and how thankless the assignment can be.
“So I was surprised when Henry comfortably and quickly accepted to serve as a senator.
“But Lester demonstrated that he was a person of service, and service came to him easily.
“I was happy to have had him with us in the Parliament.”
Rowley said he could have worn his balisier tie to the ceremony and identified Henry as “a citizen associated with the PNM.
“But I chose to, instead, to pay this tribute to him not as head of the PNM, but as head of the government, and on behalf of all the people of TT.”
Henry was also a former PNM treasurer, serving from 2014-2018.
Rowley said he felt a great sense of shock and loss.
“To his family, we join in thanking God for giving such a person to us, and for having had the opportunity of knowing and living with him.”
He gave condolences to Henry’s family.
“May he rest in perfect peace.”
National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds also gave a tribute on behalf of Henry’s “PNM family.”
He said he learnt of Henry’s passing through a phone call and then called Rowley to tell him, but he knew already.
“On behalf of us, to his four children, siblings – six of whom are still alive – the PNM family, as I said, we extend our deep condolences.”
Henry was an opposition senator from 2010-2015 and a government senator from 2015-2020.
He was also a lecturer at UWI, St Augustine, where he taught monetary theory and policy, history of economics, and monetary issues in economic development.