Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 6th 2015 Contents A13
Friday, March 6, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
National Security Minister Carl
Alfonso received a earful when
he met with firefighters at the
Fire Service headquarters,
Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain,
President of Fire Services Asso-
ciation Leo Ramkissoon tried to
bring a list of grievances affecting
its members to Alfonso s attention
but was told by some of the min-
ister s "assistants" that it was not
the place or time to do so.
Ramkissoon also expressed dis-
appointment that the association
was not invited to the meeting.
"We were not invited to the
meeting but I took the opportunity
to try to speak to the minister
because I am a fire officer and this
of the persons who will be affected
by whatever the minister does,"
He said among the issues to be
discussed were the slow pace of
negotiations and lack of important
While addressing fire officers
earlier, Alfonso said: "I have worked
with the Fire Service but I don t
know much about what some of
you do because I am new to this
job...me as a minister."
Alfonso, a former Chief of
Defence Staff of the Defence Force,
was appointed on February 3 after
Gary Griffith was sacked for failing
to tell the Prime Minister he had
been approached by then attorney
general Anand Ramlogan to get a
witness to withdraw a statement
in a civil case.
Alfonso said during his meeting
with the Fire Services executive
he realised every member was in
an acting position and intended
to find out why.
"Everybody in the room who
wore a senior executive uniform
is supposed to go to Hollywood.
They are all acting.
"I am not condemning anybody
and I am not blaming anybody. I
am trying to find out why the
whole executive of the Fire Services
is acting. In another place where
I used to be for 30-something
years...no acting...nothing more
but a month," Alfonso said.
He also urged fire officers that
theirs was a job to be performed
out of love and not for money.
"You must be happy in what
you do. You can t be here for the
money because the pay is not good
anyhow. If you don t love what
you are doing then open your own
business," Alfonso said. (GK)
Alfonso: Why are all
top firemen acting?
White Hall, the former office of
the Prime Minister of T&T, has
been recommended to become the
home of the National Art Gallery
Addressing guests at the Dedica-
tion Ceremony for LeRoy Clarke s
Eye Haiti...Cries...Everywhere exhi-
bition at the National Museum and
Art Gallery on Frederick Street, Port-
of-Spain, on Tuesday, Dr Roger
Samuel, Minister of National Diver-
sity and Social Integration said that
the masterpieces of art such as the
ones on display, will be showcased
in a proper home.
Dr Samuel said: "I have recom-
mended that White Hall (Rosenweg)
be the home of the National Art
Gallery of Trinidad and Tobago based
on the vast socio-economic benefits
which can be derived.
"We need to capitalise on our
assets---White Hall has stood in its
glory since 1904---and has been a
symbol of the heritage of the Mag-
nificent Seven," he said.
The Minister said that the invest-
ment of a National Art Gallery at
White Hall allows for the investment
in our heritage and in our legacy.
One of the Magnificent Seven,
White Hall, as it is known today,
was built in 1904 by Joseph Leon
Agostini, a cocoa planter, at the time
when "cocoa was king." Construction
commenced in 1904, in accordance
with Mr Agostini s own design, said
to be influenced by the Moorish
Mediterranean style and reminiscent
of the architecture of Corsica from
where the Agostini family originated.
Construction took approximately
three years, although the roof was
not completed until the building
changed hands in 1907. This resi-
dence, the largest of the private
homes on Maraval Road, was orig-
inally called Rosenweg.
In 1957, Whitehall was occupied
by the Pre-Federal Interim Govern-
ment prior to the establishment of
the West Indies Federation in 1958.
In 1963, it became the Office of the
Prime Minister, occupied by The
Hon Dr Eric Williams, Trinidad and
Tobago s first Prime Minister after
Restored in 2000, Whitehall con-
tinued to be occupied by the Office
of the Prime Minister of the Republic
of Trinidad and Tobago until 2009.
White Hall new home
of National Art Gallery
White Hall. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
A San Fernando magistrate yester-
day refused to grant bail to three men
from Arouca and Maloney charged
with robbery and two larceny offences,
including stealing $44,000 from a 77-
Brian Ragbir, 31, of Arouca, Odonelle
Joseph, 19, of Arouca and Yahuwda
Mohammed, 21, of Maloney Gardens,
are jointly charged with the three
offences when they appeared in the
San Fernando Magistrates Court .
Among the victims is a 77-year-old
contractor who withdrew the money
from the bank and left it in his car at
Ruth Avenue, San Fernando, on Feb-
It is alleged that the three men stole
the money from the man.
It is also alleged that on January 23
at Duncan Village, La Romaine, they
stole $22,000 from another man.
And on February 9, also at La
Romaine, it is alleged that they robbed
another person of a handbag con-
taining $20,000 cash, an identification
card and cellphone and beat the vic-
Mohammed faces a separate charge
that on February 26 at Ghandi Village,
Debe, he had marijuana in his posses-
He pleaded not guilty on that charge.
On the charges, the men were not asked
to enter a plea.
Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark
Wellington advised the men of their
right to apply to a judge in chambers
for bail before adjourning the matter
to April 1. SW
3 on robbery charges denied bail
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