Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar recalled the warmth and humanness which Valley brought to the House.
“We in this Parliament will continue to hear the echo of his strong and anxious voice as he made his statements, or exchanged picong with those of us on the opposite side, or tried to banter with the Chair, or met with us privately to resolve some matter of Parliamentary procedure,” she said.
“What Ken Valley showed us was the warm personification of the sometimes cold principles of the Westminster tradition: that you battled with all your might here in the Chamber, on behalf of your Party and Constituency, but in the rooms of retreat and the corridors of collaboration, you fought with all your mind on behalf of our Nation and our better selves.”
Persad-Bissessar said Valley had shown how the House should work.
“We meet, we debate. At times we debate about how we should meet, and debate again. We agree, we disagree. We agree to disagree. We take, we give, and we take in order to give. These are the ways by which he lived, and the reason why he was always fearless with those next to him, and of fairness with those across from him.”
She said her eulogy must be as “simple, as direct and as authentic as the man himself,” even as she paraphrased his famous remarks to an embattled former Speaker that ‘you could run but you can’t hide,’ to now say to him in praise, “Kenneth Valley, you can pass on but you cannot hide.”
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley said Valley had shown that there is honour in public service, which need not be humdrum, but in which Valley showed a joy d’vivre. “Big in heart, happy, helpful, reliable person,” was how Rowley recalled Valley. He said the parliamentary staff liked Valley. He praised Valley for carrying out all five of his political roles well at the same time.