NO matter how many buildings were built or established in San Fernando for the purpose of displaying aspects of culture, Naparima Bowl will always be the most outstanding.
This according to president of the Inter-Religious Organisation Pundit Harripersad Maharaj.
Maharaj was speaking at an interfaith and thanksgiving service held at Naparima Bowl yesterday to celebrate the facility's 50th anniversary. Naparima Bowl was officially opened on August 27,1962.
Maharaj said even though he was hoping the National Academy for Performing Arts (NAPA) South Campus would be opened before Independence Day, "whatever facility that may come into San Fernando, Naparima Bowl must stand out for what it has done in the past, what it is doing now and what it will continue to provide for all of us in the future."
Camille Ramjohn, chief executive officer of Naparima Bowl, said she was hoping the Government would recognise the significance and importance of the facility.
Speaking to the Express after the service, she said board members have been trying to get Naparima Bowl refurbished since 2005. She said they have been waiting on the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago (UDeCOTT), which is responsible for its infrastructure.
She said the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism was working to have Naparima Bowl fall under its jurisdiction, and "they will try to see what they could do for us".
Ramjohn said, "We have to rebuild the multi-purpose hall. We need to rebuild small rooms that we have had before—rehearsal rooms for dancing and singing. We also want to refurbish the amphitheatre because a lot of the stairs need pulling down and doing over, so it is quite a lot of work."
She added, "Culture, in its widest practice, needs a home for the performers, be it drama, fine art, sculpture, dancing or otherwise, and without a cultural shelter, the social fabric of the community will be adversely affected."
At the service, tribute was paid to former board members, including Naparima Bowl's first chairman, Robert Montano.
The Southernaires Choir, conducted by Joy Caesar, and former Digicel Rising Star Neval Chatelal performed at the service that was attended by representatives from several religious groups.