Remarks at the Re-Dedication of the Plum Mitan Community Centre

A very pleasant good afternoon to you all. Compliments of the season.

Plum Mitan has been at the fro-front of our discussion at the Ministry for quite some time and opening this centre has been one of the items we have been pushing for. When we learnt that the centre was ready to be opened, we set this date, though it was very close to Christmas we set this date within the Ministry.  Subsequent to us setting this date for the opening, Cabinet was set on this date as well as and many of you know that we had plan to open this morning at 10 and when Cabinet set on this date, we had to make a decision to either push back the opening, which will have taken us into 2018 or whether we will try to still have it and I will do my best to get here after Cabinet.

It was so important for us to open this centre that we decided Christmas week or no Christmas week we were going to open this centre. And so, I said to them, let us change it to 4:00 p.m. and when Cabinet is over I will do my very best to get here directly and I thank God that we were able to do this. We really wanted to deliver this centre to Plum Mitan.

I made a personal commitment to your MP and we really wanted to do this as a Christmas gift to the Plum Mitan community because we knew and am sure that between now and Christmas there may be some functions plan for this centre so we did not want you to wait any more.

As you well know, the journey to Plum Mitan takes you through lush forest, countless green sceneries and this is a very picturesque part of the country and you are privilege to live here and to be in this environment. I know it is a place known for Cascadura and Wabeen? Am I correct? I was well informed. I really want to take this opportunity to thank you for welcoming us, welcoming the staff into your community so that we can re-dedicate this Community Centre.

This season, Christmas season in Trinidad and Tobago is a lovely time, respective of religion, race, age everyone in Trinidad and Tobago enjoy Christmas in a different way not all the same because we are a very diverse community and country.

This season gives us the opportunity to reflect on times past and reflect on new beginnings as we look to the start of a New Year and we are very happy at the Ministry that Plum Mitan will consider 2018 and this New Year in a new rededicated centre, in a space that has now a new beginning for you and the community of Plum Mitan.

Today, you are the recipients, very lucky community. Each community that receives one of these I call them lucky because we know our financial constraints in Trinidad and Tobago and we know to be able to deliver to any community is really a blessing and sacrifice.

To deliver this structure to you today, to see it well appointed to know that the community of Plum Mitan is going to have the benefit of this type of facility, it really gives us great joy. Here you can have meetings, recreational activities, training programmes, here is where you can have knowledge and information being transfer between generations between people. This is going to be the hub of your community and we are so glad to partner with you to deliver that to you today.

Our vision of the Ministry is building resilient, culturally rich communities and so we look forward to delivering these centres which we call the structural heart of the community, to be able to run the courses that help develop our communities in this area. Of course you will know about our Community Education Programme, the Best Village programme and these are the programmes that are offered in this space to be able to assist all communities in developing themselves, culturally, socially and financially. This is what we envision for this centre.

​​Since 2015, we have been able, even though we are in difficult times to open 15 community centres and I really want to thank the staff of the Ministry for their hard work. This centre has been the recipient of refurbishment works to the tune of three million, six hundred dollars ($3,600,000.00), but we know that its value to the community is so much greater. I want to thank the project unit of the Ministry, the project managers, National Commission for Self Help and the contractors who worked on this centre for delivering this centre to us, we have been on their backs and urging them on and they have done their best to deliver to us. I want to say on behalf of the community thank you for your efforts.

I want to thank the Community Development Division led by Director Ms. Susan Corbett, Deputy Director Gwyneth Alexander, the Supervisors, Community Development Officers and all the other staff at the Ministry who intimately interact with the community and ensure that their voice is heard at the Ministry and their needs are represented so that we are able to respond.

And so the residents of Plum Mitan, I want to thank you again for your patience, I want to thank you for partnering with us. Again I thank all those who were involved in ensuring that today, this beautifully refurbished centre was possible and I want to charge you the village council to ensure that this centre is used for the purpose that it is given and development for its residents. I am charging you and I know that will happen in this community. I know that is going to be the hub of your development and I so elated to be given this to you just before Christmas and I look for MP to seeing some pictures from the community event that you all will be having here between now and the New Year. I look forward to that and I am happy for you and I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2018.


I thank you