Activities to celebrate Tobago Day this week have been curtailed due to financial constraints.
So said Chief Secretary Kelvin Charles, speaking at Monday’s sod-turning ceremony for a 20-megawatt upgrade project at the Cove Power Station in Lowlands.
Charles said while the activities have been reduced because of “our financial difficulties,” at the same time, we would continue to ensure that people recognise that it is a significant part of our evolving history and we need to pay cognisant to it.
Tobago Day replaces the original Assembly Day held on December 4 to commemorate the establishment of the Tobago House of Assembly and its contribution to the development of Tobago over the years.
Charles also said that there will be no Tobago Day Awards this year as the committee only received three submissions and they were not considered worthy.
“The committee that would have been set up to adjudicate on the awards only received three applications and they were of the view that the three applicants did not meet the required standard for celebrations. We are talking about awards for excellence and you certainly do not want to water down the brand,” Charles told reporters.
Recognising outstanding contribution and significant achievements by Tobagonians over the past year, the awards include the Tobago Medal of Honour - gold, silver and bronze. The Gold award, which is the highest award, is given for distinguished and outstanding service to the island
The Tobago Day celebrations began on Sunday with a church service at the Nazarene Church in Canaan. Today, a Youth debate will be held at the Assembly Legislature, along with an exhibition.