Last update: 12-Dec-2013 8:49 pm
Thursday, December 12, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Hundreds witness Independence parade
Hundreds of citizens turned out at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain, early yesterday morning for the military parade in commemoration of T&T’s 51st anniversary of Independence. However, there were many empty seats at the Grand Stand, including the area reserved for government ministers and MPs.
There were 1,314 seats reserved on the western end of the Savannah but scores of spectators who couldn’t get seating had to brave the morning sun and take up vantage points behind barricades on the parade ground. The entire event came off with military precision. The gate to the public seating area opened at 5.30 am and the parade started at 7.30 am and ended at 9.15 am with the march off.
President Anthony Carmona was greeted with applause and a fanfare of trumpets when he arrived at 8 am after his wife and children, for his first Independence parade since becoming the country’s fifth president in March. Other dignitaries in attendance included Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and her husband, Dr Gregory Bissessar, Chief Justice Ivor Archie and his wife and Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley and his wife, along with several members of the diplomatic corps, government ministers and Opposition MPs.
The detachments of the parade are divided in two contingents—armed and unarmed. Detachments from the Regiment, Coast Guard, Air Guard, Defence Force, Police Service and Cadet Force were led onto the parade ground by the band and corps of drums of the T&T Regiment and T&T Prison Band. They were followed by unarmed detachments from the Fire Service, Prison Service, Special Reserve Police, Municipal Police, St John Ambulance Brigade and the T&T Red Cross Society.
After the inspection of the parade, spectators enjoyed the march past, fly past and drive past. At the end of the parade the troops proceeded south onto Frederick Street, west onto Park Street, then to Tragarete Road towards Roxy Roundabout before heading to the Western Main Road and then to the Police Barracks on Long Circular Road.
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