Highest honour: National Joint Action Committee leader Makandal Daaga, left,
receives his Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago award from President Anthony Carmona at the 51st Independence Day national awards ceremony at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts in San Fernando on Saturday night.
—Photos: DAVE PERSAD
Deosaran: T&T a work in progress
Carolyn Kissoon firstname.lastname@example.org
Prof Ramesh Deosaran, one of three recipients of the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, said the nation still had some way to go in fulfilling the promise of Independence made 51 years ago.
Deosaran described Trinidad and Tobago as a “work in progress” and expressed hope that citizens were not their own barriers to fulfilling those promises.
He was speaking to the media after receiving his award from President Anthony Carmona at the Southern Academy for the Performing Arts (SAPA) in San Fernando on Saturday night.
Deosaran was among 41 people to receive awards at the ceremony, which was held for the first time in South Trinidad.
Deosaran said, “As I listened to the speeches and I reflect on what was said in 1962 I think we still have some way to go in fulfilling the promises on Independence made 51 years ago. And if I have to make any remarks now on this auspicious occasion it is to reflect what is the spirt of Independence all about. I think the first requirement for citizens of this country, as an independent country is to have a greater amount of love for your country.”
Deosaran said he was concerned about the environment and the lack of love for country by the national community.
“There is a need for us to cut down on the amount of envy and hate that we have permeating the country at this time. So a little less of that would do us quite well.
National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) leader Makandal Daaga also received the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.
Former politician John Humphrey was awarded the Chaconia Gold Medal in the sphere of public service and community service.
Humphrey said he gave 50 years of his life to serving the people in politics. “What His Excellency said in fact was that he wondered why it took so long but quite frankly, it never bothered me. I am retired and very happy not being noticed anymore, but now that I have been noticed I have a few things to say,” he told reporters.
Humphrey said the constitution states that the country’s resources should be so distributed that there should be adequate means of livelihood for all.
“I have been arguing many years now that if we give citizens a piece the land of the country that will change a lot of attitudes. It will reduce poverty, it will stimulate economic activity like nothing else can and that was what we were trying to do,” he said.
Humphrey said the People’s Partnership Land for the Landless programme was similar to the United National Congress (UNC) Sou Sou Lands programme. “Provide a piece of land for everyone who needs a home and help them get that home with finance and services needed. Land for the Landless is what we did in the 80s with sou sou lands. We solved it for 3,000 families,” he said.
Carmona’s former school principal, Michael Samuel, was awarded the Public Service Medal Gold for his outstanding service as an educator.
Samuel, a former Presentation College principal, said, “It is something I feel I don’t deserve, but I felt it was coming my way many years now. But because of certain circumstances I delayed any push to nominate me for it. I feel ordinary but honoured and humbled. I was very happy that a Pres man was the man to have honoured me in this presentation.”
Samuel, who suffered a minor heart attack, was discharged from the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex to attend the awards ceremony. He was readmitted yesterday.
“I will be going back to hospital tomorrow but the attack was minor and no damage to heart muscles. I am feeling well,” he said.