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Jack makes $100,000 pledge to Baptist fund
Works and Transport Minister Jack Warner has pledged $100,000 to the Baptist Cathedral Fund of the National Congress of Incorporated Baptist Organisations of T&T. Warner said it was “a small gesture.”
He also promised a walkover when the Government embarked on construction of the Baptist school in Maloney. The congress hosted its 60th anniversary of the repeal of the Shouter Prohibition Ordinance and the 15th anniversary of the Spiritual Shouter Baptist Liberation Day and also launched a fund for the construction of a cathedral.
Warner said: “I want to start this morning with a small gesture towards the fund and I want to pledge to you this morning that I will donate $100,000 towards the fund.” The crowd began applauding and beating drums. Warner was addressing a group of Shouter Baptists at the St Augustine Secondary School on Warren Street, yesterday. He told the group it was “no secret” he had never “drawn” his salary as a Member of Parliament and Cabinet minister. “I have never drawn and I will not draw,” he said. The Chaguanas West MP said his salary goes towards his constituency in a fund.
He said: “I think it is $37,000 plus...I don’t know. “But I will pledge this morning to take three months’ salary and those three months’ salary will go towards your fund so it may be a little more than $100,000.
Warner said he was pleased to hear Prime Minister Kamla Persad–Bissessar announce in the Parliament last Friday that the Government would construct a Baptist school in Maloney. “It is time for us to deliver and now I can say as Minister of Works and Transport I will give you the walkover from the school to Maloney,” he said. “It is time for us to help you chart your course my friends.” Warner told the crowd it took 45 years since the ordinance was repealed for any government to establish a holiday in recognition of Baptists.
In 1996, former prime minister Basdeo Panday granted Baptists a holiday. Warner added that other governments had the opportunity to do so, but didn’t. He called on them to keep Persad–Bissessar in their prayers. “Pray that she be given the strength to continue the work she has started to unite this country to join us together as a people,” Warner said. “Pray for her to free us from the divisiveness that is so often caused by race, by class and by religion.”
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