Monday, September 3, 2012


I had deliberately stayed out of the debate about the "fifty most important people" because (full disclosure here) I felt that the contribution of my uncle, Bobby Montano, was probably the single most important contribution to T&T's development in the last 100 years. I couldn't believe that nobody thought to highlight it or even mention it. Maybe I should have. I certainly could have ... easily. But I have always felt a certain reticence in blowing my own or my family's trumpet and I thought that at the very least that serious commentators and persons who genuinely care about T&T might have done so.

But now that the fiftieth anniversary celebrations are over and no one has "stepped up to the plate" I feel that at the very least I should use this space to bring to the attention of anybody who really cares about this little country and its history, something that has been completely overlooked.

What am I talking about? In two words: Point Lisas! The development of Point Lisas was the brain child of my uncle who led the South Trinidad Chamber of Commerce and pushed it ... hard! At first, the Williams led administration wouldn't "take the height" of the south based businessmen who used their own time and their own money to get the idea off the ground. Dr. Eric Williams simply wasn't imterested! It was only after everything had been planned and a way forward had been mapped out that the Government moved and took over Point Lisas. (And by the way, ask people like Bobby Montano, Krishna Narinesingh and Sydney Knox how the Government came to take over PLIPDECO as the Point Lisas Development Company Limited is called. That story will almost make you cry with the unfairness of it all!) Incidentally, would you believe that most young people now believe that it was Eric Williams who thought up Point Lisas?!

But the story of Point Lisas is not being told and neither is there sufficient recognition of those who pushed it. And without the development of Point Lisas we wouldn't be anywhere near the development that we are at today. It is the single most important story coming out of Trinidad & Tobago in the last 100 years and has impacted all of our lives in a most positive way.

Instead, we read of "fifty greats" like, for example, musician Roy Cape. Now, I have always liked the music of Mr. Cape, but are we seriously saying that his music was of greater importance to T&T than the development at Point Lisas?  And if you say that is not the point, that music and the arts ought to be recognised as well, I will reply that I couldn't agree more, but that the operative words in that sentence are "as well". And, incidentally, this is NOT to be construed as a criticism of Mr. Cape.

We need not only to be aware of our history but why it is so important that we get it right ... now! Put another way, we need to be truthful.


  1. Thank you Robin for exploding the last fig leaf which could be raised in defense of the national disaster that was Eric Williams. Would that his malign and lingering legacy were that easily exorcised out of the national psyche. Beware for your temerity of myth shattering revelation will have earned few friends but many implacable foes.

  2. And I thought you understood politics Senator. Remember, it is an institution with a morality of its own...a phrase coined by your former 'idol'

  3. You are quite right, who really cares about the History
    of Trinidad?
    They do what suits them best all because of 'EGO'
    and who they want to promote.
    I must say something, which may sound bias, but its
    not, its just how I see it
    I have no problem with honouring Keshorn Walcott but
    I have a problem with giving him the Highest Award for the
    50th Independence Anniversary.
    There are many more mature people who really served this
    lovely country of ours very well whom they could have Honoured
    that way.
    Sorry to say but this was a 'Political' choice as everything else.

  4. Robin;

    Lets hear more about Point Lisas and the role Bobby played in its development.

    It is a GREAT story.

    I enjoy reading your views and updates.

  5. Wow!! And I am one of those “young people” that thought Eric was the brainchild! That story needs to be highlighted! And yes , you are damm right about the stupid stance the PNM

    took on the 50th celebrations. And I cant wait to read your blog on the present COP ultimatum on the removal of Jack !

    You need to get back into politics!