Tobago Chamber in turmoil as George quits

To­ba­go Cham­ber of In­dus­try and Com­merce vice chair­man Mar­tin George has re­signed.

George, who was part of the new man­age­ment com­mit­tee head­ed by new chair­man Claude Benoit, was elect­ed and in­stalled along­side Benoit in March this year.

But in a shock­ing turn of events, Benoit was re­moved from his po­si­tion by an ex­ec­u­tive vote be­fore George, who was to take over as chair­man, re­signed and made the de­ci­sion pub­lic via a state­ment on his Face­book page on Tues­day night.

George, a lawyer, said he had sub­mit­ted his res­ig­na­tion to the To­ba­go Cham­ber and was im­me­di­ate­ly de­part­ing the po­si­tion.

"Re­gret­ful­ly, the de­mands of my of­fice dic­tate that I will not be able to de­vote the time re­quired to con­tin­ue with this, which ap­pears to be rather cycli­cal and in my re­spect­ful view counter-pro­duc­tive, in­stead of be­ing for­ward-mov­ing and pro­gres­sive and I here­by re­lin­quish the port­fo­lio of vice-chair­man with im­me­di­ate ef­fect."

George said he will con­tin­ue to work along with To­bag­o­ni­ans to serve To­ba­go and ad­vo­cate for the needs of the is­land, as he had done for decades through his 10 years as a T&T Guardian colum­nist and through hun­dreds of ap­pear­ances on var­i­ous talk shows on tele­vi­sion, ra­dio, lec­ture halls and cot­tage and town meet­ings.

"Once you have a gen­uine pas­sion and com­mit­ment to serve peo­ple and to be pro-ac­tive about it, you can do so wher­ev­er you are and who­ev­er you are; and I will con­tin­ue to do so," George said.

Last week, sev­er­al news­pa­per re­ports sur­faced high­light­ing the in­ter­nal squab­bles among the mem­bers of the To­ba­go Cham­ber af­ter their at­tempts to oust Benoit due to poor man­age­ment.

Benoit was re­moved as chair­man and George as­sum­ing au­thor­i­ty as head of the busi­ness body. a move de­scribed by some as a coup with­in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Oth­er mem­bers of the man­age­ment com­mit­tee, in­clud­ing im­me­di­ate out­go­ing chair­man De­mi John Cruick­shank, have re­mained tightlipped on the cur­rent sit­u­a­tion with­in the ex­ec­u­tive.

More on this sto­ry as it comes to hand.

- by Casandra Thompson-Forbes

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