Senator Diallo Rabain with his family. *Photo supplied
Senator Diallo Rabain with his family. *Photo supplied

FRIDAY, FEB. 17: Political newcomer Diallo Rabain is to deliver the keynote address at the 49th annual Founders’ Day lunch for the ruling PLP.

Senator Rabain, who was appointed to the Upper House only last November, was asked to address the theme of ‘Through struggle comes growth and success’.

Sen Rabain, who has also been adopted as the PLP candidate for Hamilton South, admitted: “I was very surprised to be asked.

Honour

“I’m not normally taken aback, but the magnitude of the event took me off-guard. But I willingly stepped up to the plate — I said I’d definitely be honoured to do it.”

Sen Rabain said that the struggle for equality which gave birth to the PLP had changed into a different kind of struggle after the party won in 1998 following years in the political wilderness.

He added: “I’m looking to tie in my speech with the origins of the party, why it came to be and the things they thought were wrong in Bermuda in those days.

“In the Sixties a certain type of struggle needed to take place — as went into the Nineties, leading up to the PLP victory in 1998. There was a struggle, but it was a different kind of struggle.

“Now we’ve been in government for 13 years, we’re in a different kind of struggle again.

“I want to reach out to the older members and recognize what they achieved. They need to be applauded and should be applauded.

“Now we’ve been able to create a different mindset in Bermuda. Our election victory signalled the end of one kind of struggle and the start of another — to be the best Government we can.”

Sen Rabain said the PLP was still committed to “continuously support the average person in Bermuda”.

He added: “That’s what we face today — striking the balance between bringing forward policies and going in a direction where the whole of Bermuda can benefit.

“Have there been bumps in the road? Absolutely. Have there been fatal bumps in the road? I would disagree with that.

“We’re the best choice for people in Bermuda as a whole.”

He added: “The upcoming election is going to be very interesting — I predict a PLP victory, but the PLP will be courting voters who haven’t known any other kind of government.

“To them, we are the establishment. The struggle is to get those voters to understand, yes, we are the establishment, but we’re looking out for you.

“The struggle is to get those voters to understand that this government is the best they can have.

“We can do that, as long as we get out to the people. That’s very important.”

The married father-of-one trained as an electrical engineer, working for Government after graduation, and later set up a land surveying and architectural drafting firm with two partners.

He is a former Reserve police officer, based in St George’s and Somerset, as has also been president of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity in Bermuda on two occasions, as well as serving on the National Training Board.

Sen Rabain said: “The 1998 election victory is a moment I hope the PLP can recapture — the excitement of people and saying ‘we won’.

“There’s nothing more exciting than knowing the people of Bermuda are one hundred per cent behind you.”

The PLP Founders’ Day lunch takes place at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess on Sunday at 1:30pm. Tickets are $65 or $130 for Patrons, available at PLP headquarters. E-mail info@plp.bm or call 292-2264.