• Lawrence Scott
  • Jean Sealy
  • Sam Selvon
  • Lionel Seukeran
  • Empress Shebah `Ra
  • Ashford Sinanan
  • Edwin Skinner
  • John Stewart (Author)
  • Richard 'Torpedo' Thompson
  • Daisy Voisin
  • Keshorn Walcott
  • George Weekes
  • Paula-Mae Weekes
  • Rodney Wilkes
  • Dr. Eric Williams

Lawrence Scott is an author from Trinidad and Tobago who currently resides in London. Mr. Scott was Writer in Residence at the University of the West Indies in 2004. He divides his time between writing and teaching Literature and Creative Writing. In 2006-2009 he was a Senior Research Fellow of The Academy for Arts, Letters, Culture and Public affairs at The University of Trinidad & Tobago (UTT).

His first novel Witchbroom (Hbk. Allison & Busby, 1992; Pbk. Heinemann, 1993) was short-listed for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize 1993 for Best First Book in Canada & the Caribbean. It was also a BBC Book At Bed Time, 1993.

This was followed by a collection of short stories Ballad for the New World (Pbk. Heinemann 1994) including the prize-winning short story The House of Funerals (The Society of authors’ Tom-Gallon Award 1986). Allison Busby published Aelred’s Sin (Opbk 1998) which won a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best Book in Canada the Caribbean 1999. Night Calypso (pbk Allison & Busby 2004) was also shortlisted for a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize, Best Book in Canada the Caribbean 2005, and was published in France as Calypso de Nuit in June 2005. It was the One Book One Community choice in 2005 by the National Library of Trinidad & Tobago. Scott’s novel, Light Falling on Bamboo (2012), was inspired by the paintings, life and times of Michel Jean Cazabon, Trinidad’s most famous 19th Century painter.

His short stories have been read on the BBC and have been anthologised internationally and notably in Caribbean New Wave (Heinemann 1990), God an anthology of fiction (Serpent’s tail 1992), The Penguin Book of Caribbean Short Stories (Penguin Books 1996) and The Oxford Book of Caribbean Short Stories (Oxford University Press 1999). He has also published poetry in a number of anthologies and journals: Caribbean New Voices 1 (Longman 1995), Trinidad Tobago ReviewCross/Cultures 60 (Editions Rodopi B.V. Amsterdam–NewYork, NY 2002, Agenda 2002-2003).

Scott is the recipient of a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award for his significant contribution to the development of Trinidad and Tobago’s Literature.

JEAN ANITA SEALY: Former Deputy Director of Library Services

A Tribute presented on the occasion of the 30th Anniversary of School Libraries, Chaguanas Senior Comprehensive School, October 22, 2008

It is with a sense of pride that we celebrate today thirty years of school library services in Trinidad and Tobago. More so, we are especially proud to pay tribute to the librarian, who had the vision, the love and the passion for the introduction of a schools’ library service in our country.

In a 17-point list of the principles and guidelines in the 1968–1983 Plan for Educational Development in Trinidad and Tobago, the provision of a schools library service was listed as item number 7. While this position augured well for the high importance of libraries on government’s education agenda, we also note that there were sixteen other items competing for attention.

The truth is that the greatest plans with all the best intentions are usually not realized unless there is someone with the belief and the drive to pursue its fulfillment. Today we speak of one of our own, the champion for a schools’ library service in this country, Mrs. Jean Anita Sealy, who, thirty years ago, took her love for children to the next level as she sought to bring life to the national plans for a library facility, on site, at the schools, to enhance the overall growth and development of the student.

The Secretary to the Director of Library Services, at that time, remembers Mrs. Sealy for her high energy as she would at every opportunity armed with her files, seek the Director’s attention in the pursuit of her goals for the service. Needless to say, planning for any library service, in this case, a schools library service, required dedicated effort and expertise to ensure that it fulfilled its intended purpose in the school.

So who is Jean Anita Sealy?

