Advertisement 87
Advertisement 211
Government senator, Julian Francis speaking in Parliament on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
Government senator, Julian Francis speaking in Parliament on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
Advertisement 219

Government Senator Julian Francis, on Thursday, made his first speech in Parliament after suffering a stroke last July.

It was only the second meeting of the national assembly that Francis attended since falling ill.

Thursday’s special sitting of the Parliament marked the final gathering of the national assembly in the 200-year-old building that was built as its home.

Francis spoke after Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves, spoke for 46 minutes and Opposition Leader Godwin Friday and opposition MP St. Clair Leacock each delivered 20-minute speeches reflecting on the history and significance of the Parliament building.

“… look as if we’re gonna be here all night. And I don’t think that I can take the all night,” Francis said, adding, “So, I will say a few words like we had agreed on.”

Advertisement 271

He, who spoke for four minutes, said his understanding was that each person would speak for two or three minutes.

The minister of urban development, energy, airports, seaports, grenadines affairs and local government, said that it had been a long time since he attended a meeting of Parliament.

He noted that he attended the ceremonial sitting to mark the official visit of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Dec. 5.

“I came to that sitting. But I’m getting the pieces back together. I’m not made for long speeches right now, but I will get to the point where I may have long speeches again,” said Francis, who is also general secretary of the ruling Unity Labour Party and has been a senator since April 2001.

He congratulated the contractor who built the temporary Parliament building in Calliaqua.

“I have not been to see the final product. Naturally, it was under my ministry it started. Prime Minister is carrying that now.  No wonder he is looking so young carrying this kind of workload,” Francis said of the 76-year-old leader.

Building a new wharf in town, building a new port and building a new Parliament at the same time, I think has done very well for him. He has lost about 28 pounds … — over 50 pounds,” he said of Gonsalves, his first cousin.

Francis thanked all the former parliamentarians who attended the special sitting, saying it was good seeing all of them.

“I didn’t think we wanted to use this session as a backbiting session but say what the parliament was like, our comrades are here, our former parliamentarians. They’re not here for a rehashing of what happened in the past,” Francis said.

“So, I do apologise if you are being badly treated. I have great respect for you all and if I leave during the next one or two speakers, just because I didn’t plan for a long afternoon here at the Parliament,” the senator said.

4 replies on “Francis makes first speech in Parliament 10 months after stroke”

  1. Take warning says:

    After one is two and it’s aways worst than I the first , the first is the beginning…

  2. Take warning says:

    It is written, The merciful man doeth good to his own soul , but he that is cruel troubleth his own flesh .

Comments closed.