Arimians walk out on Hazel Manning

By Ralph Banwarie and Rhondor Dowlat
February 26, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

Former Minister of Education, current Minister of Local Government and wife of Prime Minister Patrick Mnning, Hazel Manning

Former Minister of Education, current Minister of Local Government and wife of Prime Minister Patrick Mnning, Hazel Manning

TWO WELL-KNOWN Arimians — parang icon Holly Betaudier, 85, and retired teacher and nutritionist Louis Horne — have taken Local Government Minister Hazel Manning to task for describing the borough as being “just bush” 56 years ago.

“It is a pity that the person (Mrs Manning) had to say something like that. If Arima was only bush, 56 years ago, I would never have gone to Edinburgh University in London. Arima was not bush then. Arima made me who I am today. That person really does not know what she is talking about,” Horne stated.

During a meeting with residents, at Arima Town Hall on Wednesday evening, Mrs Manning — wife of Prime Minister Patrick Manning — described Arima as being “just bush” 56 years ago, as she sought to impress on the residents all of the development done over the years plus the latest plans for the borough.

Her “just bush”statement soon prompted a walkout by the residents whose initial anger was over the fact that the package of plans for the area did not include emphasis on construction of an area hospital.

When no one at the head table which included Mrs Manning, Arima Mayor Adrian Cabralis and economist Dr Ralph Henry could not answer why nothing was being said about construction of an area hospital, the residents got angry.

Mrs Manning said it was the first time Local Government was putting a regional plan in place. “It was never done before. Arima was just bush 56 years ago. This is a big improvement,” Mrs Manning said.

Clearly unimpressed, most of the residents which included Horne got up and walked out of the Town Hall. A resident who remained behind, said that over the past 56 years, Governments have had no plan for Arima.

Speaking from her Lopez Street, Arima home yesterday, Horne said there is a petition with the names of over 3,000 Arimians seeking to have government construct the area hospital. She said that 56 years ago, Arima was a thriving, bustling town which was the centre of commercial and cultural activity in East Trinidad.

Another Arimian, Holly Betaudier said Mrs Manning was clearly uninformed. “Fifty-six years ago, Arima was far more civilised than the entire country today,” Betaudier said.

“There were no religious barriers, no class barriers. Everyone was concerned about everyone. Fifty-six years ago, the hospital in Arima was the most efficient hospital in the country. Just bush? Please!” Betaudier said. Following the walkout, it was decided that the meeting would resume at a later date.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,116357.html

7 Responses to “Arimians walk out on Hazel Manning”


  • These people continue to insult the people of this country every time they open their mouths. What development is she talking about anyway? Today after billions squandered, Arima has no hospital, Point was promised one and to date none. So good luck Arima. Be mindful that the proposed plan is but another just-in-time for election gimmick.

  • Forget this feeble ,simple minded, incompetent , opportunistic elitist Hazel Manning. Now you see why I equally despise her nepotistic husband for burdening us with her in choice positions in public office , in equal measure as Panday our corrupt ,lifelong Opposition leader in Chief, who wishes to force feed us in this nation his evergreen crab in the headlight ,confused daughter.When you can get 85 year old Scouting for talent icon Holly Betaudier angry , you know that you are pushing your luck.
    Now perhaps you see why I at times wish to take all these resident online neo feminist gullible fools and drown them in the Icacas sea ,and allow their bodies to float across to Venezuela , to be eventually consumed by piranha , and barracuda fishes . Many of these jokers fervently believe that all women are loving , considerate , caring,and competent leaders simply because they show up without testosterone running in their loins. What naivety, as displayed repeatedly by this arrogant square peg in round hole.

  • What are we going to do about it? Who should we align ourselves with if this sort of behavior is going to be the norm from the PNM? The UNC doesn’t seem to be middle of the ground either? Who are we to support? Until we figure that out, we will always be disrespected. We need leaders that can properly represent us dui bu dui (right or wrong)? I desire efficiency, respect, security, and prosperity. What party can give us that?