From an early age Jean Sealy’s desire was to become a Montessori teacher but we are told that her father refused to pay for her to travel to the United Kingdom to teach children how to spell ‘cat.’ He wanted her to pursue a career in law. Indefatigable as she was, she became a teacher but very quickly switched careers to become a children’s librarian. Her life revolved around the children, as even her own children recall their early days growing up in the children’s library at the Central Library, where Mrs. Sealy was a popular story teller. Her family life was intimately intertwined with the love for her job and everyone got involved as Mrs. Sealy’s enthusiasm for her work was “catching.” As her daughter, Mrs. Lesley Alfonso, shared with me, even her dad was not to be left out as he patiently listened to all the library anecdotes that her mum brought home daily.

Mrs. Sealy’s colleagues remember her as someone who always made them feel welcome. She had a tremendous sense of humour, and would always make them laugh even as she inspired them with her love for children’s literature.

It was therefore a very natural fit for her, when she became the very first Librarian IV with responsibility for the newly formed School Libraries Division under the Central Library Services, which was formally established on November 10, 1978 (just short of one week of today’s celebration) with a staff of 24, including 7 professional librarians. One of the main functions of the School Libraries Division was and as still exists today, inter alia, to establish and set guidelines and to train and advise personnel appointed to work in libraries.

Some of the achievements under Ms. Sealy’s tenure were the following:

  • The creation of the post of School librarian in 1979
  • The granting of twelve scholarships in the field of library science, also in 1979
  • The introduction of a formal library service in the Sixth Form schools of Trinidad and Tobago

Mrs. Jean Anita Sealy’s working career ended in 1980 when she retired as Acting Deputy Director of Library Services.  During her thirty years with Central Library Services, although she worked in all its various branches and departments, she is most remembered for her dedication and work with children and students. Mrs. Sealy’s professional activities also included a number of executive posts in the Library Association of Trinidad and Tobago, including that of House Representative, Secretary, Programme Director, Treasurer and President.

Thirty years later, as we launch the upgraded School Library Media Centre in all Secondary Schools, we salute Mrs. Jean Sealy for her own 30 years of service to the nation; her love and dedication to the nation’s youth; her passion for developing independent lifelong learners.

If there is one message from Mrs. Sealy’s professional life for those of us charged with the responsibility to continue the work of the school library service, it is that as school librarians we should emulate the virtues that characterize the profession – love, commitment and a passion for service to the nation’s youth. Believe in your product!

Selvon emigrated from Trinidad to London in 1950. There his short stories and poetry were published in various journals and newspapers, including the London MagazineNew Statesman, and the Nation. He worked for the BBC in the 1960s and 1970s producing numerous television scripts and radio programmes. Selvon is best known for his novels A Brighter Sun (1952) and The Lonely Londoners (1956), in which he pioneered the use of creolized English for the narrative as well as dialogue in the West Indian novel.

Selvon was awarded two Guggenheim Fellowships, in 1955 and 1968, and an Honorary Doctorate in Literature from the University of Warwick in England. In 1969 he was awarded the Trinidad & Tobago Humming Bird Medal Gold for Literature.  The year after his death in 1994, Selvon was again recognized with a national award, this time the Trinidad & Tobago Chaconia Medal Gold for Literature. In 2012 Selvon was awarded a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award for his contributions to Trinidad and Tobago's literature.

Parasnath Lakshmi Prashad Sharma was born on January 12th, 1908. He changed his name to Lionel Frank Seukeran in 1932, when he became a Christian in order to teach in a Canadian Mission School. He grew up in Tableland, Trinidad and married Ruth Kamala and they had 6 children: Ian, Ria, Radhica, Angela, Diane and Shoba.

He served almost simultaneously as a member of the San Fernando Borough Council from 1946 to 1955 and as President General of the All Trinidad Sugar and General Workers Trade Union. He was a member of the Sugar Industry Labour Welfare Fund Committee from 1951 and was elected to the Legislative Council as an Independent Senator in 1956, where he served for 10 years.
He died in 1992 at the age of 84.


