Mr. Carlton Gomes


Tribute paid to Mr. Carlton Gomes by Mr. Patrick Manning in the House of Representatives on Friday June 6, 2003.

The Prime Minister and Minister of Finance (Hon. Patrick Manning): Mr. Speaker, Carlton Kenneth Anthony Gomes died on Tuesday last. He was a member of Parliament and was first appointed to the Senate in October 1969 as a Parliamentary Secretary. Some of us here would remember that following the events of April 1970 when portfolios were realigned in the Government at that time, Mr. Gomes was appointed Minister of Education, in May of that year.

Prior to his advent to politics, he was a teacher and Research Officer, in the Educational Planning Unit, first in the Prime Minister's Office and then in the Ministry of Education and Culture. He actually spent 22 years in the public
service. In the Ministry of Education and Culture, he was Secretary and Administrative Officer of the Board of Teachers’ Training and National Examinations Council for Vocational and Technical Education. Later, he became Secretary of the Central Coordinating Committee of the ministry and, subsequently, editor of the ministry's monthly newspaper.

He is one of the gentlemen who was associated with the formation of the People’s National Movement in 1956, when the Late Dr. Eric Williams first came on the scene. Carlton Gomes was relatively young at that time and was associated with those momentous events. He, therefore, has had a distinguished record within the political party also and the PNM owes him a debt of gratitude.

He was elected field officer of the movement in 1964 and he became, eventually, a member of the general council of the party and then a member of the party’s central executive. He also served the PNM as a member of the disciplinary committee, a member of the entertainment committee and a member of the central elections committee. This was his contribution to the political life of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Speaker.

When I came into Parliament in 1971, as a young man then, Mr. Carlton Gomes was the person on whom I relied for guidance and assistance. He was always available in those difficult years when the politics within the PNM was a
little more competitive than it is today, in some respects. Mr. Gomes is someone on whom I could have relied for advice, inspiration and guidance. The pitfalls that lay in the path of young politicians were many and so I developed a relationship with Mr. Gomes who, incidentally, was a contemporary of my father.

When Mr. Gomes left Parliament, I think it was in 1981, he pursued a life in publishing—he became a publisher of books; faithful to that education cause in which he served so many years of his life. I think that the politics of Trinidad and Tobago was enriched by the advent of Mr. Gomes to it and by the time that he served.

I would like to, on behalf of my colleagues on this side and I am sure I can speak for Members of this House, record our appreciation for Mr. Gomes, his life, and his contribution to the political and therefore economic and social
development of Trinidad and Tobago.

May God bless his soul.