Friday 21 September, 2018

8 memorable quotes from the President’s inaugural speech

T&T made history today when it inaugurated its first female President.

In her inaugural speech, President Paula Mae Weekes addressed a number of national issues including the state of the economy, crime, the judiciary and the sea bridge saga.

LoopTT takes a look at some of the most memorable moments of the President’s speech.


1. “I identified my role as humble first servant”

Aided by memory, anecdote and available material I analysed the leadership and decision making styles of my predecessors in office. This rather unscientific research led me to the conclusion that it falls to each president to define within prescribed limits his or in this case her own role. After much deliberation I identified my role as humble first servant with a mandate to render service with enthusiasm.


2. “I have endured the maddening inefficiencies of the public sector”

Having lived among you in Trinidad and Tobago all my life, I have endured the maddening inefficiencies of the public sector, I too drive with my windows up or my doors locked even in broad daylight or at least I used to. I have lost two cars to thieves and have waited hours for medical attention for a relative at our hospital. I am painfully aware of what the murder count is and how many victims have been women and children slaughtered in acts of domestic violence.


3. ‘If I need to get to Tobago… I would not be certain if or when I would arrive.”

I am cognizant of the volatile tensions in east Port of Spain and see persons affected by mental illness, addiction and homelessness, sleeping on the streets. And if I needed to get to Tobago in a hurry, I could not be certain if or when I would arrive. And, so I comprehend fully the state of the state.


4. Our destinies, that is mine and that of the nation, are inextricably linked.”

I consider for that for the period of my tenure our destinies, that is, mine and that of our nation are inextricably linked. Many experts real and armchair in positions high and low beset us round with dismal stories. They tell us that Trinidad and Tobago is perilously close to the point of no return, crime, corruption, racism, abysmal public services and an ineffective judicial system are so thick on the ground that all hope is lost, that we will soon be, if we are not there already a failed state.


5. “We can lament…or make up a hard mind to make T&T a better place.”

We have but two choices. Option 1: We can lament, blame, criticise and allow a miasma of despair to overwhelm us. Or Option 2: We can consciously and intentionally use the alternative, not wish for or dream about or only hope and pray for the alternative but make up a hard mind to mobilise forces and resources to step out boldly and make Trinidad and Tobago a better place for us and our children.


6. “Be a light…Get to work on time and actually do some work while you’re there.”

Confront the darkness and declare that it will not take over. Be a light at your home, instil discipline, model good behaviour. You can be a light in your school, pay more attention to the lesson than your phone, protect the vulnerable, respect the those in the authority. Light can be seen in a community where people care for their environment and are tolerant of the views beliefs and practices of others. And a light in the workplace, get to work on time and actually do some work while you’re there.


7. “Let’s just not meet for meeting sake, we don’t have that luxury”

Many individuals and organisations have been asking to meet with me. Let’s just not meet for meeting sake. We don’t have that luxury. Come armed with your ideas, your feasible projects to improve to improve the quality of life in our nation. Nothing will catch my attention faster than a man or a woman with a plan.


8. If you feel you’re going to leave me alone to do all the heavy lifting…”

As your servant, I promise that I will work tirelessly, I’ll labour night and day to do my best, by word and deed to both be a light and to spread the light of others at every opportunity. But if you feel you’re going to leave me alone to do all the heavy lifting you’re sadly mistaken. I have something to ask of you. No, I'm not asking for a honeymoon period. I well understand that your reservoir of patience with holders of office has all but run dry"


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