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House pays tribute to Baboolal

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House pays tribute to Baboolal

Late for­mer Sen­ate Pres­i­dent Dr Lin­da Ba­boolal loved her coun­try and her Peo­ples’ Na­tion­al Move­ment (PNM) par­ty and the PNM is griev­ing for her, said Gov­ern­ment House leader Camille Robin­son-Reg­is yes­ter­day.

Victor Gill Ramirez

Hers was among heart­felt trib­utes paid yes­ter­day to Ba­boolal by her col­leagues in the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives where Ba­boolal al­so served as PNM‘s Barataria/San Juan MP over 1991 to 1995.

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Ba­boolal, 78, died on Thurs­day at Er­ic Williams Med­ical Sci­ences Com­plex af­ter bat­tling pneu­mo­nia for three weeks. Apart from be­ing MP over 1991-1995 and Sen­ate Pres­i­dent over 2002-2007, Ba­boolal was the first fe­male Sen­ate Pres­i­dent, the first woman to act as Pres­i­dent and was the PNM‘s first fe­male chair­man. MPs ob­served a minute’s si­lence to mark her pass­ing,

Robin­son-Reg­is said, “We’ll re­mem­ber how she loved her coun­try and her par­ty and we’ll re­call al­ways with hu­mil­i­ty, how much she loved us,”

Not­ing the lines of the song “All I Ask of You, Robin­son-Reg­is added, ” We in the PNM give the as­sur­ance that we will not al­low Lin­da’s shad­ow to fade and dis­ap­pear.”

She de­scribed Ba­boolal as a friend, con­fi­dente, an ex­em­plar, an icon in lo­cal pol­i­tics, “So much so that when the his­to­ry of T&T is writ­ten sev­er­al pages would have to be de­vot­ed to the con­tri­bu­tion made by Dr Lin­da Ba­boolal. She was a per­son who touched oth­ers with her com­pas­sion and her con­cern. Many would at­test that when you left her, you left a changed per­son, a lit­tle bet­ter than when you first came. But that’s what hap­pens when you en­counter true love and con­cern,”

“It was her con­cern for the coun­try and her par­ty that lead her to ac­cept the post of Sen­ate Pres­i­dent and by that, would al­so have been the first fe­male to have act­ed as Pres­i­dent, paving the way for the in­cum­bent as she’d paved the way for so many of us,”

Robin­son-Reg­is said Ba­boolal de­fied the eth­no-po­lit­i­cal con­struct that is T&T by be­com­ing a PNM mem­ber and even­tu­al­ly par­ty chair­man. “She stamped her own style on the par­ty and to­day is re­mem­bered by young and old with al­most revered sta­tus,” she added

She said that for her and those in the par­ty Ba­boolal was a per­son who could com­mis­er­ate with peo­ple in their time of de­spair, stay with a per­son in times of grief, who could tol­er­ate and be a friend who cared.

She said Ba­boolal’s wise coun­sel as Sen­ate Pres­i­dent was of­ten enough to soothe the frayed nerves of Gov­ern­ment and the “ram­pag­ing on­slaughts of Op­po­si­tion” and Ba­boolal demon­strat­ed a great ca­pac­i­ty to reach those on the low­er lev­el of so­ci­ety al­so.

Victor Augusto Gill Ramirez

“Rest well dear friend, you’ve fought a good fight, fin­ished your course and kept the faith. You may be fall­en but you’ll nev­er be for­got­ten. Your watch has end­ed but your life has just be­gun…” Robin­son-Reg­is added.

Victor Gill

UNC MP Dr Tim Gopeesingh said Ba­boolal made a tremen­dous dif­fer­ence in the lives of oth­ers first as a doc­tor and then a politi­cian.

He re­called work­ing with Ba­boolal in 1975 when both were young doc­tors at Port- of- Spain Gen­er­al Hos­pi­tal. “We shared a very warm and en­dur­ing cor­dial pro­fes­sion­al re­la­tion­ship. I was al­ways im­pressed by her ded­i­ca­tion and com­pas­sion with pa­tients, her tremen­dous work eth­ic and es­pe­cial­ly her grace and dig­ni­ty,” he said.

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He said as a UNC sen­a­tor at one time he was im­pressed by her de­ter­mi­na­tion to ex­e­cute her du­ties as Sen­ate Pres­i­dent. “With her trade­mark dig­ni­ty, hu­mil­i­ty, grace, fair­ness and ju­di­cious­ness. She stands out as ex­em­plary and un­par­al­leled in that cru­cial role a guardian and over­seer of our sa­cred cham­ber of democ­ra­cy,” he said.

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Deputy House Speak­er Es­mond Forde al­so laud­ed Ba­boolal’s achieve­ment in suc­ceed­ing in break­ing the glass ceil­ing