Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : Aug 4th 2015 Contents A29
• Twitter: @GuardianTT • Web: guardian.co.tt
With Downton Abbey coming to an end,
its executive producer is offering hope
that a follow-up movie is at least a
By ending the TV drama several years
shy of the 1929 stock market crash,
producer Gareth Neame said rich territory
is left to be mined if a film is made.
He told TV critics Saturday that it's been
discussed, but there's no script or a firm
plan. Afterward, he told The Associated
Press that such a project could be made as
a big-screen theatrical release but
reaffirmed it was speculative at this point.
"I think a Downton Abbey movie could
be a wonderful thing," he said earlier.
But it's time for the series itself to end
while it's still popular and acclaimed,
Neame said. The Television Critics
Association panel discussion was
bittersweet as its stars and producers
looked back at the drama's past seasons
and ahead to its conclusion.
"How are we going to live without it?"
said Rebecca Eaton, executive producer of
Masterpiece, the PBS showcase for
Its sixth and final season will begin
airing in September in the UK and in
January on PBS in the United States.
Neame said the last season will bring
back some faces from the past, but the
focus of the final season is to wrap up
storylines for the main cast. (AP)
Downton producer doesn't shut door on big-screen film
There is an islandwide process now on to
assess T&T s national heritage sites, and in
some cases, to rethink what constitutes such
a site, and embrace new ones. And the whole
village of Lopinot will soon be listed as a
national heritage site. This is according to
Dr Winston Suite, chairman of the National
Trust of T&T, in a recent interview with the
Meanwhile, in Tobago, new relationships
are being established between the National
Trust organisation in Trinidad, and its sister
organisation in Tobago, the Tobago Trust,
which is run independently.
Early last month, Suite met with represen-
tatives of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA)
at Calder Hall to discuss collaboration and
initiatives to preserve Tobago s landmarks and
heritage. Suite had admiring things to say
about the good work being done in Tobago
on heritage matters.
Large detailed maps of every regional munic-
ipality now cover the walls of the National
Trust offices on Wrightson Road, Port-of-
Spain. Dots on the maps mark existing heritage
sites, as research officers work hard to organise
data coming in. The maps make it easy to
grasp that some areas are very under-repre-
sented in terms of officially labelled "heritage
sites," while other areas, such as Port-of-
Spain, seem to have an abundance of sites.
Part of the Trust s current job is to redress
some of these regional imbalances, said Suite.
Suite said the Trust s priority right now is
to identify, assess, list (and eventually, if pos-
sible, develop) all natural heritage projects
throughout the country. This process is ongo-
ing, he said. He said the Trust had already
met with almost all municipalities to ask for
their help in identifying and refining sites of
interest in their areas; the only municipalities
still to agree to meeting with the Trust are
San Fernando and Chaguanas.
Seven committees of experts, in areas such
as history, literature, engineering, architecture
and planning, are now helping in the process
of evaluating sites, said Suite.
Suite said when he first came to the post
less than a year ago, he inherited a list of 430
heritage sites, and that right now, the figure
is 444, as some sites were found to be beyond
repair---"completely lost"---while others had
been added. "By the end of the year, we expect
to have about 500 validated sites," he said.
The process of protecting or formally listing
a site passes through several stages: first, a
site is identified; then it is validated; then
experts produce a detailed dossier on it; the
dossier is then approved by the National Trust
Council, which agrees to list it; the Council
grades the building; the owner is notified of
intention to list; the intention to list is published
in the Gazette; any objections must be raised
at this point; and finally, the Minister of Diver-
sity approves the site/building s listed status,
which means it s an official heritage site.
Right now, we have 29 protected heritage
sites, including 16 newly protected ones which
Dr Rodger Samuel, Minister of National Diver-
sity and Social Integration, signed off on in
a short ceremony last month. And another
50 sites are expected to be listed soon, said
the Trust in a release.
The importance of memory
What criteria are currently being used to
select and (re)assess T&T s national heritage
sites? Dr Suite was not specific, but shared
"National heritage is the memory and the
experience of the people, not just built struc-
tures and land space. It is where some aspect
of our collective consciousness has been devel-
oped ....on who we are, what we believe in,
what makes us a T&T person, as opposed to
a Venezuelan, or a Colombian, or an American.
"What makes us is our experiences in these
different places in T&T. So we preserve these
things because they are capturing our memory,
our collective experiences. So, critical to this
is not protecting physical (assets) just for
themselves, but protecting them for the mem-
ory of the society, the cultural significance."
The National Trust began 24 years ago, in
1991, with a mandate to improve communities
through preserving built and natural heritage.
In theory, this involves acquiring heritage
properties; repairing and servicing these prop-
erties; improving amenities; preserving natural
areas, conserving animal and plant life there;
and enabling the public to have access to,
enjoy, and educate themselves from these her-
However, limited resources means the Trust
cannot, in effect, do the kinds of repairs, main-
tenance and servicing of sites it would like to;
some proposed heritage sites belong to private
owners and require discussion; and many sites
are, as a result, neglected.
The educational as well as tourism potential
of many sites is significant, but requires
• Continues on Page A33
Dr Winston Suite, chairman of the National
Trust of T&T. PHOTO: JEFF MAYERS
Valuing our space, our place
National Trust builds new links with Tobago, assesses new
sites and makes a spirited call for partnerships of all kinds
Count Lopinot House, in
the village of Lopinot.
Lopinot is just north of
Arouca, in the foothills
of the Northern Range,
and was named after
Charles Joseph Count
de Loppinot (1738--
1819) who ran a cocoa
estate there. Today's
residents have a
heritage with African,
Spanish, French patois
influences. It's a place
known for its parang,
its beautiful serenity,
its tasty cocoa
its ghosts! Soon, the
entire village will
become a heritage site.
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