Deacon to Diego Martin: Community service will make where you live a better place

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Diego Martin Mayor Akeliah Glasgow-Warner speaks to burgesses during the Diego Martin Borough Corporation’s first anniversary interfaith service at the Church of the Nativity in Diego Martin on June 8. – ROGER JACOB

DEACON Derek Walcott encouraged burgesses of Diego Martin to be ambassadors of truth and justice, and to make the borough into a place where everyone feels valued and respected.

He said encouragement and endurance were essential for community service.

Walcott was delivering the homily at an interfaith service to mark the first anniversary of the Diego Martin Borough Corporation at the Church of the Nativity in Crystal Stream, Diego Martin, on June 8.

Sticking to the theme, A Celebration of Faith, Love and Togetherness, he said in the Gospel of Luke when Jesus was 12, he remained in the temple speaking with the teachers without his parents.

“This highlights three themes: dedication to God’s work, the importance of family and community, and the significance of reflection.

“In dedication to God’s work Jesus’s words are, ‘Did you not know that I must be busy with my father’s affairs?’ What does that do? It reminds us to our own calling to dedicate ourselves to the greater good. And as a new borough we are called to work diligently for the betterment of this community, ensuring that our actions reflect the values of justice, compassion and service.”

He said the celebrations brought a sense of unity and allowed people to reflect on their journeys and aspirations for the future. It also encouraged them to reflect on their past so they could learn from it and build a brighter future.

He said the strength of Diego Martin laid in the unity of the people and the support they provided each other.

“As we celebrate this day let us all renew our commitment to fostering strong loving relationships within our families and our neighbourhoods.”

He added that Jesus commanded his people to love God and their neighbour, even those they did not particularly like, and that was what the burgesses were called to do.

“There can be no love without sacrifice. Do you love your borough?” he asked.

Diego Martin Mayor Akeliah Glasgow-Warner said her faith guided her and gave her strength to serve with dedication and integrity.

“Regardless of individual beliefs, we all share common values on love, compassion and service to others. This unity in diversity is what makes our bonds so strong and vibrant.”

She spoke of the numerous achievement and initiatives started since Diego Martin became a borough including the new committees formed, a business incubator in collaboration with YTEPP Ltd and the Corporation’s ensuing hosting of 25 Traffic Wardens on its Municipal Police compound.

“These accomplishments are a testament to what we can achieve when we work together. In the spirit of unity, I encourage all to continue building bridges between our different communities. Let us use this celebration as an opportunity to deepen our understanding of each other, to foster mutual consent and to strengthen the bonds that hold us together.”

In his address Diego Martin Central MP Symon de Nobriga said it was important to be thankful even though things could be better. It was also important for people to ground themselves in their faiths as that grounding would enable the burgesses to lean on each other and face the challenges ahead.

He said as people looked forward to the next year they should try to be the best possible version of themselves as citizens, friends and family members.

“If we are successful, we will be better together.”

Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi said, “While cities around the world find urbanisation difficult because they are empty, Diego Martin and Siparia have come alive. And therefore the vision of the Prime Minister in insisting that we continue to move forward, is part of what we celebrate today.”

He said it was important to hold on to the message of hope because there was no salvation without struggle.

Calling out the leader of the opposition, specifically regarding her contribution to the debate of the motion for supplementary appropriations in Parliament on June 7, he said there were people who wanted to disrupt others’ passion, sincerity and hope. He said they wanted people to forget the good and fall to negativity.

Also in attendance were Prime Minister Rowley, Housing and Urban Development Minster Camille Robinson-Regis, Agriculture Minster Kazim Hosein, Minister of Social Development and Family Services Donna Cox, Minister in the Ministry of Education Lisa Morris-Julian and members of the Diego Martin Borough Council.