RADHICA DE SILVA
Segregation remains a problem in T&T despite the breakdown of racial and ethnic barriers during Carnival, says MP for Princes Town Barry Padarath.
He was speaking at the 143rd anniversary of Princes Town held on Thursday.
Padarath said Princes Town had produced T&T’s first Prime Minister of East Indian descent, Basdeo Panday as well as many other professionals who contributed to the development of T&T.
“They may be unforgotten in our minds, but by others, they are not recognised. They don’t get public recognition, but they fight for truth, justice and equality,” he said.
Meanwhile, MP for Naparima Rodney Charles, also called for a committee to be set up to investigate and honour all the people who contributed to the upliftment of the Princes Town community.
Saying Princes Town was dear to his heart as his wife was born there, Charles recalled the names of several families who lived in cohesion.
“People of that generation formed the bedrock of the community. People were poor but they were proud and dignified,” Charles said.
He challenged the constituents to live up to their legacy by working hard to improve their community and honour the ones who have contributed in recent times.
“I understand that we have the first mosque ever built in Trinidad in this community. Who was the Imam? I need to know that. My grandchildren need to know that!” Charles said.
He added: “We also had the first Presbyterian Church in Princes Town, the Canadian Missionaries came down and set up a church. But I don’t know who were the first Canadian missionaries who developed that church.”
“I heard today about London Baptist, I am a London Baptist. I know Sister Eva Waggott from Liverpool came to this place and a number of poor people in Princes Town gained significant growth.
Jeffers Toby’s mother used to provide water to feed the prisoners in Princes Town. She had one child—Jeffers Toby and he went to Naparima with me.
He is now Dr Toby, a formidable psychologist in Toronto all because of Sister Eva Waggott.
What about Curwin Callender? Clifton De Couteau? Sister Waggott encouraged us and was the founder of the Princes Town Church in Craignish.”
Charles said a master plan has to be developed for the area.
“We are young enough to have a master plan, a traffic plan, a school plan. I look at history of Princes Town and I am well pleased,” he said.
Saying the area had “great people.”
“Let us build on the greatness. May I suggest that could we not be brave enough to say let’s set a challenge, one month there will be no murders in Princes Town and let us make it happen. Let us aspire to be the safest city.”