You are here
Lee Sing threatens to ‘chisel out’ plaster from Lapeyrouse wall
If the current plastering of the walls of Lapeyrouse Cemetery in Port-of-Spain is not stopped soon, Mayor Louis Lee Sing intends to take some of his councillors with chisels in hand and remove the plaster himself. Lee Sing was speaking with the T&T Guardian in a telephone interview yesterday.
An incensed Lee Sing said he did not know who gave the orders to plaster the stone wall which has been part of T&T’s history since the early 19th century. Lee Sing said the matter was brought to his attention at the city corporation’s committee level and he had no idea who gave permission to go ahead with the work.
He said that was one of the many challenges he faced with the city corporation’s administration. He added: “I have asked the administration to take immediate steps to remove the plastering and I have also asked the CEO, Winifred David, for a full response on the matter.” He also questioned where the funds for such a project had been obtained.
Lee Sing said when he passed by the cemetery yesterday morning he saw nothing had been done to return the wall to its original state. “I will remove it myself. I will be forced to gather my councillors and all the concerned citizens of the nation and we will remove it,” he added.
Historian and Sunday Guardian columnist Angelo Bissessarsingh said the wall around the cemetery was very important to T&T’s history and plastering it would be destroying part of the rich legacy. He said parts of the wall could be dated back to 1813 and most of the older parts were built with Laventille blue limestone.
“In its natural form it is quite scenic. When they whitewashed the wall they damaged the natural beauty of the wall. Plastering it now would just be damaging it more,” he said. He added that the type of mortar being used in the project would eventually cause the entire wall to crack in a few years.
Bissessarsingh said besides the original limestone, another material was “firebrick,” which was used as ballast during the colonial years to stabilise ships which would dock for sugar. He added that the inside of the wall of Lapeyrouse was also historic as it bore many memorial plaques.
Bissessarsingh hailed Lee Sing’s efforts to have the plaster removed and said the mayor’s actions were commendable. Executive member of the Citizens for Conservation Christine Millar also lauded the mayor for wanting to return the wall to its original state. She described the renovation work as “extremely wrong,” and said the cemetery should be treated as a heritage site.
Millar said if the work was allowed to continue, in time the walls would become even more defaced with billboards and advertisements. Several calls to the city corporation for a comment from David proved unsuccessful.
User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment writer and are not representative of Guardian Media Limited or its staff. Guardian Media Limited accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Please help us keep out site clean from inappropriate comments by using the flag option.
Guardian Media Limited reserves the right to remove, to edit or to censor any comments. Any content which is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will be removed.