CELEBRATION: "With God, all things are possible." A message taken to the street by Tacarigua Presbyterian parishioners.

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Tacarigua Presbyterian turns 125

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On June 27, parishioners from the Tacarigua Presbyterian Church took to the streets to celebrate their church's 125th anniversary. Bearing placards with inspirational messages and moving to the beat of tassa drums, they marched in solidarity to promote their message: With God, all things are possible.

The church's history is indeed a reflection of this message. In 1866 Reverend Dr John Morton, a young Presbyterian minister from Bridgewater, Nova Scotia came to Trinidad on a private trade schooner from his hometown. Upon his arrival, Morton became concerned with the social conditions of 25,000 Indians on plantations in the country. He received the approval of the Maritime synod of the Presbyterian church to found a mission in Trinidad.

After establishing his mission in other parts of the country, Morton came to Tacarigua and worked among the residents.

"Because of Morton, the school was built," Lynette Boodoo, the parish's Board Secretary shared. "On June 23, 1884, he opened the Tacarigua CMI school on lands granted by the government. The school has since been rebuilt and renamed and is known as the Tacarigua Presbyterian or the Blackadder Memorial School."

Six days after opening the school, Morton commenced public worship for the first time in the school building. But Reverend Thomas Ali Hosein realised that with a growing congregation, a church building would be needed. However it was Reverend Paul Sharma who began organising for the building with Reverend Reginald Henry Maliphant moving parishioners to establish the structure.

Fast forward to 1962 when the sod-turning ceremony was conducted by Reverend Cyril F Beharry with Elder AC Bally taking on the sod-turning duty.

They longed for their own place of worship and had to wait for more than 80 years to get a building but, as the placard said, "With God, all things are possible."

"Church services didn't take place in the church until January 1964. This was done despite the lack of fixtures and seating accommodation," noted Steve Budhu, Chairman of the Board of managers.

It has been 125 years since Reverend Morton first conducted worship in the Tacarigua Presbyterian School. The congregation has now grown to approximately 190 families with a total of approximately 300 members.

Apart from the street march, there was an anniversary thanksgiving service on Sunday at 4 p.m. and a number of other activities have been planned for the year ahead.

Tacarigua Presbyterian Church

Anniversary Activities:

2009:

June 27—Street March

July 5—Anniversary Thanksgiving service

July 5—Planting of tree for anniversary

August 22—Lawyers' advice day.

10-12 September—Ministry of Health Fair

October 17—Opticians' day.

October 25—Recognition of Members

2010:

January—Anniversary brochure launch

January 16—National Insurance day

March 13—Doctor's Clinic day

July 10—Evening of entertainment and anniversary dinner.

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