Eversley: Remember ANR Robinson

ANR Robinson
ANR Robinson

Wendell Eversley, a survivor of the attempted coup of July 27, 1990, is calling for more to be done in Tobago to recognise the tragedy as well as those who survived it, including the late prime minister and president ANR Robinson.

Eversley, who was in the Red House at the time of the attempted coup, was speaking with the media at Robinson’s graveside in Bacolet after walking from the ANR Robinson International Airport on Monday.

He believes politicians do not care about the impact the attempted coup had on the country.

“Forty-one of those sitting in our parliament do not recognise July 27 and the role that ANR Robinson played, a son of the soil of Tobago. The sitting prime minister today, seven years in that seat – seven years I have been writing him letters. and never one day got an acknowledgement. So when the head rotten, what do you expect from the bottom?”

He said he has been in both Trinidad and Tobago begging, and is now fed up of old talk and promises and is ready for action.

“If Trinidad and the central government abandons ANR Robinson – why is it that schoolchildren in Tobago do not know the role of this stateman ANR Robinson? Where is the museum they talk about for ANR Robinson?

"What about the library they talk about for ANR Robinson? What about the upkeep of his tomb, where I have to come and beg and cry to have cleaned on numerous occasions until they eventually come and gave him a marble tomb?” Eversley called for more.

“I want Tobagonians, I want schoolchildren to know about the history. Be proud of your history, be proud of that man who said, 'Attack with full force.'"

Robinson, who was prime minister at the time of the coup, called on the army to attack the Red House with full force while the coup-makers, Yasin Abu Bakr's Jamaat al Muslimeen, were holding him and other MPs hostage inside. The siege lasted six days before the Jamaat surrendered after being given a contentious amnesty.

THA Deputy Chief Secretary Watson Duke said Eversley must be recognised for keeping the date memorable.

“We must give Wendell Eversley a trophy. He deserves a trophy, he deserves the honour for keeping a moment when time was bookmarked, a moment when we could have gone from democracy into tyranny.

"We could have gone from democracy into autocracy, we could have gone in a single direction from democracy into anarchy. That moment was bookmarked by time – July 27, 1990,” Duke said.

He said that for the past 32 years, Eversley has kept that moment relevant in the minds of all and sundry.

Wendell Eversely,a survivor of the 1990 attempted coup, at the Bacolet garve of former prime minister ANR Robinson. File photo/David Reid

“Having just taken over (the THA) in December, this is our first chance to recognise an iconic figure, a figure who is larger than life, whose political magnitude does not just touch TT but the region and the international community.”

He said the current THA administration has decided not only to clean the grave.

“As I heard Wendell saying that the name of our great hero – Sir (sic) Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson should be in schoolbooks, I want to say to him, be careful of knocking on open doors, you may damage your wrist.

"Secretary Zorisha Hackett, Secretary for Education, she has already commenced an exercise that would see a change in the school curriculum for Tobago, one where we would begin to learn Tobago things and not just things.”

Duke added: “Naturally, I am convinced, and I am very well positioned to be convinced, that soon – and very soon before our four-year tenure is over – we would see the name of ANR Robinson in our schoolbooks written.

"We would see the name of Winston Murray in our schoolbooks, APT James, James Biggart and all the others who would have played a part for us to reach where we have reached.”


"Eversley: Remember ANR Robinson"

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