  • Seukeran, Lionel Frank; Mr. Speaker, Sir: An autobiography of the silver-tongued orator; Trinidad and Tobago; RPL (1991) Ltd; 2006; Print


Queen of the Sheba Imperial African Kingdoms Descendant Nations

Trinidadian born North-African Royal, Her Imperial Majesty Empress Shebah ‘Ra – Queen Shebah lll was born in 1963 in Diego Martin, Trinidad, the 4th generation of migrated Nubian-Kushites of Nubia-Sheba Sudan, North-African Royals Ancestry. Queen Shebah III, as all of the family, lived a normal unassuming life in Trinidad and Tobago, and attended the Diego Martin Girls Roman Catholic School, and later Providence Girls Convent in Belmont, Trinidad.

Shebah III was born on September 19th 1963 to Asere - Kasambu 'Ra lines descendants, H.R.M Prince Michael I and H.R.M Queen Meryre/Mary 'Ra VII, the daughter of the late Nubian Imperial Matriarch Iris Meryre II, in Trinidad and Tobago, holding in accordance to Imperial Kingdoms tradition at birth as future Matriarch, the title of Imperial Queen, Shebah lll. Shebah III is the Sovereign Imperial Empress of the African Nubian Nations’ Imperial Empire Kingdom of Sheba. The Sheba Imperial Empire Kingdoms is the Matriarchal Empire of Nubian Royal Kingdoms Nation throughout East, West, North, Southern and Central Africa Sheba/Nubia descendant Nations Lines of Africa`s over 350 Major Empire Kingdom Nations and several thousand Royal Kingdom and Chiefdoms Nations on the African Continent.

H.I.M. Empress Shebah `Ra – Queen Shebah III is the first born Grand-daughter of the late Imperial Empire Matriarch Iris Meryre II and a great-descendant Grand-daughter of the Royal Throne lines of King Abdul Shibah III. Shebah III is of the Northern Shibah Lines House of 'Ra - Asere Kasambu'Ra , 2nd Millennium 7th Dynasty Kingdoms Lineage of the Empire Kingdom Lines Nations of Sheba Imperial Empire of the descendant Empires and Royal Kingdoms Nations of Africa, of the House of Ra, Matriarchal Throne Line. The House of Ra is not an Islamic line, though the Empire Kingdom has both Islamic and non-Islamic Kingdom Nations under the Matriarchal Throne. It is from origin the Christian and traditional spiritual practices and beliefs lines. The Imperial Empire lines were a separate family line/branch of the Thrones’ Islamic Royal lines of the Kingdom of Nubia descendants of present day Nubia. The lines separated several centuries ago.


Additional Resources: Queen of Shebah Dakon Throne

A notable public servant of Trinidad and Tobago, Ashford Sinanan served in various roles prior to and following Trinidad’s Independence in 1962. He was elected to the Legislative Council, Victoria Constituency (1950); founded the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) and was Leader of the Opposition from 1951-1956. 
He helped draft portions of Trinidad and Tobago’s constitution and was named Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the Office of the U.N. and Specialized Agencies in Geneva (1973). He later went on to serve as the country’s first High Commissioner to India (1974). In 1990, he received both the Trinity Cross and the Chaconia Gold Medal for Public Service.


  • University of the West Indies Digital Library

Ed Skinner was born on 15 October 1940. He attended both Tranquility Elementary School and St. Crispin E.C. School, where he was active in sports. As a student of Queen’s Royal College he competed in the Under 15s track and field division, but did not compete again until his final year at QRC in 1959. After secondary school, Skinner joined the Dookie School of Athletics where he focused on training in the 220 and 440 yards. His performance at the 1962 Southern Games earned him a full scholarship to Maryland State College. He competed for Trinidad and Tobago in the 1964 Summer Olympics held in Tokyo, Japan in the 4 x 400 metre relay, running the lead-off leg. He and team mates Kent Bernard, Edwin Roberts and Wendell Mottley won bronze. This was the first medal for T&T in the 4x400 metre relay, a feat that was not repeated until the London 2012 Olympics.

Skinner was named both Outstanding Senior Scholar and Man of the Year by Maryland State College for his Olympic performance and presence on the Honor Roll during his college career. In Trinidad and Tobago, he has been inducted into WITCO’s Hall of Fame and awarded the Humming Bird Silver Medal for his contributions to the sport of track and field. Skinner continues to coach track and field and, as coach, has accompanied several national teams to the Olympic Games.

