THERE will be traffic restrictions and no drones allowed for the reopening of the Red House on Friday.
This was reported by Parliament communications manager Jason Elcock during a media briefing held at the chamber entrance, Tower D, International Waterfront Centre, Port of Spain, where both houses of Parliament and all auxiliary facilities had been temporarily relocated in 2011 to allow for urgent restoration works on the historic building.
Elcock explained that the reopening, which begins at 10.30 am, will be similar to the ceremonial opening of Parliament and will be officiated by President Paula-Mae Weekes. Traffic will be restricted in and around the Red House as there will be a guard of honour which will gather at Sackville Street, move east onto St Vincent Street then south along St Vincent Street, east on to Hart Street and then finally north on to Abercromby Street. Police have advised that no drones would be allowed during the reopening. Once the guard of honour forms at 10 am no one will be allowed to enter the Red House on the Abercromby Street side.
Elcock said this will be the first time in history Parliament will use both the northern and southern chambers of the Red House. He noted historically both houses used the northern chamber though the south chamber was utilised for a year following the July 1990 attempted coup to allow for cleaning and disinfecting. The northern chamber will host the House of Representatives while the southern chamber will host the Senate.
The President will dismiss the guard of honour and then read the proclamation that the fifth session of the 11th Parliament will continue at the Red House in both chambers starting with the Senate and then both houses will gather in the House of Representatives Chamber. After both houses adjourn there will be a brief formal ceremony in the rotunda where the Speaker and the Prime Minister will deliver addresses. The media will then be taken on a tour of the Red House.
There will be an area at the courtyard on the Abercromby Street side with tents where specially invited students will view the proceedings in tents. Citizens are also invited to assemble at Woodford Square.
The reopening will be aired live on the Parliament Channel. From 10 am there will be an interview panel on Parliament Channel with veteran journalist Tony Fraser, former parliament marshall Grantley Dick, and restoration architect Rudylynn Roberts.
The Red House restoration was done by Udecott and cost approximately $441 million.