Point Fortin gets ‘taste of Borough Day’

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Point Fortin Mayor Saleema Thomas, centre, with awardees at the Point Fortin Borough Corporation 42nd anniversary Civic Reception on Tuesday night. – Marvin Hamilton

ALTHOUGH major activities associated with Point Fortin Borough Day were scaled down, mayor Saleema Thomas said she was thankful for the opportunity to enjoy a “taste of Borough Day,” at the civic and community recognition awards on Tuesday evening.

Housing and Urban Development Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said the scaled-down celebration is now the template to be used for similar celebrations in Arima, Chaguanas and soon in Diego Martin and Siparia, the latter two which are soon to receive borough status.

After a two-year absence of any kind of physical celebration, owing to the pandemic, Thomas observed people were eager to “exhale” with the myriad of fete, pan and mas events planned.

Sporting legend Anderson Modest shows off his Wayne Naranjit Award for Courage, Determination and Perseverance at the Point Fortin Borough Corporation 42nd anniversary Civic Reception on Tuesday night. – Marvin Hamilton

But the Government ordered the cancellation of all borough-controlled events. Rural Development and Local Government Minister Faris Al-Rawi said this was done in consultation with the Ministry of Health, owing to the increasing number of covid cases since restrictions were lifted.

Thomas called for the patience of Job, indicating the possibility of a deferral of the celebrations to a later date.

“Wait until it is safe to do so, and meanwhile, let us be thankful for the opportunity to have a little taste of Borough Day. This civic award and community recognition award represents that little taste.”

She said the reception was as important as any Borough Day activity, as it gave the corporation the opportunity to celebrate human endeavour by recognising and thanking those who had made significant contribution to developing the community.

Awards were presented to contributors in the sphere of arts and culture, health and wellness, education, religion, youth development and bringing international acclaim to Point Fortin. Employees were also recognised for their dedication and professionalism in their work.

Anderson Modeste, a sporting legend, who is differently abled, was recognised for his courage, determination and perseverance. So too, Curt Allan, an advocate for the blind and visually impaired.

Point Fortin Mayor Saleema Thomas, second from left, with awardees at for the Point Fortin Borough Corporation 42nd anniversary Civic Reception on Tuesday night. – Marvin Hamilton

In his welcoming remarks, councillor Kwesi Thomas said the recipients were the fabric that binds Point Fortin and makes it the preferred place to live, work, invest and recreate.

Robinson-Regis commended the mayor for being able, “to pull off this event.”

She said the return of the celebration, was testimony to Point Fortin’s resilience.

“Undoubtedly, the covid 19 pandemic brought with it monumental changes in the manner in which all of us operated. Even today, while the ominous figures of double-digit deaths are no longer features of our daily reporting, we are still not yet out of the woods.”

Robinson-Regis said although there is some degree of normality returning, the omicron variant is still waging war against the unvaccinated and some vaccinated people.

In a tribute to the area, she said: “The people of Point Fortin, led by the mayor and council, have been resilient. Point Fortin has seen many changes from the days of Texaco and Petrotrin’s presence, when oil was king, to today, when Heritage has taken over most of the installations.

“As the crucible from which many sporting and cultural icons emerged, Point Fortin has more than contributed its fair share to national patrimony. Point Fortin deserves pride of place amongst the many communities that can justifiably boast of keeping our beloved country of Trinidad and Tobago alive.”