See more information on Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic medalists

John Stewart is an anthropologist and writer, currently Professor Emeritus at The University of California - Davis.  Trinidadian by birth, he has lived in the U.S.A. since the 1950s, and has held appointments in Anthropology, Literature, and African Diaspora Studies at UCLA, The University of Illinois, The Ohio State University, and Northwestern University. His topical research interests center on cultural pluralism, the anti-colonial project, spirituality, and the function of narrative in everyday life.  He has done fieldwork in Oshogbo, Nigeria; Lalibella and Aksum, Ethiopia; the Sea Islands of Coastal Georgia, U.S.A.; and the Company Villages of South East Trinidad. 

Stewart’s 1971 novel Last Cool Days was awarded the Winifred Holtby Memorial Prize by the Royal Society of Literature in London. His other works of fiction include a collection of short stories entitled Looking for Josephine(1998) and a book of poetry, Midday Messages (2010). He also has written many non-fiction essays and books. In 2012 Stewart received a NALIS Lifetime Literary Award for his contribution to the literature of Trinidad and Tobago.

Richard Thompson was born June 7, 1985 to Ruthven & Judith Thompson of Cascade. He attended Queens Royal College in Trinidad and continued to pursue his track career at Louisiana State University in the United States.

In the 2008 Olympic Games held in Beijing, China, his first Olympic appearance, Thompson’s efforts were richly rewarded with two silver medals. The “Torpedo”, as he is commonly known, blazed the tracks to achieve his personal best time of 9.89 seconds in the Men’s 100m and as the final leg in the Men’s 4x100m Relay.

The Chaconia Gold Medal was awarded to Richard Thompson and his fellow teammates for their contribution to Sport at a National Awards Ceremony held on Tuesday 9th September, 2008 at the President’s House in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.

Thompson broke the national record with a run of 9.85s at the 2011 national championships, surpassing Ato Boldon's record by 0.01 seconds.

In the 2012 Olympics Games held in London, UK, Thompson placed seventh in what was the fastest Olympic 100m final in history, with seven of the eight finalists finishing in under 10s. Thompson and teammates Keston Bledman, Marc Burns and Emmanuel Callender, finished fourth in the 4x100 final. The Canadians, however, were disqualified and T&T were promoted to third, securing the bronze medal.


  • 2008 Olympic Silver Medalist (100 meters)
  • 2008 NCAA Men’s Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year
  • 2008 SEC Male Outdoor Track Athlete of the Year
  • 2008 USTFCCCA South Central Region Male Track Athlete of the Year
  • 4-time NCAA Champion
  • 8-time All-American
  • 4-time NCAA Mideast Regional Champion
  • 5-time SEC Champion
  • 8-time All-SEC

See more information on Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic medalists


Alexandra Daisy Voisin was a deeply religious and devoted person to La Divina Pastora (The Virgin Mary of Siparia). When she ended her mortal reign as Parang Queen of Trinidad and Tobago, her body was returned to the church where, eighteen years ago, she had received a message to spread parang throughout the world. And since that time she continued to do just that.

She was born at Carapal, Erin on September 23, 1924, in a family consisting of six girls, of which she was the youngest. She was of Spanish and French parentage. Her mother, Juliana Hospedales, came from Tocopita, Venezuela. Daisy’s father, Mathias Voisin, was of French origin and came from Arima.

She received her early education at Lorensotte Government School and became a monitor (apprentice teacher). Being a monitor in those days signified brilliance, dedication and conscientiousness. She later taught at the Canadian Mission School in Siparia.

As a young girl growing up in Lorensotte, Daisy was involved in school concerts where she performed as a singer. To pursue a career in singing was the least of her ambitions; to her, singing was a hobby. While awaiting the birth of her only child, Cecily, she became interested in nursing. At first she assisted the qualified nurses at the Health Centre in Siparia, then she began visiting homes with district nurses. It was, perhaps, on those visits that she developed a love for midwifery, an occupation that she pursued for several years. To her credit are more than three hundred successful deliveries in the Siparia district.

