Mitchell: Committee to decide on award for Kitch

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts. – PHOTO COURTESY NALIS

The National Awards Committee should be allowed to do its job in assessing individuals nominated for public honours, said Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts Randall Mitchell on Wednesday.

He was replying to Newsday’s query as to whether he, as line minister, has adopted any position on whether the nation’s highest award should be given to calypsonian, the late Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts.

With the hundredth birth anniversary of Roberts falling on April 18, several voices have been lobbying for the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) to be given posthumously to Roberts, affectionately known as Kitch and The Grandmaster.

Newsday asked Mitchell if it would be appropriate for him to join the cause lobbying for recognition for Roberts or not.

He said, “The awards relevant to the ORTT go through a committee. That committee is open for recommendations. The committee treats with those matters and makes recommendations to the President. I think that’s how it works. That is through the Office of the Prime Minister.

“So it is not for me to take a position on it.”

The website of the Office of the Prime Minister states the ORTT may be awarded to “any person who has rendered distinguished and outstanding service to Trinidad and Tobago.”