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Minister Peters opens newly refurbished community centre in Golconda



The following is the address delivered by the Honourable Winston ‘Gypsy’ Peters, Minister of Community Development at the re-dedication of the Golconda Community Centre, Golconda Road, San Fernando on Monday January 14, 2013.

All protocols observed.

A very pleasant good afternoon.

Let me first extend sincerest greetings to one and all for good health, and prosperity in the new year.
Thank you for your warm welcome. This afternoon I am proud to be here with you to open this beautifully refurbished facility in the county of the reigning Miss La Reine Rive Ms. Malaika Ballantyne, who unfortunately could not be here with us today because she is participating in the National Women’s Action Committee’s Calypso Queen competition at the Cascadia Hotel where she is a finalist. I wish her all the best in the competition.

This year, 2013, the Ministry of Community Development proudly celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition. Now in its 50th year, this competition has gained nationwide recognition and respect for discovering and developing latent talent and preserving the folk arts and traditions of our nation.
But the Best Village Competition is just one of the programmes my Ministry offers. At Community Development we are guided by two developmental pillars namely:
• People-Centred Development; and
• Poverty Eradication and Social Justice

It is in this context that we are working with all communities across Trinidad and Tobago to ensure that there is full access to - and delivery of - our programmes and services to the citizens of our beautiful country.
In addition to the Best Village Programme, the Community Centre Construction and Refurbishment Programme are high on our list of priorities.

We are well aware that community facilities are spaces where community enrichment, community empowerment and community development take place. This Community Centre can serve as a space for the Golconda Community Council to meet and for the hosting of fund-raising events for such entities as the Golconda Football and Cricket Clubs.

But I want you to know that the Ministry of Community Development is here to assist you in the continued development of Golconda. Our Community Development Officers will be pleased to help in the formation of new groups to address your areas of need. This centre will also host the Ministry’s Adult Education and Community Education Programme (Skills) Programmes, in order to help residents gain new skills that can lead to self-employment.

The Best Village Officers and Aides are also willing to assist in the formation of any projects and programmes related to culture. I know for a fact that they continue to work with groups like the Embacadere Travellers, Neptune School of the Arts, and the Plaisance Park Folk Performers, to name a few. I hope that in the near future we will have the participants from Golconda being part of the nine (9) competitive areas of the Best Village programme.

As for this Centre, I must thank the contractors Gottsegne Quarry Developers and Construction Company Limited for refurbishing this facility at the cost of nine hundred and seventy thousand, five hundred and five dollars and ninety two cents ($ 970, 505. 92).
This newly refurbished structure includes a:

• Kitchen
• Hall
• And Teak Stage for performances

Please use your beautiful stage to move forward and encourage you as a performer. We have also donated tables, chairs, a stove and a refrigerator to the centre for the community’s use.

To conclude, I would like to encourage all the residents of Golconda to maintain the values of the community. As I listened to Ms Vanessa Mahabir read the Secretary’s Report about the very spot we are here on today, I hope that we can continue the work of past ancestors, raising funds, working under sheds for the people to have community activities. Please utilize this Centre as your own space, and not forgetting to take care of it as you would your own. I hope that you will work together to build a strong resilient community.

On this note ladies and gentlemen, I wish to thank you for being part of this ceremony and I now declare the Golconda Community Centre officially open!

I thank you.

Caption: Minister Peters (left) receives a token of appreciation at the re-dedication of the Golconda Community Centre

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CREDITS: Photo courtesy the Ministry's Communications Unit



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