She later gained employment as manageress at the Consumer’s Cooperative in Palo Seco. In 1960, she was appointed to a clerical position at the Family Planning Association and it was during that period of her life that she became involved in parang.

In 1968, she joined the Siparia Village Council, Fyzabad Choir and Morne Diablo Group. Her first opportunity to lead the Morne Diablo Choir in parang was in 1974, when the lead singer, Francis Molloy, became ill and had to be hospitalized.

Her stepfather, Lucien Bravo, whom she called "da da", had given her all the help he could. Her first solo "Aquinaldo" was partly composed by him.

Lucien had predicted that she would be a queen one-day. His prediction came true on the night she replaced the lead singer at the Best Village Competition.

After that performance there was no turning back for Daisy, who provided in the years that followed, that she was the undisputed queen of Parang in Trinidad and Tobago. As a lead singer, Daisy assumed new responsibilities, which she carried out with diligence and professionalism. Even though she spoke the Spanish language with a fair degree of accuracy and fluency, she could not write it. With the help of Mrs. Hoyte, a Venezuelan national resident in Siparia, Daisy overcame her initial problems.

During her successful reign she composed "Sereno Sereno", "Daisy Voisin", "Daisy Daisy Daisy", "El Nacimiento de la Verdad" and many others. "Alegria Alegria", was however, her favorite composition. Leroy Birch, a qualified musician, had helped her to put the finishing touches to this song, which was a big success.

Before her death, she recalled that her most memorable occasion was when she sang for Jose Echevaria, former Venezuelan Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago. On that occasion, she sang "La Historia Trinitaria" which was composed by William Joseph, a Spanish teacher at Presentation College, San Fernando.

To see Daisy on stage was an exciting cultural experience. She was explosive, vivacious and tempestuous. She enjoyed every moment on stage. The fame of Daisy and the La Divina Pastora group took them as cultural ambassadors on missions throughout the Caribbean, Margarita, Venezuela and North America. She had created such an impact with her performances that she became the most sought-after parang voice in the nation. As a leading cultural personality, she became a household name, not only in Trinidad and Tobago, but also throughout the West Indies. In 1982 she received the Parang Association’s highest award, a gold medal. This was followed in 1988 with a National Humming Bird Silver Medal from the government.

But Daisy was not only a parandero, she was a gift from the Creator. Eighteen years ago, she had received the inspiration from La Divina Pastora. Shortly after this, she sought and obtained permission from the then Parish Priest, Father Eugene Delahunte, to organise a parang group and use the name La Divina Pastora.

Bishop John Mendes was born in Siparia and knew Daisy for many years. On the occasion of her demise, he performed the burial rites at the La Divina Pastora R.C. Church and he had to say this:

"Daisy was an angel who had received a gift from God. She is not dead. She has gone to sing in a higher place."

Although a talented musician and singer, she never allowed her popularity to go to her head. She was simple, yet sophisticated. Her voice had a rich tone which provided auditory excitement. Her tunes were always up-tempo, emotive and dramatic. The peak of excitement was reached with her favorite expression "Aiyee."

Daisy will be missed not only by her relatives but also by the entire community of Siparia, and indeed Trinidad and Tobago. At the funeral service on August 10, 1991, Hazel Voisin, granddaughter of Daisy, read the eulogy, which said in part: "Granny has gone to sing in a higher place, as she so often said she would."

In her declining years, she survived on humble means and was regarded as a forgotten heroine after giving cultural wealth to the national community. But she persisted in her endeavour to spread the Gospel of Parang.

Her final effort to ubiquitise parang was made when she visited New York in 1990. On her return, she suffered a stroke, from which she never recovered. She died on August 7, 1991. Her funeral was attended by a wide cross-section of the nation.

As a true exponent of the art of singing parang, she was truly the Queen of Parang and will always be remembered for her contribution to this art form.

The Queen is dead, Long Live the Queen!

