Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 7th 2015 Contents A8
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 7, 2015
The battle to save what is left of the historical
Greyfriars Church of Scotland, in downtown Port-
of-Spain, took a new twist with the State moving
to acquire it under the National Trust as a heritage
The move came even as the building continues to
deteriorate, with its roof caving in on Monday, and
the rubble in the yard providing a breeding ground
for the aedes aegypti mosquito---which spreads the
dengue and chikungunya viruses.
Although the gates to the property are locked,
homeless people now occupy the premises at night,
according to employees at nearby stores.
The building s owner, Alfred Galy, now has to pro-
vide the Port-of-Spain City Corporation with a
detailed plan of how he intends to clear the site and
preserve the facade of the church.
Workmen previously expressed concern that the
roof of the church hall contained asbestos---a poten-
tially hazardous material.
The corporation took Galy to court after he demol-
ished the church hall and began tearing down the
church last November. The corporation obtained an
injunction preventing him from continuing the dem-
That legal matter came up for hearing in the Port-
of-Spain High Court yesterday and the injunction
remains in force until January 16.
Chief Building Inspector at the corporation Deoraj
Ramtahal said yesterday that following the court
hearing, Galy and his attorneys accompanied him
and other officials to the site.
Galy said yesterday that though he retained own-
ership of the building, he had been restricted from
carrying out any clearing work because of the injunc-
He said only yesterday he received an advisory
from the Ministry of Health about ensuring his busi-
ness premises were clean---in order to stem the spread
of the dengue and chikungunya viruses.
"It is in the middle of the city. We have debris
accumulating and water as well, but they are telling
me not to do anything. It s dangerous and could
Noting the roof had collapsed, Galy said, "The
wall on the southern side could crumble anytime.
The only part that is stable is the western-facing
wall, where the steeple is," Galy said.
Galy said the resultant health issues also needed
to be addressed quickly.
Executive secretary of the non-governmental organ-
isation Citizens for Conservation, Michele Celestine,
said yesterday the demolition work "put everything
However, she was happy that discussions were
continuing with Galy as to how the remaining struc-
ture could be preserved. Celestine said Government
was concerned about retaining some aspect of that
building in the new structure.
Notice of National Trust
In a notice published in the Gazette on December
8, 2014, the Council of the National Trust stated its
intention to list the Greyfriars Church of Scotland
as a heritage site.
The church is to be named as part of the Woodford
Square Historical District.
The notice was signed by chairman of the National
Trust Prof Winston Suite.
The notice describes the site as "Two contiguous
parcels of land in the City of Port of Spain comprising
1,791.1 square metres on which are located the Greyfri-
ars Church and Hall, numbered 50 and 52 Frederick
Street, Port of Spain. Bounded on the north by 54
Frederick Street, on the south by 48 Frederick Street,
66 and 68 Prince Street, on the east by 52, 53, 55
and 57 Henry Street."
Move to save ruins
of Greyfriars church
State lists collapsed building as heritage site
The remains of Greyfriars Church of
Scotland, Frederick Street, Port-of-
Spain, where the roof caved in on
Monday. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
Contacted yesterday, National Diversity
Minister Rodger Samuel confirmed that
discussions were continuing with Galy.
However, he declined to comment on the
roof collapsing and the structural stability of
the remaining building.
The church hall was completely demolished
on November 30, while the northern wall of
the church and half of the roof were also taken
down.The eastern, western and southern walls
remained standing, exposed to the elements,
as workmen were prevented from entering the
site due to an injunction secured by the
corporation to prevent any further work.
Links Archive January 6th 2015 January 8th 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page