EDUCATOR and theatre practitioner James Lee Wah, the man credited with saving the picturesque San Fernando Hill from destruction, was among four San Fernandians honoured by the Greater San Fernando Chamber (GSFCC) at its Christmas gala .
Former mayor Ian Atherly, cardiologist Dr Roy Tilluckdharry and entrepreneur and soca/chutney produce George Singh were also honoured for their contribution, not only to the development of San Fernando and TT, but globally, on November 23.
Lee Wah, a former principal of Naparima College, had to be wheeled to the front of the stage to receive his award – a far cry from the days when he stood firm with his hands in the air to stop the trucks and backhoes from quarrying the hill which still towers over the city. Mayor Junia Regrello presented Lee Wah with his award.
Atherly, a cultural activist and the last TT cyclist to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games, 45 years ago, said he was happy to be bestowed with this honour.
He said he was never recognised for winning the bronze medal when he represented TT at the Commonwealth Games in Christ Church, New Zealand. When his sister Paula reopened Atherly’s By the Park, San Fernando, earlier this year, she gave him a wall of fame to celebrate notable nationals.
“The only picture hanging on that wall of fame is mine. Nobody recognised me, so I recognised myself, and now it is strange that I have been invited by your organisation to accept this award. It is an honour to be here and I am grateful,” Atherly said.
Tilluckdharry, who was born in Penal but has lived most of his adult life in San Fernando, comes from a family of 15 doctors. He has left his mark as a cardiologist around the globe and continues to practise and pass on his knowledge and vast experience to younger doctors.
Singh, CEO of Southex, which produces the Chutney Soca Monarch and Southex Trade shows, said his award was the icing on the cake of a pretty good year for his organisation.
For the first time this year chutney soca was taken to Toronto, and Southex landed contracts across the Caribbean.
GSFC president Kiran Singh said the second Christmas gala dinner and awards ceremony, held at Mynah Building, Cipero Street, was to raise funds for charity in the coming year and also to reinject economic lifeblood into San Fernando.
He said the chamber, which is three years old, now boasts 100 members and is attracting people from the Couva, Princes Town and Penal districts.