Last update: 09-Dec-2013 9:32 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Power outage on San Fernando Hill President left in darkness
There were some moments of anxiety at San Fernando Hill on Friday night, as the Visitor’s Centre, where President Anthony Carmona was presiding over the launch of bicentenary celebrations of the birth of Michel Jean Cazabon (1813-2013), was plunged into darkness. At one point, the President was taken into a private room by his security detail. After a while, guests at the function, including Ambassador of the Argentine Republic Marcelo Salviolo, Archbishop Nicola Girasoli, the Apostolic Nuncio, Reynold Cooper, permanent secretary, Office of Prime Minister, San Fernando mayor Dr Navi Muradali, TSTT chairman Everald Snaggs and CAL chairman Phillip Marshall, were asked to go to the upper floor, an open area, which was illuminated by the moonlight and streets lights around the building.
A reporter covering the assignment called the Trinidad and Tobago Electricity Commission (T&TEC), when the generator failed to kick in. T&TEC crew responded immediately and within an hour power was restored and the function resumed. T&TEC said it was an internal problem as power supply on the rest of the Hill was not affected. The facility is managed by the Forestry Division which falls under the portfolio of Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh. Calls to Singh’s cellphone went unanswered. Contacted for comment, Conservator of Forests Johnny Seepersad said it was the first time he was hearing about the incident. He confirmed that the term of office for the San Fernando Hill Management Committee expired in March and no new committee had been appointed since. However, he said there were people employed to undertake the day-to-day operations of the building. Seepersad said he would investigate what caused the outage and the reason why the generator failed to kick in.
The ceremony marking the birth of the 19th century artist, who was born just a few miles from the San Fernando Hill, went ahead with no further disruptions. President Carmona, patron of the bicentenary celebrations, described Cazabon as a phenomenal artist whose work will soon match the buying power of renowned artists Raphael and Michael Angelo. He noted that the artist is often regarded as the conscience of society. “He often has his fingers on the pulse beat of the people of the country,” the President said. “In many ways, the artist is a veritable watermark on the dollar bill of society’s values. He is not necessarily a man or woman who engages in dollars and cents,” he added, referring to the fact that in spite of his genius, Cazabon died a pauper. “He engages in the esoteric, he engages in the sublime and he lays before us, a standard of conduct, a value standard he feels we should live by. He is one who ensures that history, our history, the history of a particular country remains permanent. Michel Jean Cazabon was and is such an artist,” the President said. The launch is one of a series of events in a year-long celebration of the artist who was born in Corinth, South Trinidad, 200 years ago. A Cazabon bicentenary logo and commemorative plaque were unveiled on Friday.
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