Free movement at Calvary Hill
By RALPH BANWARIE Thursday, August 2 2012
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WELL-DRESSED: This well-dressed woman, who did not want to give her name, is seen in a pensive mood during prayers yesterday at the annual Cannon Blas...
ARIMA’S Mayor Ghassan Youseph has promised the Carib Community of the Eastern Borough that never again would they be prevented from entering Calvary Hill where they normally hold a traditional religious service prior to the Cannon Blast.
Youseph was responding to Ricardo Bharath who complained about meeting the gates locked at Calvary Hill for two consecutive years causing a late start to the annual celebration which heralds the start of activities to mark the anniversary of Arima’s status as a Borough.
Youseph said plans are in the pipeline to develop and modernise the area so challenges like locked gates will be a thing of the past. He also promised to have water tanks to ensure a constant water supply in time for Cannon Blast 2013.
He wished all the people of Trinidad and Tobago a happy Emancipation Day which was observed yesterday as a public holiday. “May this day bless us with continued success as a young nation,” he said.
Rodger Samuel, Member of Parliament for Arima and Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister said traditions of a nation are dynamic and critical to keep a country going.
He said the first people of Trinidad had its roots for many years flowing from one generation to a next for which all of Trinidad and Tobago is very proud.
Samuel said without heritage a lot will be lost and already a lot has been lost in TT but the Carib community is a shining example who are ensuring that its culture is not lost but grows and pass on from one generation. This is a fact and can be supported by the number of young caribs who are all taking an active part in the service.
Bharath, a Carib Chief in his short address thanked Mayor Youseph, Deputy Mayor Patricia Cedeno Metivier and councillors Flora Singh, Vedea Mahabir and Wayne Betrand who ensured that all preparations were put in place for the Cannon Blast. He also thanks MP Rodger Samuel for taking time off from his Emancipation Day celebrations to attend the function which began at six o’clock yesterday morning.
“Support by your presence makes us feel wanted and motivate us to move forward with the kind of enthusiasm that will bring success,” Bharath said.
The service was immediately followed by the traditional Cannon Blast which announces the beginning of festivities to commemorate the Chartered Borough of Arima’s 124th anniversary.
In times gone by, Bharath said, burgesses were alerted by the blowing of a conch shell but this was replaced by Governor Hollis, a regular visitor to Arima Borough Day festivities, who donated a cannon for this purpose.
In addition to signalling the start of festivities, cannon blasts are used on several other days throughout the celebrations. The actual cannon is not used nowadays and instead explosives simulating such a blast are detonated by officers from the Trinidad and Tobago Regiment.