This year's Tobago Day celebrations will be used to advance the agenda of Tobago’s autonomy, says THA Chief Secretary Farley Augustine.
Addressing the launch of Tobago Day celebrations at the Shaw Park Cultural Complex last Friday, Augustine said for Tobago to achieve autonomy, the Parliament has to be engaged.
“That means both major parties in Trinidad must be engaged because the leading party does not have a majority large enough for the constitutional change that is required. So it would mean that the entire Parliament – those who are on the government side...those in the opposition and the independent senators. Those three must be engaged by Tobago, and I am hoping that that engagement won’t be Farley Augustine as Chief secretary only, but it will be the coming together of Tobagonians, regardless of political persuasions, to make those advances on behalf of the people of Tobago.”
He said while celebrating independence is important, December 4 is equally important, as he called on Tobagonians to celebrate Tobago Day with as much patriotism as they can muster.
“All of these celebrations should remind us that we have work to do in ensuring that Tobago achieves the level of autonomy that it deserves, that Tobago is able to, finally, after 144 years since the declaration by Queen Victoria, right its historical wrongs.”
On December 4, 1980, the Tobago House of Assembly was inaugurated. Tobago Day began in 2010, through a motion at the Assembly Legislature.
He said November 17 this year was specifically chosen for the launch, as it holds historical significance.
“It is actually 144 years since the proclamation by Queen Victoria joining Tobago to Trinidad.”
He called on all Tobagonians to embrace the Tobago Day celebrations.
“Are you proud of your own Tobago face? Are you proud of your own Tobago heart? Are you proud of your own traditions? Are you proud of your milestones?
“As an island, we can celebrate Tobago Day to the extent that the country pays attention, and the country recognises that there is a need to appreciate Tobago and all of its cultural upbringings and all of the complexities that comes with being Tobagonian.”
The 2023 celebrations begin on November 30 with a youth debate at the Assembly Legislature. This will be followed by an inter-divisional triathlon, an inter-divisional cookout, an inter-divisional sport and family day, a military tattoo and thanksgiving and an awards function.