educating the population: Members of the National Trust and Conservationists during their visit to the ruins of the women's prison at Mt Hope. —Photo: LOUIS B HOMER

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Ministry to promote historical sites

By Louis B Homer

Ruins of an ancient women's prison and the site where the capitulation treaty was signed between Britain and Spain in 1797 are soon to be developed as important historical sites in Trinidad, says Minister Clifton De Coteau, Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration.

The 19th Century prison is located at Mt Hope, and the Capitulation site at Valsayn estate has been converted to a car park opposite the main offices of the Water and Sewerage Authority.

The sites were visited last Saturday as part of a programme by the Ministry of National Diversity in its drive to educate the population about the sites of interest that will eventually become historical sites in the near future.

De Coteau said, "These visits that are being organised on a monthly basis by the Ministry in conjunction with the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago is in keeping with the mandate of my Ministry. I have asked that all places of historical or cultural interest in Trinidad and Tobago be visited. Visits to these sites will be organised by the National Trust which is a unit of the Ministry of National Diversity and Social Integration"

De Coteau said during the visits, information as well as pictures will be taken with a view to producing a complete pictorial catalogue of historical sites.

The catalogue when completed will be distributed to primary and secondary schools to assist students of history or social studies in their research on our history.

"Through the National Trust we have already circulated some 200 books entitled The Build Heritage of Trinidad and Tobago and we have been receiving requests from individuals and organisations locally as well as abroad for copies of this publication," said the Minister.

The tour of the ancient capital of St Joseph highlighted that TML mosque at St Joseph as well as the site of the old police station where Trinidad's first telegraph was received by Governor Gordon in 1870.

"Wherever possible plaques or signage will be placed on sites for the benefit of tourists local and foreign touring the country," the Minister said.

The group visited the Roman Catholic church at St Joseph where they were shown visible signs of land movement at the back of the church which could eventually lead to serious damage to the 1815 structure.

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