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Max likened to Lara for role as President
Acting President Christine Kangaloo yesterday compared former president George Maxwell Richards to West Indies batting legend Brian Lara as someone who carried the aspirations and values of our nation on his shoulders for years.
This was the message Kangaloo delivered in paying tribute to Richards at his funeral service at the National Academy of the Performing Arts, Port-of-Spain.
Kangaloo said when Richards died, T&T loss more than our fourth President.
“We lost one of the few remaining giants of a generation that is leaving us all too quickly. We lost a human being whose life stood out as one of the more notable examples in modern times of what it is to be great and humble at the same time.”
She described Richards as a devoted husband, loving husband and dignified statesman.
Richards’ life bridged the past and future, Kangaloo said.
While stern and polite, Kangaloo said Richards at the same time was the fun-loving, forward-thinking, salt of the earth inventor of the all- inclusive fete. She said he was “a man who everybody loved.”
Richards’ celebration of the country’s festivals, Kangaloo said, made us feel deeply connected to him.
“He was a man who could talk with crowds and keep his virtue and walk with kings and not lose the common touch.”
Richards filled a crucial role in our democracy Kangaloo said: “At a critical time in our nation’s history.”
She drew reference to the game of cricket, saying that one of the vital roles was the number four spot which was the backbone of batting in every team, which Richards filled.
“Former president Richards came in at number four among our nation’s presidents, following a line of distinguished office holders who gave us a great start.”
Kangaloo said Richards was the country’s first president who did not have a legal background but his life experiences prepared him for the role.
“And so it was, that, like Brian Lara that his number four counterpart of the West Indies cricket team at that time, former president Richards turned out to be one of the finest talents ever seen by the game. Like Brian, he carried the aspirations and values of the nation on his shoulders for a decade.”
And finally, when he laid down the uneasy crown of public life, Kangaloo said he illuminated an entire nation.
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