Source: National Heritage Library

Keshorn Walcott, born on April 2, 1993, is from the scenic village of Toco in North Trinidad and attended Toco Secondary School. From a young age he was passionate about sports but proved unsuccessful at the various track and field events that he tried. That all changed when Toco club coach John Andalcio introduced Walcott to the javelin. Walcott soon moved to San Juan to be closer to the proper athletic facilities in Port of Spain and in 2009 he began training with Cuban-born coach Ismael Lopez Mastrapa.

Walcott is a three-time Junior CARIFTA Games Champion, the 2012 World Junior Champion and the London 2012 Olympic champion in the javelin throw.

In the London 2012 Olympics, the 19-year-old Walcott won gold in the men's javelin, throwing 84.58 metres in the second round to upset a strong field, including Norway's two-time Olympic champion Andreas Thorkildsen. Walcott is Trinidad and Tobago’s second gold medalist and the youngest ever Olympic champion in the Javelin throw. Walcott also made Olympic history by becoming the first non-European javelin champion in sixty years,the last being US athlete Cy Young who won gold in the 1954 Helsinki, Finland Olympics.

Walcott was awarded Trinidad and Tobago's highest honour, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, by President George Maxwell Richards at the National Awards ceremony in August 2012.


  • “Walcott Claims TT Second Olympic Gold” by Joel Bailey. Trinidad Newsday. August 12, 2012
  • “A Goal-driven Gold Medal”. Trinidad Guardian. August 13, 2012.

See more information on Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic medalists

George Weekes was viewed by many as an individual who provoked or habitually engaged in controversial tactics. A well known Trade Unionist, George grew up in Toco with a strict father who was Head Master at the local primary school. Born on March 09, 1921, George was an energetic and investigative child. At times, his father would bring him along when he held meetings with other teachers to discuss the restrictions placed on them with respect to travel and other activities when the local priest was absent. Yet these meetings did not impact on George since he was not politically inclined at that time.

However when World War II began, he joined the Caribbean regiment which was part of the British Empire. It was during this stint abroad that George became politically minded. He experienced segregation, saw the ill treatment of African soldiers and other discriminatory practices that reinforced his black identity. He learnt about Fascism, Capitalism, and Socialism while reading press debates on the different economic, social and political systems. George returned a changed man from the war in 1945 and continued to hunger for more knowledge and action to raise the awareness among the people regarding the social injustices perpetuated against them. This strong sense of justice eventually propelled him into politics.

George registered with the British Empire Workers, Peasants and Ratepayers Union which was established by Uriah “Buzz” Butler. But George soon moved on and joined a political party called the West Indian Independence Party (WIIP). He was heavily influenced by two of its members, Lennox Pierre and John La Rose, who remained his close allies during his twenty five (25) year leadership of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU). Apart from his political activity, George supported any movement treating with the positive projection of African identity.

By 1960, Weekes joined the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) when he became a staff member of Texaco Ltd. In 1962, he was elected President General where he fought for the rights of oil workers. He gave them a vision that planted seeds of liberation that moved beyond salaries and working conditions but took them along the road of self, world view, economics and government.

George Weekes stoked and inflamed ideological fires in the oil belt by appealing to the innermost suppressed feelings of a people dehumanized in a racist system. His leadership was powerful and he moved his members with confidence to stand for what was just and right.

In the 1970s during the Black Power uprising, he played a significant role by supporting the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) in a broad based attack on the government. According the Raffique Shah, “Weekes was one of those leaders who sincerely believed that the workers could not win true justice through purely economic struggles but through political education.”


  • Kambon, Khafra. For Bread Justice and Freedom. London: New Beacon Books.
  • Shah, Raffique. Work and Workers. 1978. 33-35.

Current President of Trinidad and Tobago: Paula-Mae Weekes

Her Excellency Paula-Mae Weekes was born in Port of Spain on December 23, 1958. She attended Tranquillity Government Primary School and Bishop Anstey High School.

