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Minister Baksh opens $3.1 million upgraded Ste Madeleine Regional Complex

General News

The following is the verbatim feature address delivered by the Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development, at the formal Rededication Ceremony for the Ste Madeleine Regional Complex at 5:30 pm on Thursday February 4, 2011.

"Let me first apologize for being late. Thank you all for your patience. being here. This evening I want to begin by congratulating the people of Ste Madeleine on your new refurbished Regional Complex. As we mark this occasion, we are mindful of the people of Ste. Madeleine
The people of Ste. Madeleine, starting with this captive audience, show us that no matter who we are or where we come from, we are each part of something greater - something more consequential than party or politics. We are members of the greater family of Trinidad and Tobago.

In a country where every creed and race finds an equal place, Ste. Madeleine reminds us of our bond as a people. Though stark might seem our differences at times, stronger is our unity. Ste. Madeleine has nurtured leaders such as Minister of Housing and the Environment and Member of Parliament for Oropouche East Dr. Roodal Moonilal, and many more outstanding citizens.
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Best Village to launch its Traditions of Carnival in Siparia

General News

The Best Village Unit of the Ministry of Community Development will launch its annual Traditions of Carnival competition on Saturday February 12, 2011 at Irwin Park in Siparia from 10:00 am. The public and the media are cordially invited to attend.

The Honourable Nizam Baksh, Minister of Community Development will deliver the feature address at the event, which is part of the Prime Minister‘¦s Best Village Trophy Competition.

The day‘¦s activities will include a mixture of dance, music (calypso medley 1931 to 1979, Tamboo Bamboo and Rhythm Section), recital of literature (including Pierrot Grenade, Midnight Robber and Speech Band), as well as Individuals, Couples and a special Ole Mas Presentation by employees of the Ministry.

The competition has been hosted by the Best Village Unit every year since 2003 and its objectives are:

„X To preserve the traditional aspects of the Carnival.

„X To encourage the retention of the Carnival Arts and the upliftment of the Arts in general.

„X To encourage research and continuity with our festival traditions.

„X To provide opportunities for the coming together of people in various communities to participate in an activity that encourages national pride, community spirit and upliftment through healthy competition and social interaction.

The Traditions of Carnival competition will take place in two stages, with preliminaries to be held two 92 weeks before the Finals. The first, second and third placed groups will advance to the National Finals, alongside the winners from Tobago. The National Finals will take place on the Friday before Carnival week at a venue to be announced.

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$40,000 prize for Community Beautification announced

General News Persons cleaning and beautifying public spaces in their communities can now win as much as $40,000 from the Prime Minister's Beautification Competition, Community Development Minister Nizam Baksh announced today. Speaking during the launch of the new Prime Minister's Beautification Competition, Minister Baksh told community leaders gathered at the Sangre Grande Civic Centre this morning, that the new competition subsumes the Clean & Beautify Trinidad & Tobago (C&B T&T) campaign, and elevates the Environmental Sanitation category of the Prime Minister's Best Village Trophy Competition. The Best Village competition forms part of the portfolio of the Ministry of Commmunity Development.

"Today, I am pleased to announce that the Ministry will increase the number of prizes from three to eight. The quantum will be increased as follows. The first place prize of the former "Environmental Sanitation" component of the Best Village competiton will increase from $10,000 to $40,000; second place prize will increase from $7,500 to $30,000; the third place prize will increase from $5,000 to $20,000," he said.

Even if a community does not place among the top eight, Minister Baksh noted that as a result of the cleaning and beautifying, "In every community that participates, the residents of that community will be the ones who benefit most." He added, "We have a win-win situation. For participants of this competition, it is impossible to lose."

The Minister of Community Development explained, "The objective of this Beautification Competition is to promote environmental awareness in our communities; to spur physical and general cleanliness of our surroundings; to encourage communities to vie for excellence in exercises that will enhance village surroundings and at the same time, strengthen community spirit and village pride. The rules are simple. Communities need only to present their proposals by mid-March 2011 at any of our eight district offices across the country."

For further information, interested persons should contact the Best Village office at 627-0471.
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Newly refurbished Regional Complex for Ste. Madeleine

General News

Residents of Ste. Madeleine in south Trinidad will soon benefit from a newly refurbished Regional Complex, which will be rededicated on Thursday February 3, 2011 at 5.00 pm. Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh will formally re-open the upgraded facility, which was first opened on October 19, 1995.

The complex comprises of the following:

• A multi-purpose auditorium for cultural activities and indoor sports
• A conference room for meetings and lectures
• An office for Administrative Staff
• A Room for counselling, workshop sessions, classes and general development
• A Kitchen
• Sanitary facilities
• A Storeroom
• A Bar Area

The Ste. Madeleine Regional Complex is managed by the Ministry of Community Development through its Board of Management established in March 1997. This Board was later divided into Five Committees, namely Sports, Culture, Religion, Women, Business, Representatives from Local Government and the Ste. Madeleine Village Community Council. Statutory meetings of the Board are held once monthly.

Future projects earmarked for the complex are:

• Construction of a multi-purpose court and basement
• Construction of a balcony in the Main Hall
• Establishment of Library facilities
• Air conditioning the Main Hall
• Establishment of a Computer Room
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NCSH hosts media luncheon

General News

The following is the address delivered by Community Development Minister, the Honourable Nizam Baksh at a media luncheon hosted by the National Commission for Self Help Limited at Chaud Restaurant on Dundonald Street, Port of Spain on January 26, 2011 at 12 noon.

Thank you all for being here, and special thanks to the members of the media who are here. Today is about you, so we are pleased to have you here today. This is an opportunity to thank you for your partnership, for your cooperation and for your coverage. As news people, I know you all have a very difficult job. You have to understand the principles and practices through which the National Commission for Self Help operates so that your comments, discussions and critics may be insightful and well informed.
Today, Trinidad and Tobago is more interconnected than at any time in its history. People get their news from increasingly different sources. Yet, only the professional journalists like you can do a professional job at reporting the news. Citizen journalists perform an important function of speed in news delivery, but you perform a more important function of accuracy and reliability to go with the speed.