PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley was once soundly chided by his wife Sharon, for taking advantage of the generous spirit of engineer Prof Ken Julien, 86.
Rowley made this admission at a function yesterday at the Hyatt Regency in Port of Spain to honour Julien’s contribution to TT’s energy, petrochemical and education sectors. The event was held by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE.)
While in his advanced years Julien had agreed to go with Rowley on a gruelling trip to Africa to explore energy-sector linkages, the PM recalled that this earned a sound buff from his wife. He said Mrs Rowley was not happy as she thought he was abusing Julien’s good nature.
“My wife said, ‘don’t do it again! You’re taking advantage of the man’s generosity!” Rowley hailed Julien’s key role in establishing the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, the country’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) sector and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT.)
Julien, breathing heavily, put aside a lengthy prepared text to speak to guests from the heart. He said all he had done for TT was simply “my small way” of repaying citizens for all they had done for him especially fully funding his education.
Saying he came from a humble village, Julien said, “I only got here because the generosity of the tax-payers, the citizens, of this country. I would not have got here otherwise.”
In his address, Rowley said Caricom leaders will meet next week in TT discuss a supposed advantage enjoyed by TT manufacturers over their Caricom counterparts due to cheaper a electricity cost, itself due to TT’s abundant natural gas. Hailing Julien’s role in TT’s electricity generation, the PM said without cheap electricity some local manufacturers might not survive.