    • The UNC/COP will give us this Curtis…be patient..after taking **** from the PNM for eight years I am sure you can wait a little longer for our NEW Government to settle in and we will solve this we will RISE

  • Insensitive statement

    Newsday Editorial
    March 01, 2010 – newsday.co.tt

    Minister of Local Government Hazel Manning’s statement at a meeting with Arima residents last Wednesday that Arima 56 years ago was “just bush” was clearly insensitive and deserves a rethink. The statement should be withdrawn and an apology made.

    Admittedly, it may have been designed by Mrs Manning, wife of the country’s Prime Minister, Patrick Manning, to convey the view that real economic progress was made in the Borough only after the ruling People’s National Movement first came into power in 1956, 54 years ago. Whatever the rationale, it is in direct conflict with history which saw Arima as one of the three principal towns of Trinidad as early as the late 19th century, the others being Port-of-Spain, the capital, and San Fernando.

    The Minister of Local Government, who was at the Arima Town Hall on Wednesday to discuss her Ministry’s package of plans for the Borough provoked a walk out by residents. Arimians, who had been already upset that the Ministry’s plans did not include the construction of an area hospital became visibly annoyed by her “just bush” comment.

    Indeed, Mrs Manning was less than tactful when, following on the residents’ discomfort when nothing was being said about the construction of an area hospital, blurted out: “It was never done before. Arima was just bush 56 years ago. This is a big improvement.” And while Government’s plan for Arima, minus an area hospital, may have been considered by the Local Government Minister as a giant leap forward, nevertheless her “Arima was just bush 56 years ago” was undiplomatic.

    Clearly, Mrs Manning is unfamiliar with Arima which flourished financially for several decades when the cocoa industry was king until early in the last century. A high level of employment was generated at the time and a great deal of money was turned around within the Trinidad and Tobago economy. It would flourish again during World War 11 with the construction of Waller Field by the Americans as a result of the United States-United Kingdom 1941 Land Lease Agreement.

    Another economic indicator was the siting of the Santa Rosa Race course which today is the country’s main race course providing thousands of direct and indirect jobs. Horse racing at Arima, which is virtually a year round industry today, was a principal feature of the Santa Rosa Festival, and which was always identified with the Roman Catholic Church of Santa Rosa constructed in 1820.

    Arima was a thriving rail hub of East Trinidad at the height of the now defunct Trinidad Government Railways. Nonetheless, despite the relatively comfortable level of Arima’s economic position 56 years ago, indeed long before and since, Hazel Manning’s dismissal of the Royal Borough, although somewhat out of step with reality was, unfortunately, tactless.

    Or was the Local Government Minister unconsciously voicing Government’s taking of Arima and Arimians for granted in much the same way that it has long been viewed as taking Laventille, for example, for granted. It may be in short and medium interest of Government for Mrs Manning to either provide a full explanation of what she intended to convey, apologise to the people of Arima or both.

    Even had Arima been “just bush” 56 years ago, nonetheless it would not have been prudent for a Government Minister, particularly the Minister of Local Government to say this at any time, moreso during what is said to be an election year.

    Hazel Manning’s injudicious remark has drawn the ire of several Arimians, including former Senator and retired teacher and nutritionist, Louise Horne, and that of parang enthusiast, Holly Betaudier, whose name has always been synonymous with Arima. She may be wise to view them as being representative of a wide cross section of Arimians.

    http://www.newsday.co.tt/editorial/0,116526.html

  • Like most people, Mrs. Hazel Manning is not historically mindful. The government claims that they want to improve the community but they are attempting to do so without first being familiar with its history. They intend to go into communities to inform residents of their plans and then get angry when the people are not elated but have their own priorities for development. Manning’s statement is especially bad coming from a former Minister of Education.

    A Brief History of Arima
    http://www.triniview.com/articles/arima.html

  • Arima to Heights of Gunapo
    There was the “Arima was bush” affair. I remembered it this morning as I looked at the grey dust-mist smudging the mountains. The name alone should have warned Mrs Manning.

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