hear this story you need to shut out the urgent hammerings on your door
bringing you news of the rage of a community mourning a kidnapped
19-year-old boy murdered in cold bloodóexecution style. You need to
suppress an undercurrent of anxiety that arises when independent financial
institutions warn us that our oil bonanza is being spent like there is no
bottom at the end of the barrel.
story today is about a 13-year-old girl who I will call Angel. She was
born in the Port-of-Spain General Hospital and grew up way on top of a
hill in Port-of-Spain. Her father is a vague presence in her life.
grew up in the loving circle of her mother, aunts, grandparents and
cousins. And what a tight circle that was. The envy of the community.
A kinship giving her the confidence of royalty.
grandfather is genetically blessed as so many are in our small islands
with talent, a quick intelligence and a humanity that has to be handed
down to be practised.
he was growing up in Tobago his parents taught him by example that a real
man was passionate about his family, was faithful to his wife and never
idle. His mother taught him how to bake.
father taught him carpentry. He moved to Trinidad with those skills,
married a woman who was as strong as she was humble and the two of them
had three daughters.
of these is Angelís mother, Darling. Darling, armed with her motherís
steely will, her fatherís discipline and their combined talent took on
the world with a silent stoicism.
what was right worked for her. Her employers, recognising her rare
commitment to getting the job done above their own standards, her
non-intrusive manner, her separation of her home and work life and her
impeccable honesty, embraced her as their own family.
she gave birth to Angel, her family collectively poured love, discipline,
respect, boundaries and values into her daughter.
that house on the hill Angel played with her cousins, went to church, got
involved with her community and did her share of chores. That was her
backbone and heritage.
was not academic but she knew its power. She understood where ambition
could get you. So if there was one thing she didnít mess with was
Angelís school and studies. She was at every PTA meeting. She sat for
hours each evening while Angel did her homework. She picked up and dropped
her child from and to lessons. It paid off. When she was 11 Angel was
among the top 30 students who took the SEA exam.
thrived in a prestigious academic school. She has big ambitions to be a
doctor. Then one day, Trinidad life gave Angel a big blow. The maxi taxi
taking her to school rammed into a wall after being shoved by a bad
everyday driving, not noticed by the news or authorities, with no
consequences, crushed the 13-year-old Angel. She nearly lost her leg,
which was broken and pulled out of joint. The Port-of-Spain General
Hospitalís response was spectacular. They saved Angelís leg, operated
on it and kept her comfortable. We donít know when she will be out.
little story weaving in and out of personal values, and public support
showed me that the Government can work for ordinary people.
countryís education system is meritorious and allows children to be all
they can be if they are nurtured by the adults around them. The
countryís health system saved Angelís leg.
and crime with impunity, waste of public funds. And thatís why, week
after week, we need to bring them to the surface, so no more flowers will