Senators pay tribute to late Lester Henry

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Senators observe a moment of silence on Tuesday to mark the death
of former senator Dr Lester Henry. – SUREASH CHOLAI

At the sitting of the Senate on Tuesday morning, senators joined together to pay tribute to the late Dr Lester Henry, who died on on October 25, days after his 61st birthday .

Henry was a senior lecturer in economics at UWI and assistant chief examiner at CAPE. He served as an opposition senator for the PNM from 2010 -2015, and a government senator from 2015-2020.

Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox, who began the tributes, remembered their friendship. She met Henry when he was appointed an opposition senator.

“I came to know him as the brother who would casually sit with me for coffee, listening to my stories, allowing me to vent and then, with just a few words, capture not only the essence of how I felt, but the direction he thought that I should follow.”

She referred to Henry as “a walking encyclopaedia” on economic matters, as he contributed to 57 bills, 19 motions and sat on 13 committees during the span of the ten years he served in Parliament.

She also spoke about his passion for his country.

“Ever mindful of his own upbringing, he would often say that his senatorial work was to give a voice to those who were not heard; to add to the ladder of opportunity for the dispossessed; to make real, the dream of people like his father, Ferdie Ferreira, to make Trinidad and Tobago into the blessed republic in which he had boundless faith.”

Opposition Senator Wade Mark referred to his death as untimely, as “he was becoming a veteran and establishing his own legacy in this honourable house prior to his demise.” He also acknowledged Henry’s meaningful contributions to several bills, committees and to the entire nation.

On behalf of the independent bench, Senator Paul Richards remembered Henry for his intelligence, referring to him as an intellectual giant.

“He thought the best of his country. He was an optimist and a pure patriot who saw the great economic potential of TT.”

Paying the final tribute of the morning was Senate President Christine Kangaloo, who said, “All tributes spoke in the same voice: to Dr Henry’s passion, his commitment and his enduring belief in the innate ability of the people of TT.”

She also remembered him for his many contributions as she said, “Lester lived his life with nothing unsaid and nothing undone.”

At the end of the tributes, the Senate stood for a minute of silence in Henry’s honour.