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Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to launch autobiography this month

Dr. Ralph Gonsalves to launch autobiography this month


by Kenton X. Chance Fri, Oct 15, 2010

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves will on October 20 launch his 397-page autobiography, “The Making of ‘The Comrade’: The Political Journey of Ralph Gonsalves”, his second book this month.{{more}}

The book will be launched with a panel discussion in Kingstown, with Barbadian jurist Sir Richard Cheltenham as guest presenter.

Gonsalves will launch his autobiography after returning from a trip to the Middle East.

He told supporters of his Unity Labour Party (ULP) at a rally in Stubbs on Thursday, October 7, that he completed the monograph in four months and was inspired to write it after six young students, ages 18 and 19 visited him.

“And, as I spoke to them, I realise that when we came to office, they were just nine years old, and there are many things they don’t know about the Comrade. There are many things they don’t know about those of us who were born immediately after the Second World War, much less to those who were born before. And the journey we have travelled from plantation system and British colonialism to independence,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves, a lawyer and former university lecturer, said he has been a political activist for 42 years, explaining that his “journey” began on October 16, 1968, when he was president of the student body at the University of the West Indies in Jamaica.

He said he led a demonstration of several thousands in Kingston after the then government, “in an act of unfreedom and arbitrariness”, prevented Walter Rodney from returning to Jamaica.

He said many persons were beaten and teargassed, and the University was locked down and surrounded by the military for two weeks.

“And, I quietly made up my mind as a 22-year-old young man that I will put my bucket down among the Caribbean people and more particularly the people of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, the land of my birth, and to give to them the benefit of my knowledge and my experience and commitment to bring decency to public life, freedom, deepening democracy, to help to wipe out poverty, to provide education for everyone, health, housing, development.

“And those things, which moved me as a 22-year-old youngster, they move me today, 42 years later at 64 years of age. And this is my journey and this is the journey of our people,” Gonsalves said.

Gonsalves also launched “Diary of a Prime Minister: Ten days among Benedictine Monks” at a prayer breakfast in Kingstown on Thursday, October 7.