Dr Eric Eustace Williams
Born on the 25th September 1911.
Died on the 29th March 1981.
Ethnicity French Creole
Chief Minister 28th October 1956 to 9th July 1959 (2 years, 254 days).
Premier 9 July 1959 31 August 1962 (3 years, 53 days).
Prime Minister 31 August 1962 to 29 March 1981 Died in Office (18 years, 210 days)
A Caribbean historian, and is regarded as "The Father of The Nation."
He was educated at Queen's Royal College and won the Island
Scholarship to Oxford University. At Oxford, he placed first in the
First Class of the History Honours School and received his Doctor
of Philosophy degree in 1938.
Was appointed to the Anglo-American Caribbean Commission in 1944.
On the 15th January, 1956 inaugurated his own political party, the People's National Movement (PNM), which would take Trinidad and Tobago into independence in 1962.
He introduced a 5% levy to fund unemployment reduction and established the first locally owned commercial bank.
Books he Authored
History of the people of Trinidad and Tobago
British Capitalism and British Slavery
Education in the British West Indies
Documents of West Indian History
The Negro in the Caribbean
From Columbus to Castro: the history of the Caribbean, 1492-1969
Capitalism And Slavery
Message to the Youth of the Nation
Independence Youth Rally, Queen’s Park Oval
30th August 1962
The Nation is on the march. There is no turning back. The road from now on leads forward and only forward Your responsibility, therefore, is a very heavy one. If you shirk it, you betray our Nation. If you fail in that responsibility, you jeopardize our Nation.
I have given to the Nation as its watchwords, Discipline, Production, Tolerance. They apply as much to you the young people as your parents.
The discipline is both individual and national; the individual cannot be allowed to seek his personal interest and gratify his personal ambition at the expense of our Nation.
We must produce in order to enjoy. Wealth does not drop from the skies for any individual or any Nation. Reduce production, skylark on the job, take twice as long to do a job and make it cost twice as much – do any of these things and in effect, you reduce the total amount available to be shared among the total number of people, you don’t pull your weight, and you fatten at the expense of others.
Your rally here today is a good demonstration of our mixed society. Some of you have ancestors who came from one country. Some of you profess one religion, some another, others a third of forth. You in your schools have, like the Nation in general, only two alternatives – you learn to live together in peace, or you fight it out and destroy one another. The second alternative makes no sense and is sheer barbarism. The first alternative is civilized and is simple common sense. You, the children is the great responsibility to educate your parents. Teach them to live together in harmony, the difference being not race or colour of skin but merit only, differences of wealth and family status being rejected in favour of equality of opportunity. I call upon all of you young people to practice what you sing today and tomorrow, to translate the ideal of our National Anthem into a code of everyday behavior, and to make our Nation one in which “every creed and race find an equal place”.
I give to you, the young people, one additional principle on which to base your lives for the salvation of our Nation. This principle is honesty. In your future career you will at some time or other have responsibility for money that is not yours, weather your employer is the Government of the country or a private firm. Every country makes special provision for the control of public expenditure and for the protection of the property of its citizens. In the final analysis, however. The control is exercised not by the Government or by the police but by the citizens themselves. Make honesty the guiding principle of your lives from this day forward. Let your ambition be the development of a Nation which, whatever its limitations, is distinguished in the eyes of the world by the honesty and integrity of its citizens.
And so I say to you young people, forward to Independence, Do not allow anyone to disrespect our National Flag. Do not allow anyone to destroy one single National Bird. Do not allow anyone to desecrate our National Anthem. They are your Flag, your Birds, your Anthem. It is your Nation, even more than it is the Nation of your parents. You are the future; we are at best the present, at worst the past.
To your tender and loving hands the future of the Nation is entrusted. In your innocent hearts the pride of the Nation is enshrined. On your scholastic development the salvation of the Nation is dependent. At the birth of our Nation, four of its leading personalities, four of the people with the heaviest responsibility for its guidance, in the Cabinet, Parliament and the Judiciary, are scholarship winners, educated abroad at the expense of your parents, the taxpayers: the Prime Minister, the Chief Justice, The Deputy Prime Minister and the Leader of the House of Representatives, and the Leader of the Opposition. When you return to your classes after Independence, remember therefore, each and every one of you, that you carry the future of Trinidad and Tobago in your school bags.