TWENTY years after an application was made to have a facility for the Lions Club, a brand new $2 million building was given to the organisation yesterday. The Lions Club is not the only organisation to benefit, as the building would also facilitate police officers and scouts.
Yesterday the Police/Scouts/Lions (PSL) headquarters was officially opened in Couva, opposite the Couva/Pt Lisas Chamber of Commerce building.
Dominic Gonzalez, PSL’s chairman, said an application was made in 1994 to the Ministry of Public Administration to use a dilapidated building and they were able to lease the property in 1995, paying $10 a year. However, because the organisation lacked the necessary funding, any improvements were stalled. Assistance was later requested from the National Gas Company (NGC), Self-Help Commission and the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago.
All three assisted, but it was NGC that took up the main financial responsibility, Gonzalez said. In 2005, members of the Defence Force began construction but when they were called to other duties, NGC paid a contractor to get the job finished, he said. Gonzalez said this was the first time the police, scouts and members of the Lions Club will be operating as one unit for the improvement of the lives of those in Couva and the entire country. He asked for assistance to maintain the building that will be used for training, mentoring and counselling by Families in Action.
Member of Parliament for Couva South Rudranath Indarsingh commended NGC for its corporate social responsibility, stating it was the most profitable State enterprise with assets over $45 billion.
He said he hoped the company would continue to make investments in community life. NGC’s president, Indar Maharaj, said the company will continue to assist, and the PSL headquarters was a building “that will shelter and house groups of people, particularly young people who seek guidance, encouragement and reassurance”.
Also attending was acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, who promised to assist, and chairman of the Couva/Tabaquite/Talparo Regional Corporation Henry Awong.