I first met Derek Walcott, who died on March 20, in the late 1960s when we both worked as reporters at the Trinidad Guardian and the Trinidad Evening News in my native Trinidad.
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T&T’s new Ambassador to US eager to help nationals
T&T’s new Ambassador to the United States vows to address problems being faced by nationals. In one of his first official functions as newly appointed Ambassador of Trinidad and Tobago to the United States, His Excellency, Dr Neil Parsan met with nationals and friends of T&T in a welcome reception held at the World Fair Marina in Flushing, Queens, New York. The atmosphere at the function was made even more welcoming with the pulsating sound of the steelpan, the national instrument of the twin island state. Bhagwatie Dwarika presided over the formalities, and T&T’s new chief diplomat to Washington took the time to enjoy some of the Trini food, drink and music which formed an integral part of the evening’s ceremony.
Present to greet the new ambassador was an audience which included His Excellency Rodney Charles, Trinidad and Tobago’s ambassador to the United Nations, Dr Anil Ramnan, consul general of Trinidad and Tobago to Miami, Kurt Kisto, executive director of Inter American Development Bank, and other dignitaries. The members of the audience who had journeyed from all of the boroughs of New York and further afield, heard of Ambassador Parsan’s vision for transforming T&T’s relations with the United States, Mexico and the Organisation of American States (OAS), to which he is also accredited. He addressed their most vexing concern, which was the length of time it took nationals to obtain or renew a T&T passport. The ambassador gave himself one month to implement an effective plan to resolve this issue.
He then assured them that rectification of this matter was one of his main priorities and that within reasonable time frame nationals should see positive results. On a related topic, he emphasised the importance of compiling a database of citizens of the twin island Republic who live in New York, because he was willing to tap their vast skills in order to assist in the economic development of T&T.
In this regard, he called on the diaspora to assist him in the realisation of this objective. Ambassador Parsan also took the opportunity to reassure the enthusiastic gathering that the Peoples’ Partnership Government, led by Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar, was strong and cohesive and was working towards the development of T&T for the benefit of all of its citizens. He also called on those who were in a position to do so to invest in T&T.
—Coral King is a New York correspondent.