Tuesday, September 3, 2013

NY consulate honours Sparrow, Rose and Nelson

Story by Adeola James
CG Nan Ramgoolam and Calypso Rose
Cultural Ambassadors Calypso Rose, Lord Nelson and the Mighty Sparrow were recognized with Lifetime Achievement awards by the Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in New York at its annual Independence cocktail reception and first award ceremony on August 30 in New York. 

Rose, Nelson and Sparrow were three of the awardees living in the jurisdiction of the Consulate General in New York who have made an outstanding contribution in their sphere or community that raised the international profile of Trinidad and Tobago. 

Others included:
  • Fashion and Creative Arts: Anya Ayoung Chee and the Caribbean American Carnival Association 
  • Business and Entrepreneurship: Conrad Ifill and Mike Simms
  • Sports: Melbourne NY Alliance
Other Lifetime Achievement Awards were given to:
  • Boodram Jattan: Former trade unionist and for MP for Naparima 
  • Edwin Robert: Former Olympian sprinter who won two bronze medals in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics 
  • Bhagwatie Dwarika: Cultural activist and enthusiast 
  • Mohan Jaikaran: Prominent businessman and promoter of Trinidad and Tobago’s culture and entertainment in North America 
  • Albert Danny Marcano, “Lord Defender” 
UN Ambassador Rodney Charles, CG Nan Ramgoolam and Boodram Jattan at the awards ceremony
The Consulate General of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago in New York exercises consular jurisdiction in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont, and is focused on promoting Trinidad and Tobago and providing services for its Diaspora.

In her address at the event, Consul General Rudrawatee Nan Ramgoolam praised all Prime Ministers past and present who helped chart the course of Trinidad and Tobago’s continued march to developed nation status. 

Beginning with the first prime minister Dr. Eric Eustace Williams, the Consul General pointed out the contribution of every prime minister since Independence in 1962. She indicated that Dr. Williams, together with Rudranath Capildeo, as Leader of the Opposition laid strong democratic and economic foundations which have served subsequent leaders, George Chambers, Arthur Napoleon Raymond Robinson, Patrick Manning, Basdeo Panday and our current Prime Minister, Kamla Persad-Bissessar. 

She cited Prime Minister Chambers famous slogan “fete done, back to work!” which struck a chord and reminded citizens that economic development of any nation is dependent upon hard work, production and most of all productivity. 

She also spoke of Robinson, the only Prime Minister from Tobago who brought the country back from the brink of economic hardship and placed the country on the international map by propelling the creation of the International Criminal Court. She singled out former Prime Minister Patrick Manning as the longest serving member of parliament in Trinidad and Tobago who helped position Trinidad and Tobago on the map for hosting international conferences such as the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting and the Summit of the Americas.

The CG lauded Basdeo Panday for strengthening the Education system with his slogan “education for all” and the introduction of the “dollar for dollar” concept at tertiary level with a view to increasing the percentage of tertiary level education in the country - a major requirement for meeting developed country status. 

This move to developed country status concept was continued under Prime Minister Manning in his second term from 2002 with the launching of his Vision 2020 national policy document, geared to propel Trinidad and Tobago to developed country status by the year 2020.

The Consul General indicated that under the leadership of current Prime Minister, Kamla Persad Bissessar, the government continues on the path of development and is committed to elevating the lives of Trinidadians and Tobagonians. 

She specifically mentioned programmes in the areas of education, health, job training and employment opportunities that ensure the creation of a knowledge-based society that will propel the economy forward. 

One of Prime Minister’s flagship programmes is the presentation of a laptop to every student entering secondary school. This initiative not only impacts the students and their families but also the macro level. The CG said this is critical for developing a knowledge based workforce, which is essential for Trinidad and Tobago’s global competitiveness.

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Jai & Sero

Jai & Sero

Our family at home in Toronto 2008

Our family at home in Toronto 2008
Amit, Heather, Fuzz, Aj, Jiv, Shiva, Rampa, Sero, Jai