Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly feature address at the Opening of the Tarodale Community Centre

  • The Honourable Randal Mitchell, Minister of Tourism and as he said the former Member of Parliament for San Fernando East and I would tell you, a very strong advocate for his constituency.
  •  Ms. Tamika Charles – Phillip, acting Chief Executive Officer of UDeCOTT
  • Mrs. Susan Corbett, Director of the Community Development Division of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts
  • Heads of Divisions and other members of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts.
  • Mr. Chris Hosein, Councillor for Reform/Manahambre if he is not here in his absence we mention him
  • Ms. Michelle Quinton, Secretary of the Tarodale Community Council and other members of the council
  • Special awardees
  • Specially invited guest and allow me to recognise Mr. Brian Manning, son of the late, great former PM, Patrick Manning
  • Members of the Tarodale Community and environs
  • Our online viewers, listeners, members of the media
  • Ladies, gentlemen and children

A very pleasant good morning to you all. As Minister Mitchell said this is a wonderful day for me and for him and for all of you the residents of Tarodale because I remember when we came here three years ago, Minister Mitchell, I remember the boots I had to put on.

It was mud, it was a hot tent and UDeCOTT did their best to make us comfortable but it was clearly a construction site, there was clearly something going on and almost three years from that, now, I don’t have on booths I can walk in my heels because the community centre has been delivered. And that, deserves a round of applause.

And so today we celebrate, we celebrate not only the beautiful building that has been put here but we celebrate the opportunity that it brings with it. Community centres are desired by every Member of Parliament in every community and what we are finding now is that every community wants their own.

So whereas before one centre would serve a number of communities, more and more and especially as communities grow in size everyone wants their own little piece of real estate which is called the community centre that means so much to the members of the community. Because what it means is a space for you to have your classes. These classes that are run by the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts for years where people do all types of skill training for free and I know that the members of the Tarodale community know what I am speaking about and are looking forward to their classes.

Of course the COVID has affected our schedule but we are running some in the month of July because we know that the communities are looking forward to that. It means a space for your best village groups to practice, I didn’t hear about the best village part in the secretary’s report but I know, I’ve seen the evidence that there is talent for best village and their performances, so that’s what this space represents as well.

It represents a beautiful space for a wedding, a party, a community event, a senior citizens lunch the list goes on. And it all depends on the needs of this Tarodale community. I want to tell you that it is the partnership of a community and the persons that we call community activists, those that serve their communities simply because they want to see the community grow and progress.

That partnership between the community and the government, makes the best situation for community progress. There is no substitute for community activists, those people who give themselves willingly for the progress of their community. Those people that live with the vision of what their work will bring to the community. There is no substitute for that.

And in a community where those activists are present it is easy to see the progress. I say easy, not that they don’t have to work and get the community organised to get the progress, but it’s easier for the government to partner because you have someone pushing from the inside and so to Ms. Thompson and all the other activists that would have worked, would have advocated and would have made representation to get this type of progress, your lights, your water, your roads and a beautiful centre that is the jewel of San Fernando East and that is the envy of many communities the country over, I really want to applaud your efforts.

So this beautiful centre is beautifully outfitted with an audio visual room, classrooms, computer room, gym, and male and female change rooms inclusive of showers, two offices and a hall with a seating capacity of over 140 persons at an investment of fifteen million, one hundred and fourteen thousand, four hundred and twenty five dollars and thirty-eight cents. Isn’t it a wonderful investment to the people of Tarodale?

And in this time, this term has been challenging we all know this. We know the global situation and we know what we are faced with in Trinidad and Tobago. And even in the face of all of that difficulty to be able to deliver our 38 centre for this term brings me great pleasure and pride and I will like to congratulate all members of staff, the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and UDeCOTT our partners and the contractors who worked on this centre for allowing us to enjoy the opening of this centre. It is always a blessed time for us at the Ministry.

So when we meet each Tuesday as we do at the Ministry and we look at the progress of all of our centres Mr. Gittens, Ms. Corbett we will be able to say Tarodale done, dusted, delivered to the people of Trinidad and Tobago that makes us very happy. I will tell you that there are quite a number of community centres in the pipeline. We still have maybe about 20 community centres in the various stages of construction and I will also let you know that we have many more requests than that because everyone wants the benefit of this and we have been working assiduously to endure that we deliver to the people of Trinidad and Tobago in good times and in bad times.

So people of Tarodale, to whom much is given much is expected. And you’ve heard it from your member of parliament and you will hear it I am sure from someone else who is seated right in this room and you know it, that this centre has to be kept well, in honour of the persons that worked hard to get it here for you. In honour of the investment made in the people of Tarodale you have to jealously guard your centre and ensure that no one who traverses these halls does so without the respect that they deserve to have for the work that went in here.

You have to ensure that this centre physically is maintained so that it can deliver what it should to generations that come after you. So, people of Tarodale you are the keepers of the centre and I have no doubt that you will do so with pride, honour, dignity and respect. It is a pleasure to deliver this centre to you today. God bless you.