In 1980, she graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) from The University of the West Indies, Barbados. In 1982, she obtained a Legal Education Certificate from Hugh Wooding Law School and secured the post of State Counsel I, in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

In 1993, after eleven years in the Magistrates’, High and Appeal Courts, she started her own practice. In 1996, President Weekes was appointed Puisne Judge in the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.  She was promoted to the Court of Appeal in 2005, where she presided for eleven years. In 2012, she acted briefly in the position of Chief Justice. After serving the Judiciary of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago for two decades, she retired in 2016. Shortly afterwards, in the same year until January 2018, she served on the Appellate Bench of the Judiciary of The Turks and Caicos Islands, becoming the first woman to hold this position. 

In 2000, President Weekes became a qualified judicial educator as a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute and has been instrumental in formulating programmes and facilitating training, locally and regionally. During the period 2010 to 2016, she served as Course Director for Ethics Rights and Obligations of the Legal Profession at the Hugh Wooding Law School. 

From 1997 until her presidency, she also served as Chancellor of the Anglican Church in the Diocese of Trinidad and Tobago, and provided legal services, as a member of the Diocesan Council. On March 19, 2018, she became Trinidad and Tobago’s first female President and the sixth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago. In the same year, she was awarded the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT), the highest national award. 

In addition to her contribution to criminal justice, President Weekes is also passionate about cultivating orchids and exploring foreign countries. The past Sunday School Superintendent is also a member of the Platform for Girls’ Education, a global body which aims to secure twelve years of education for girls. 


Dowrich-Phillips, Laura. “Anglican Bishop: Justice Weekes is Most Worthy Candidate.” Loop, 6 Jan. 2018, www.looptt.com/content/anglican-bishop-justice-weekes-most-worthy-candidate.  Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.


The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago. "Madame President: The Nation Welcomes the First Female  President." Trinidad & Tobago Guardian, 19 Mar. 2018, p. B11.


“Paula-Mae Weekes: Biography.” Council of Women World Leaders, www.councilwomenworldleaders.org/paula-mae-weekes.html. Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.


"The President." The Office of the President of Trinidad and Tobago, otp.tt/the-president/thepresident/. Accessed 8 Sept. 2020.

RODNEY WILKES (Weightlifting)
Born on 11th March, 1925, Rodney Wilkes enjoyed a successful weightlifting career that spanned 1942 to 1960. Wilkes, made his first impression on the international scene winning a gold medal in the featherweight class at the Central American and Caribbean Games in Baranquilla, Colombia, in 1946. He retained this title four years later with another gold in Guatemala in 1950.

At the Pan-American Games level, Wilkes competed I the first Pan American Games in Buenos Aires in 1951 where he won gold. He was also the winner of a gold and bronze at the then British Empire and commonwealth Games in Vancouver, Canada, and in Cardiff, Wales, in 1954 and 1958 respectively.

Rodney Wilkes took part in three Olympic Games, winning the first ever medal for Trinidad and Tobago when he was second to Fayad of Egypt in London, England in 1948. After the Olympic Games, he also won the British Empire Championships at the Scala Theatre four years later he went on to win a bronze with a total of 770 lbs. in Helsinki, Finland.

His Olympic career came to an end at the Olympic Games in Melbourne, Australia where he ended up in fourth place with his highest total of 727 1/2 lbs.

See more information on Trinidad and Tobago's Olympic medalists

Born on September 25, 1911 in Port of Spain, Eric Eustace Williams was the son of Eliza née Boissière and Thomas Henry Williams, a lower middle class Post Office Worker in Trinidad.  He was the first of twelve children.  His early education began at Tranquillity Boys’ Government School, from which he won an exhibition to Queen’s Royal College.  Although he was an ardent footballer and cricketer, he set academic records in Spanish, French, Latin and History.  His other recreations were music, art and literature.  He was married to Elsie Ribeiro, with whom he had two children, Alistair and Elsie Pamela and later, Soy Moyou with whom he had Erica.  His third wife was Mayleen Mook Sang.

