Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 4th 2015 Contents A22
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, November 4, 2015
AL-HAAQ BBQ is hiring Customer Service Attendants
Cashing and taking orders in person
Taking call in orders on the telephone
Maintaining a clean surrounding
Personal Attributes we look for:
Must have a pleasant disposition and previous
Customer Service experience
Must have high energy
Responsible, Industrious and Ambitious
Must be able to work holidays, weekends and nights
And able to work in a team
AL-HAAQ BBQ CARIBBEAN LTD
57 Montrose Main Road, Chaguanas
1-868-672-2903, Email: email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org
Applicants are also required to send a copy of the application to:
The Chief Manpower Officer
Ministry of Labour and Infrastructure Enterprise Development
Duke Street Port-of-Spain, Trinidad W.l
Afriend who s a teacher in Fort
Myers, Florida, shared the fol-
lowing story with me. She
recently took her class on a field trip
to a local technology company.
The representative who led the tour
was an Indian gentleman with an
accent that the students described as
When they asked where he was
from, he used a piece of trivia as the
answer, telling them it was the
Caribbean island that invented the
"steel drum." My friend said the man
wasn t very happy when the students
thought he was referring to Jamaica.
Go ahead and chuckle if you want,
but I for one do not find it the least
bit amusing. If in 2015, almost 70-plus
years after its creation, T&T has yet to
stake a globally-known claim as the
birthplace of pan, then we should be
ashamed of ourselves because we are
obviously doing something very, very
Sure, it s great that we are proud in
knowing that our tiny nation has made
such a major contribution to the
world s musical zeitgeist, but the
before-mentioned incident is proof
that we haven t effectively used it to
I ll be honest about something---there
isn t much about Trinbagonian culture
that interests me. I ve never participat-
ed in Carnival, I don t listen to soca or
calypso, and I can t recall the last time
I visited Maracas Bay.
But I absolutely love the steelpan. I
love the serendipitous history behind
it. I love how its making involved sim-
ple ingenuities that resulted in some-
thing incredibly complex.
And I love the fact that in a world
that s addicted to petroleum, we took
the least important component of the
process, ie the transportation vessel,
and turned it into something so much
While in primary school I attended a
concert at Queen s Hall which included
the Neal & Massy All Stars pan group.
They performed a piece of music
titled Fanfare for the Common Man, a
loud and thunderous composition writ-
ten in honour of men who went off to
Even now I can still hear the melodi-
ous metallic throng, remembering how
it made my young heart soar.
In my opinion traditional renditions
of that piece can t compare to how it
sounds when played on those shiny
However, even at that age, I was
aware of the lack of recognition T&T
had in relation to its invention. I
learned how steelpan was made from
watching Sesame Street, and the first
time I ever heard Paul Keens-Douglas
poem Pan Rap was on the Nickelodeon
And the worst offence of all was
Kokomo, the 1988 song by the Beach
Boys, which croons about, "Falling in
love to the rhythm of a steel drum
band," but fails to include Trinidad on
its list of tropical paradises. Jamaica,
on the other hand, gets mentioned in
As much as we hate to admit it,
when it comes to things synonymous
with the Caribbean, our non-archipel-
agic neighbour is usually the first place
that most foreigners think of; and that
is our own fault. The abundance of
natural resources has always resulted in
a lacklustre promotion of our tourism
And ironically, that reliance on
petroleum over pan has enabled others
to appropriate it for their own use. If
this continues, the day may come
when the world identifies only where
the instrument can be found and
nothing about its true origins.
This musical treasure must be for us
as Bob Marley is for Jamaica---an
instantly recognisable icon known in
every corner of the global village. Why
can t we, along with our state-spon-
sored sports teams, also have a nation-
al steelpan orchestra?
Such a talented troop could tour the
international stage, showcasing our tal-
ents and captivating audiences.
Other than the diplomatic and trade
opportunities that can be gained from
such a spectacle, it would undoubtedly
secure T&T s cultural reputation.
For like the pan, we are a people
wrought in hardship, but beat us to
hell and we can still produce beautiful
The establishment of the Economic Advisory
Board is a good move by the new government.
Any country that is really serious about develop-
ment needs to have such an entity to chart a way
forward. In the past there were too many haphaz-
ard policies towards sustainable development.
We were busy building hospitals, box drains, of-
fice buildings, skylines all over the place. Nobody
put the infrastructure into perspective. It was a
case of "let's do more than them" attitude. In the
inordinate haste we opened half-ready buildings
which were far from commissioning. In short it
was a publicity stunt.
With this advisory board there is an attempt to
bring sanity to all the madness. The Planning Min-
ister ought to be a member of the Board. We do
not want both entities out of sync. So Camille
Robinson--Regis must be on it.
If one looks at the economic development of
both Singapore and Dubai they started with eco-
nomic boards to chart the way. Both countries re-
lied heavily on foreign direct investment (FDI).
Tax exemptions, honest and stable government
were the hallmarks of their development.
We too can invite FDI to our shores. We need
to make certain changes very fast.
Government cannot afford to create a welfare
state. Many people are eating off the fat of the
We cannot talk about affordable housing when
the government is supporting mortgages to the
tune of $1.2 million.
Let recipients of those mortgages go to the
open market. We should be supporting families
whose income do not exceed $10,000.
We are not obligated to provide jobs for con-
tractors. Let them seek jobs outside of our Repub-
lic. Sporadic development projects are draining the
Treasury at no benefit to the average citizen.
We should take a time out on projects in this
country. Everything has skyrocketed. A preschool
costs $20 million to construct when that figure
could build four. We need to stop the madness.
The Economic Advisory Board would help to
transform this country.
Powergen has offered to its entire
workforce two packages in a Vol-
untary Employment Separation Plan
and a Voluntary Early Retirement
Plan and at the same time will be
closing down the Port-of-Spain plant.
With the word "voluntary" it says
that it gives the employer the option
to choose those they want to get rid
of and keep those they want to keep.
Will it be political cleansing or eth-
nic cleansing, time will tell.
Hundreds to go just after a general
elections. Powergen is just the start
and soon it will be retrenchment
and/or separation at WASA, TSTT,
PATT and all ministries.
The President General of the
OWTU who struck up a deal and
signed a Memorandum of Agreement
with the love of his life, the PNM, and
who called on his membership to
vote with venom for his PNM, is now
The weakness of labour leaders
rises it head yet again. It happened
under the NAR when the NIC was
The labour leaders got together
and burnt the document and lived to
Now they called back for the PNM
even though they saw economic
growth and stability, massive infra-
structural development all over the
country, job security and employment
for all, the development of rural areas
as never before etc, under the PP
government and in less than two
months they live to regret it. Say
what. Roget's PNM has embarked
upon a campaign of lies on the state
of the economy to justify their
cleansing by saying the PP govern-
ment left the Treasury dry.
It is a known fact that the PNM
has never been able to govern the
country when oil price was low and
the country faces a bleak period yet
again with oil price where it is today.
TAKING A BEATING ON PAN
Economic Advisory Board
can chart a way forward
Powergen just the start of retrenchment
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