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Pomp, ceremony for Carmona’s swearing-in
Preparations are proceeding steadily apace for the swearing-in ceremony at which President George Maxwell Richards will hand over to President-elect Justice Anthony Carmona, at the Hasely Crawford Stadium, Mucurapo. The ceremony is to take place tomorrow. In 2008, President Richards had made a departure from the tradition of staging an inauguration at President’s House by having his second inauguration there.
Asked about preparations yesterday, Information Officer to the President, Michaella Frederick, said “We are expecting 5,000 plus school children from across T&T, as far as Tobago, even from Cedros. Things seem to be falling into place. We hope it is a ceremony of which T&T would be proud. While this is not the first time an inauguration is being held at this venue, it would be the first time in which there would be the swearing-in of a new President there.”
Students from the primary school Carmona attended, Santa Flora Government Primary, are expected to attend. On Friday, decorator Gillian Bishop, sister of the late musicologist Pat Bishop, admired the island of green plants. Asked about beautification works, Bishop said, “We are using 100 per cent local blooms: ferns, orchids, palms, leas and anthuriums. Freshly-cut anthuriums will be brought in on the auspicious day.”
Donning a patriot’s cap, Bishop, of Lydian Singers’ fame, added, “If we don’t strive for excellence in our preparations for the President-elect (Carmona) it would be a poor indictment on us as a nation. He needs to be afforded all the pomp, ceremony and dignity that is befitting his office in a civilised society.” In the background, 3Canal’s Stanton Kewley, Colin Clarke and Anthony were spotted moving screens. The cacophony of sound checks disrupted the tranquillity.
Ken “Professor” Philmore to play
Zeroing in on the cultural presentation, entertainment co-ordinator Rennie Mohammed said, “It would be a nice reflection of our cultural diversity. The entertainers are hand-picked but they aptly represent our cosmopolitan country.” Multi-talented artiste Mavis John is expected to perform.
Yesterday, ace pannist Ken “Professor” Philmore said, “I am doing a song by Michael Jackson called Let Me Show The Way To Go. I am dedicating it to Carmona. He is my friend.” Not forgetting the 5,000 children, he said, “A lot of kids would be there. I am trying to accommodate the children and adults. I am playing the national instrument...the steelpan.”
Yesterday, the red carpet had literally been rolled out. Massive black and white photographs bearing images of leaders like the late Sir Ellis Clarke, Noor Hassanali and George Chambers were waiting to be stuck on screens. The Coat of Arms were being positioned at strategic points.
Order of ceremony
The Inauguration of the Fifth President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, The Hasely Crawford Stadium, tomorrow at 5 pm.
4.15 pm—Arrival of Guests
4.35 pm—Guard of Honour marches on
4.40 pm—Arrival of Chief of Defence Staff
4.45 pm—Arrival of Their Excellencies Professor George Maxwell Richards and Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards
4.47 pm—Arrival of Justice Ivor Archie, Chief Justice and Mrs Archie
4.50 pm—Arrival of Kamla Persad-Bissessar SC, Prime Minister and Dr Gregory Bissessar
4.52 pm—Arrival of Mr Justice Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona, President-elect and Mrs Reema Carmona
5 pm—Swearing-in Ceremony
5.02 pm—March on of the President’s Colour
5.07 pm—His Excellency the President inspects the Guard of Honour, accompanied by the Chief of Defence Staff, Aide-de-Camp and the Guard Commander
Representative of the Christian Faith
Representative of the Hindu Faith
Representative of the Muslim Faith
Representative of the Inter Religious Organisation
5.22 pm—Guard of Honour marches off
5.27 pm—Cultural presentation
6.27 pm—Guard of Honour returns
6.32 pm—Inaugural Speech by His Excellency the President
6.52 pm—Presidential Salute and 21 gun salute
6.54 pm—Their Excellencies are escorted off the rostrum by the Chief of Defence Staff and the Aide-de-Camp and depart
6.56 pm—Parade marches off
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