In 1931, he won the Island Scholarship to Oxford University, England.  At Oxford, he placed first in the First Class of the History Honours School and received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1938.  His doctoral thesis, The Economic Aspect of the West Indian Slave Trade and Slavery, was considered an important contribution to research on the subject and was published in 1944 in Williams' Capitalism and Slavery.  He authored many other books on the Caribbean, education and politics, which included: The Negro in the Caribbean, History of the People of Trinidad and Tobago and From Columbus to Castro, and also, scores of scholarly journal articles.  In addition to being a scholar, he also became a professor, historian and politician. 

In 1939, Williams migrated to the United States to teach at Howard University.  He became an Assistant Professor of social and political sciences and organized several courses, especially a humanities course for which he developed a three-volume work called Documents Illustrating the Development of Civilization (1947).  While at Howard, Williams began to work as a consultant to the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission, a body set up after the war to study the future of the region.  In 1948, he left Howard to head the Research Branch of the Caribbean Commission, until his resignation in 1955.

Williams returned to Trinidad and Tobago and became more involved in politics.  His first major political speech entitled "My Relations with the Caribbean Commission" (1955) was delivered at the University of Woodford Square in Port of Spain, under the auspices of the People’s Education Movement of the Teachers Economic and Cultural Association.  Some other speeches delivered were: Economic Problems of Trinidad & Tobago, Constitution Reform in Trinidad & Tobago, The Historical Background of Race Relations in the Caribbean, The Case for Party Politics in Trinidad & Tobago, The Pros and Cons of Federation and Massa Day Done, and also the first Independence Day and the Independence Youth Rally addresses.

In 1956, Williams formed the People's National Movement (PNM) political party, which won national elections in September of that year, and became the Chief Minister of Trinidad and Tobago from 1956 to 1959.  He led the country to Cabinet Government (1959), becoming Premier from 1959-1962, and was also credited with being instrumental in Trinidad and Tobago’s full internal self-government (1960) and independence (1962).  Furthermore, he led the PNM to victory in subsequent general elections in 1961, 1966, 1971 and 1976.  Under his leadership, education progressed and also industry and commerce to some extent.  Dr. Eric Williams became the nation’s first Prime Minister when Trinidad and Tobago received its independence on August 31, 1962.  He died while in office on March 29, 1981, at the age of 69.  Often called the "Father of the Nation," Williams remains one of the most significant leaders in the history of Trinidad and Tobago.  

Honours and Awards:

  • Title of British Privy Councillor (1964)
  • Liberia’s Grand Band of the Star of Africa (1964)
  • Honorary doctorates: Honorary Doctorate of Civil Law, Oxford University (1964), Honorary Doctorates of Law, University of New Brunswick (1965) and Andrews University (1974); Honorary Doctorate of Letters, University of the West Indies (UWI) (1966)
  • Companion of Honour by Queen Elizabeth II (1969) 
  • Venezuela’s Order of the Liberator Simon Bolivar, El Collar (1970)
  • Order of the Southern Cross of Brazil (1971)
  • Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee Medal (1977)
  • Trinidad and Tobago’s highest award, the Trinity Cross of the Order of the Trinity (2002)
  • South Africa’s highest award, the Order of the Supreme Companions of O.R. Tambo, Gold (2007)
  • Eric Williams Centenary Stamps collection (2011)
  • Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Champs Fleurs 
  • Eric Williams Financial Complex, Port of Spain
  • Eric Williams Memorial Collection at UWI (included in UNESCO’s Memory of the World Register)
  • UWI scholarships and prizes: The Eric Williams Memorial Scholarship and The Eric Williams Prize for History
  • Annual Eric E. Williams Memorial Lecture

He as also featured in many calypsoes, such as: The Mighty Sparrow’s “PAYE (Paye As You Earn)” and “Federation,” and Cypher’s “Last Election”.


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  • “Scholarships and Prizes.” Eric Williams Memorial Collection Newsletter Feb. 2004: 11. Web. 11 Dec. 2012.
  • Trinidad and Tobago Postal Corporation. Centenary of the birth of Dr. Eric Williams 1911-2011. N.p.: n.d. Print.
  • Williams, Eric E. Eric E. Williams Speaks: Essays on Colonialism and Independence ; Updated with New Material. Ed. Selwyn R. Cudjoe. Wellesley, MA: Calaloux, 1997. Print.