PNM's National Women's League 49th Annual Conference

Senator the Honourable Joan Yuille-Williams receives a token of appreciation from Councillor Denise Aleong-Thomas
LEFT: Senator the Honourable Joan Yuille-Williams receives a token
of appreciation from Councillor Denise Aleong-Thomas Reporters
Event Date: September 10, 2006
Posted: September 13, 2006

The PNM's National Women's League 49th Annual Conference took place on Sunday 10th September, 2006 in the Assembly Hall at the Chaguanas Junior Secondary School. Members of the league as well as invited guests were all dressed in white which created a pretty picture when gathered close together but was still impossible to deflect the tremendous heat of the full room.

The morning session included the presentation and discussion of the minutes of the 39th Annual Conference, the presentation of reports and the election of officers for the 2006-2007 term.

After the Prime Minister and the other ministerial representatives had their lunch, they joined the rest of those present to initiate the formal part of the meeting. The Honourable Mrs. Penelope Beckles, Minister of Public Utilities, presented a resolution on behalf of the Women's League and members of the league then had the opportunity to address issues that affected them such as high food prices and how it affects the country.

Following the cultural segment in which the young Sunshine De Silva presented an enjoyable monologue, was a brief address by the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, the Honourable Mrs. Joan Yuille-Williams who commended the success of the organization. She also did the installation of the officers for the 2006-2007 term. The officers are:

First Vice-Chairman, Eulalie James
Second Vice-Chairman, Anna Acosta-Grant
Third Vice-Chairman, Valerie Achille
Secretary, Denise Aleong-Thomas
Assistant Secretary, Marva Bostic
Treasurer, Irene Hinds
Education Officer, Dama Wallace
Public Relations Officer, Penelope Beckles
Welfare Officer, Angela Vincent

Representatives to General Council: Denise Aleong-Thomas, Anna Acosta Grant and A. Cox.

Representatives to Central Executive: Denise Aleong-Thomas.

Delegates to Annual Convention: Rita Mitchell, Hyacinth Johnson and Carol Reid.

Next up was a special presentation by guest speaker, Ms. Elizabeth Thompson, Minister of Energy and the Environment of Barbados. She declared that it was an honour to be associated with the People's National Movement's Women's League which has been in existence for 40 years and a political party that was around for half a century. She praised the PNM for recognizing the importance of women and ensuring a space for them to develop and promote the work of the party. She also stressed the importance of the theme of the event, "Reflecting and Continuing the Journey" which should be, according to Ms. Thompson, a main initiative of the party. She reminded the women of the league to continue to give their support for the PNM, especially in the hardest of times and reminded them that while other parties fight among themselves the PNM remains a united and unshakable force to be reckoned with.

Moreover, she boldly reminded the audience that one of the biggest roles of women in Trinidad and Tobago is to help in the transformation of the country. Women, according to Ms. Thompson, have the innate responsibility of taking care of things and the women of the PNM's Women's League had the natural responsibility of bringing morality to politics.

She ended by stating that the PNM cannot effect change unless they are victorious in the national elections and urged members of the league, and the country by extension, to continue to support the PNM, particularly during the elections period.

The feature speaker of the evening, the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, the Honourable Mr. Patrick Manning, also had a lot say at the function. He began by thanking the women of the Women's League for their hospitality and the wonderful meal that he and his wife, Mrs. Hazel Manning had earlier and congratulated the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mr. Owen Arthur, for taking on a new bride. He wished him ", length and strength...," explaining that he wished him a healthy and lengthy married life, and hoping that he had the strength to deal with all that marriage requires.

He stated that he found that no successful political activity can take place without women and so he looks forward to their participation in the next general elections.

Mr. Manning claimed that contrary to popular belief, all political parties are not alike and that the PNM has proven itself a party worthy of praise. He claimed that the evidence is in the work that they have done for the country and pointed to the work done with regards to housing, education and health. He also addressed some of the failures of the government such as the failure of the local government system . Further, he suggested that consociationalism in the form of a power-sharing arrangement should be the type of government that should be examined for implementation in the country.

After the cultural item of the evening on pan by Ms. Casey Mohammed, there was the presentation of awards and tokens to members of the PNM and Women's League who had made outstanding contributions to the party and the country.

The evening ended with a vote of thanks by Mrs. Penelope Beckles who thanked all in attendance for coming, and for the hardworking and dedicated members of the PNM's Women's League.

PNM's National Women's League 49th Annual Conference in pictures:

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