In an interview filled with many emotions, the first PRO of the UNC, the now 87 year-old Mr. Lloyd Williams, sat down with The Checklist. to share his reflections of the UNC through his many years of activism and experience .
The Early Years
Lloyd Williams always knew that the PNM was never the right fit for this country. He never saw them as bringing tangible value or change to the country. He saw very clearly that the PNM only served themselves and their financiers. So, after spending 21 years in England, specialising in marketing and purchasing, he and his wife Norva returned to the country they loved, Trinidad and Tobago and became involved with politics. Assisting behind-the-scenes where needed.
UNC Represents Equality
On being asked by the staff writer, “How did you get into politics and why align yourself with the UNC?”, Mr. Williams reminisced about the bittersweet moment when the NAR government would split. And when Club 88 was formed to eventually become the United National Congress.
Williams explained about his friend Sonny Singh and himself and why they decided to support Basdeo Panday. Mr. Panday and by extension, the UNC, proved that they treated everyone fairly and even within the UNC there was equality and equity of treatment and opportunities. This is what made Sonny and me choose this party. He added, “The PNM purports itself to be an afro-centric party which is ironic given that they deem everyone anti-PNM, a racist.”
Becoming the first PRO of the UNC, Williams was there to see the brotherhood amongst the founders; Basdeo Panday, Roodal Moonilal and Kelvin Ramnath.
He said even when they had disagreements, they always put their party first. To his recollection he said that there was an occasion when he had wanted to serve a second time as the party’s PRO. Mr. Panday however, felt that Hulsie Bhaggan should be given that opportunity.
As a man of integrity and UNC loyalty, he decided to step down, meet with Hulsie on evenings at his restaurant and train her for the position. Williams said, “I understood the objective and common goal of the party. Mr. Panday was not telling me that I was not good enough, but that I was more valuable elsewhere.”
Sharing the same Political Ideals
Mr. Williams’ face lit up when he was asked about his most satisfying experience as UNC PRO. He resoundingly said, “My wife!” as he chuckled. He said that Norva had stood by his side through it all and he recalled several activities they had financed through their pockets just to foster community spirit within the party. “I used the newspapers and telephone, I remembered we actually called party group members personally.” He spoke about cricket matches, fashion shows, all four’s tournaments and one of his proudest was the ‘Tribute to Unsung Heroes’ where persons like; Lord Kitchener, Jit Samaroo, Winford Des Vignes and Andy Gauteaume were honoured.
Pride in the UNC
When questioned about why he stayed with the party for so many decades, Williams told The Checklist.
UNC is a rare political party!
The PNM sells propaganda. They are a cult.
They are campaigning when in government or even opposition. UNC truly cares about the people as their track record proves this. Take for instance the Children’s Life Fund: Cabinet Note Number 1, by one of the best Prime Ministers, Mrs. Kamla Persad Bissessar.”
Pride echoed off his voice as he began speaking about the Opposition Leader, “Kamla has been good to us, the people. We have much to thank her for. Her performance speaks on its own. I remembered the day she was sworn in. What a milestone we met! The current PM can’t even fit in her shoes. It’s like comparing chalk and cheese.”
Words for the Young Voters
On giving advice to young voters, Williams explained, “It would be expected of me to say vote UNC. I would say though, make an informed and I mean informed decision and vote UNC. When one makes an informed decision, they are forced to analyse data and then you would realise what is the solution. Which is the United National Congress. With tears brimming in his eyes, Mr. Lloyd Williams said,
If I had to do at all over again with the UNC, I would. I love UNC!
I commend The Checklist. for being proactive and launching a new media forum so that the truth can be revealed given that mainstream media has failed to investigate and report fairly and accurately.
-Kriss S. Hosein