Senate pays tribute to Charles, Panday, Karim

Basdeo Panday - File photo
Basdeo Panday - File photo

DURING the Senate sitting on Tuesday afternoon, members paid tribute to late politicians Hochoy Charles, Basdeo Panday and Fazal Karim, who were all described as men dedicated to public service.

Charles, the first chief secretary of the THA, died on December 31, 2023 at 77. Former prime minister Panday died on January 1 at 90, and Karim,70, a former minister of tertiary education and skills training, died on January 22.

PNM Senator Laurence Hislop said there was no doubt in any TT citizen's mind about the type of person Charles was.

Charles, he said, held Tobago so close to his heart that "he would fight anyone for it, even those who he considered political allies.

"He held no punches and let his feelings known."

UNC Senator Jearlean John said Charles was a "tremendous advocate for the rights of people of Tobago.

"He made the fight for self-governance his life's work...He was selfless and fearless, always willing to assist everyone."

Former THA chief secretary Hochoy Charles -

On Panday, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Amery Browne, who was involved in arranging Panday's state funeral, said the former prime minister was "a legend whose command and wit made a deep mark on everyone around him."

He said Panday was "a man on a mission" who always commanded attention, and changed TT's political and historical landscape forever."

He added that of all politicians he had ever met, Panday had the "keenest sense of occasion."

Opposition Senator Wade Mark said Panday was a historical giant who "lived an ordinary life and provided extraordinary public service.

"His life was firmly anchored on fundamental, moral and ethical principles and noble values that were both timeless and boundless...He was a man of truth, honesty and integrity."

PNM Senator Dr Muhammad Yunus Ibrahim remembered Karim as a man known for his sensitivity, impeccable manners and superior intelligence.

Fazal Karim - File photo

He said his colleague had the qualities of a good leader and was very clear in his purpose, with no need to "toot his own horn" to achieve it.

"He believed in justice and the fight for what is right."

Temporary Opposition Senator Dr Tim Gopeesingh said Kazim, his friend of over 30 years, was a model citizen and a "truly remarkable educator and public servant."


"Senate pays tribute to Charles, Panday, Karim"

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