December 9, 2005
Patrick Manning links with his Vincy roots

He is conscious of his roots, influenced by the movie of that same name. And as Prime Minister of the twin-island Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Patrick Manning is leader of perhaps the most cosmopolitan Caribbean nation.

Many Trinidad and Tobago citizens have connections with other regional states, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a prime example.

Evidence of this was borne out in practical terms at a ceremony staged Saturday, December 3, at the Prime Minister’s official residence at Largo Heights. {{more}}

Patrick Manning arrived at the compound with his wife Hazel, two security officers and a protocol officer.

Manning strolled down memory lane as he and his Vincentian colleague exchanged memories of their sojourn on the Mona Campus of the UWI over 37 years ago. One area of harmony was their involvement in the Mona Steel band. There seems to be some rivalry between the two Prime Ministers as to who was the better tenor player.

But the main purpose of the visit was for Manning to connect with his Vincentian relatives. He has been able to trace Eldica Hadaway as perhaps his closest family connection in St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Hadaway’s mother and Manning’s grandmother were sisters.

Manning had been trying to trace his roots over the years, and with help from his University colleague, the connection was made last Saturday.

Manning seems likely to return to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and when he does, he will not be coming as a stranger.

“It is not the end,” Manning said, and added: “I shall return under different circumstances.”

But Manning proved himself a genuine son of the Caribbean civilisation. He disclosed that he also has family ties in Barbados, through his wife, whose mother was from Barbados.

If Manning gets his way, Trinidad and Tobago will be more closely linked to the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS).