Trinidad Express / Touted as the biggest festival outside of Carnival, the Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations kicked off two Fridays ago at the Victor Chin Kit Park.
The two-week long celebration takes place at venues throughout the borough, showcasing mainly local entertainers.
Reynold Carrington, chairman of the culture committee, said this year’s event was gearing up to be one of the best and safest Borough Day celebrations.
Carrington said the launch of the celebrations touched on almost every aspect of culture. He said patrons enjoyed steelpan, kaiso, jazz, gospel and soca.
And long before the launch, Carrington said, councillors went into each district speaking with residents about what they wanted to see different this year.
“We tried to communicate with the people in the community. The councillors went out and sat with them and find out things they have had in the past and how we can better serve them. To make adjustments to have a better product,” he said.
Following the consultation, he said, Rhythm Rama and Football Fiesta were merged into one event.
Previously, the events were held at separate locations. This year, Community Spotlight: Football Fiesta and Rhythm Rama were held at the Sherwin Julien Recreation Ground last Saturday.
Carrington said the event was a success and residents were happy.
Refusing to comment on the lack of Government funding for the celebrations, Carrington said corporate sponsors have ensured that Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations was successful.
He said Atlantic was the main sponsor for the Pan on the Move, which takes place on Saturday.
“They are solely the main sponsor for making it possible. Without them it would be very challenging to pull off the Pan on the Move. Borough Day started off with the Pan on the Move segment. Atlantic is our main sponsor and we are grateful that they are on board because we know about the downturn in the economy and there are a lot of cutbacks,” he said.
Carrington said State-owned Petrotrin was also part-sponsor of the celebrations.
He said security was also a major concern and the borough corporation has ensured a safe celebration.
“We have met with various agents. So far everything has gone very smoothly no incidents. The parade was excellent. We are calling on residents to adhere with instructions of police officers and try to cooperate and make it a safe and successful,” he said.
Among the headline acts, Carrington said, were David Rudder, Super Blue, Cro Cro, Luther and many steelbands.
Point Fortin needs that highway
The completion of the Solomon Hochoy Highway extension to Point Fortin is being welcomed by the Point Fortin South Western Chamber of Industry and Commerce as a potential for greater investment into the south western regions.
This according to the Chamber’s president Captain George Alexis who said that there many untapped opportunities in the region.
Alexis said that for the development of any area in a country, there needs to be development of physical infrastructure as an access point.
“Whatever development there is, you need to have access and the highway will do this. It will bring investors, goods and services and along with this, increase tourist activity. State involvement in any development is critical and the once this occurs, the private enterprises will do the rest. There are untapped opportunities in the south west. We have great number of skill and functionality,” he said.
Alexis said that with the development of infrastructure there will be more people coming into the area for investment and thereby increased opportunities to both the residents and business community.
Despite the recent loss of BpTT’s Angelin platform construction to La Brea, Alexis reiterated that there are unexploited resources in the area.
He suggested that there be a productivity forum with the private sector, trade unions and the communities to discuss what can be done to make the areas more attractive and compete with others locally and internationally.
“We have a record of producing and excelling and we have to offer more of something than what the other people are offering. A productivity forum with the private sector and others can be start. We need to establish where we are on the competitiveness scale with other countries. so for example if we have welders, we need to know that our welders could compare with the best, so we compare with the skills and availability. When we talking about productivity, how much do we produce in the particular area compared to other competing countries. where are we? So when you want to bring in business, you have to demonstrate that bringing a business here is to your advantage.
So, given the whole Angelin fiasco, now maybe a good time to have a forum with the private sector, the union and the community about our competitiveness. You want jobs from people in La Brea, you want the area to develop, what can we offer than what is better than what the others persons ae offering. ” he said.
Point’s legend SuperBlue honoured
Calypsoians Austin “SuperBlue” Lyons was honoured on Sunday for his contributions to the district of Point Fortin and his musical contributions.
The award was given my Point Fortin Member of Parliament Edmund Dillon during one of the Point Fortin Borough Day celebrations.
An official at the Point Fortin Borough Corporation said that this was a community spotlight event held in the electoral district of New Lands/ Mahaica at the Legends Club.
Dillon, during the street festival called Lyons a “legend” and a “cultural ambassador” and praised him for his contributions.
Lyons, the father of well-known soca artiste Fay-Ann Lyons, was born in Point Fortin.
He is famous for wearing blue costumes during his performances.
Lyons has won the Carnival Road March tile nine times and the Trinidad Soca Monarch, now known as the International Soca Monarch tile seven times.
“Fantastic Friday” has been one of Lyon’s biggest hit and was played over 500 times on carnival Monday and Tuesday in 2013, where he beat soca artist Machel Montano.
Other famous songs performed by the SuperBlue were Soca Baptist, Clear de Road, Get something and wave, bacchanal time, Barbara and many others.
Borough finally getting its hospital
The Point Fortin Hospital is expected to be complete by January 2019.
The project, which was initiated under the Peoples’ Partnership Administration, has now under the Urban Development Corporation of Trinidad and Tobago Limited (Udecott) been proceeding despite reports of works being halted.
According to the Udecott website, the project’s overall construction in 27 per cent complete with preliminary designs, piling works, pile caps 100 per cent complete and the grade beams foundations for the main building are also 100 per cent complete.
The final/detailed designs are 55 per cent complete, the designs for the morgue and technical building are ongoing and backfilling between foundations and preparation work for floor slabs to the main building are on-going.
The hospital will comprise of a three storey and is located along Techier and Point Fortin Main road.
The accommodation is 100 beds with 26 internal medicine beds, 24 general surgery beds, 10 gynaecology beds, 15 Obstetrics Beds, 6 Psychiatric Beds, 10 Pediatric/Adolescent Beds, 5 Burn Beds and 4 High Dependency Beds.
The hospital will also be equipped with all major Medical Equipment, FF&E, Security System, Data and Wireless networking connection.
Services expected to be offered will include General medicine, General surgery, Burns, Psychiatry, Pediatric/Adolescence, High Dependency and Accident and Emergency.
There will also be diagnostic services, outpatient clinical services, inpatient adult services, social and retail services and support services.
Udecott stated that with regard to Medical equipment and furniture (MEQ)-phase one of the MEQ was submitted to the South West regional Health Authority in September 2016 which followed a detailed presentation in mid-October 2016.
“The Ministry of Health via letter in mid-February 2017 approved approximately 80 per cent of the MEQ for the phase one element. The remaining 20 per cent of phase two is being reviewed prior to being submitted to the Ministry of Health/SWRHA for their review and approval,” it stated.
Udecott stated that structural steel installation and erection works are expected to take place over the course of this month.
Last month, leader of the Movement for Social Justice, David Abdulah criticised the Government claiming that construction works had stopped on the project.
However, the Ministry of Healthy responded stating that misinformation was being placed in the public domain concerning the hospital.
TRINIDAD Y TOBAGO: The biggest party outside of Carnival
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