THE PRIME Minister has told the participants in an energy mentorship programme, “Money isn’t everything.”
He was delivering the feature address at the launch of the Three-Tier Mentorship Programme for Energy Professionals yesterday at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain.
“To you youngsters – mentees, they call you: this country has given a you lot of what you were owed. So your debt has already been paid.
“You owe this country a lot. The country’s debt is to be paid.
“Money is a good thing, more of it is a better thing – but money is not everything.”
Dr Rowley recalled attending a recent function and listening to former archbishop Joseph Harris talk about a visit he had made to a “prestige” school.
He said Harris asked the group of boys what career they wanted and why, and the answer to the latter question was unanimously “to make money.”
Rowley said: “And that was worrisome. Because not one of them thought that money was an aside (or) a result of.
“But there has to be curiosity. There has to be satisfaction. There has to be a need to solve problems. And there has to be a desire for service. It can’t be just to make money.”
He said the programme would provide an opportunity to get good jobs and earn good money in the sector, adding some of the best jobs in the country and the world were in the hydrocarbon sector.
“And after we leave here today, sometime in the distant future or not-too-distant future, some of you in this room may go on to earn great salaries.
“But that’s not what it’s all about. It’s about being the brain that the industry requires. Being about the intellectual discourse that will guide us to an industry that some feel is a dying industry, because we need to move from fossil fuels to renewables.”
Rowley said there was a lot to do between now and then, and there was a lot in the energy sector to look for, find and produce.
He also gave his opinion about bake and shark and the Disney film The Lion King.
“Do I eat bake and shark? Sometimes. Do I like it very much? Kind of. I came from Tobago, where we didn’t eat shark at all, because we grew up saying that sharks eat people, so you don’t eat shark. Bake and shark is a Trinidad thing, which I learned since I’ve been in Trinidad.”
Rowley reminisced about playing hopscotch and watching The Lion King in the theatre, though he did not specify whether he meant the original or the modern version.
“And make sure you take those children to see Lion King.”
He continued: “Do I exist as Prime Minister. Yes, I do. Do I like children? Very much.
“And...is there a bright future for TT in the energy sector? Yes, there is.”