Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 12th 2015 Contents A16
Nelson Island is one of the most important his-
torical sites in Trinidad. It was the disem-
barkation point and quarantine station for
indentured immigrants to Trinidad and
Tobago in the 19th and early 20th centuries,
and was used as a detention centre for pris-
oners in the 1930s and 1970s.
On October 31 another historical appendage
was added to the island when the National
Trust of Trinidad and Tobago, an arm of the
Ministry of National Diversity and Social Inte-
gration, hosted Vintage Calypso on Nelson Island
in celebration of Calypso History Month.
Featured entertainers were Lord Superior
(Andrew Marcano), Brother Mudada (Alan Fortune),
and musicians Ronnie Joseph on guitar, Abebele
(Neil Baptiste) on bass, and "Lion" Osuna on djembe
(a skin-covered goblet drum). A surprise guest
appearance was made by London-based calypsonian
D Alberto (Winston Albert).
Sixty-five passengers boarded the motor vessel C
Prowler at Pier 1 in Chaguaramas shortly after 3 pm
for the half-hour voyage to the island, declared a Her-
itage Site in 1999, and one of the Five Islands that lie
west of Port-of-Spain in the Gulf of Paria.
Facilitating their on-board comfort were National
Trust employees Valerie Taylor, Marlon Green, Kara
Roopsingh, Judith Marchan, Cheryl Ali, and Jeanelle
Ovid.During the crossing a historical commentary on
the Five Islands was broadcast through the vessel s
public address system to passengers.
On arrival they embarked on individual tours
throughout the island, reviewing historical facts,
remnants, and the buildings which still stand
They viewed the Assembly Area where
the East Indian indentured labourers were
placed when brought to the island
between 1866 and 1917.
They traversed through the jail cells of
activists and trade unionists George Weekes,
Clive Nunez, Apoesho Mutope, Geddes
Granger, Winston Suite, and Efebo Wilkinson
who were among the 50 persons housed there
during the Black Power uprising in 1970,
and saw the replica of the cottage Tubal
Uriah "Buzz" Butler occupied from 1939-
1945 during his incarceration.
Also of interest were a photographic
exhibition on Butler s turbulent trade
union career, and preserved newspaper
clippings of the 1970 uprising.
The Vintage Calypso Concert was held
in a tree-shaded area on the grounds from
5 pm. Judith Marchand, administrative manager
at the National Trust, in welcoming guests to
the history-making event, gave a brief history of
Superior s professional career, noting that on one
of his numerous awards he was deemed "a per-
sistent force in opening up the airways to calyp-
so."In opening the playbill Superior paid tribute to
the late Spoiler (Theophilus Phillip), lending his inter-
pretation to the bard s witty composition Reincarnation
(Bedbug) with which he won the 1953 Calypso King
title. He followed with Brass Crown, and January
Girls, before earning genuine plaudits for his skillful
use of language and metaphor in Black Coffee In
The White House.
He ended his stint with No Celibacy, a song
suggesting to the Pope that catholic priests
Next up was Brother Mudada who opened his set
with Portrait of Trinidad, Sniper s (Mervyn Hodge)
1965 title-winning Calypso King offering. He then
showcased The Mecca, a 1987 composition on the
steelband that came out of his very fertile imagination.
Acting executive director of the T&T Bureau of
Standards Theodore Reddock said he is pleasantly
surprised that his organisation is being used as a
model for the establishment of a bureau of stan-
dards in the South Pacific Island of Vanuatu.
Reddock said while the TTBS is a world class
organisation with international accreditation for
their testing and some of their calibration services,
this now places additional responsibility on them
to improve the areas where they have had less
Last Friday, Reddock met with Vanuatu
representative Ruth Amos, manager of Food
Technology Development Centre and Ana-
lytical Unit, Ministry of Trade who is
charged with the responsibility of helping
her government set up this bureau.
It was by sheer coincidence that the TTBS
was enlisted to design a programme to assist people
from the South Pacific Islands to develop and implement
food safety standards to meet the international require-
ments for trade. The absence of which is creating
barriers to trade.
Amos, was one of those delegates, from
universities and ministries from Vanuatu,
Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Tonga and Kiri-
bati, who attended the CTA s Learning
Journey Meeting Food Safety Standards
for Product and Process Certification of
Agri-food Enterprises, and for Good Health
and Nutrition," which took place at Premier
Quality Services Limited (PQSL), a subsidiary
of TTBS at its Trincity Industrial Estate office.
The Learning Journey was part of the Caribbean-
Pacific Agri-Food Forum, organised by the CTA and
its partners, and funded by the European Union through
the Intra-ACP Agricultural Policy Programme. Course
facilitators and programme designers Sean Victor and
Margaret West-Weston assisted the delegates in under-
standing the concepts and principles of Good Man-
ufacturing Practices (GMP) and Hazard Analysis
and Critical Control Points (HACCP).
The meeting between Reddock and Amos
was facilitated by CTA s Judith Francis,
Senior Programme Coordinator, Science
& Technology Policy.
In an interview, Amos said she never
heard about a bureau of standards prior
to being given the task of establishing one
in her country. Her research led her to the
TTBS and so she grasped the opportunity
to participate in the Learning Journey in
Trinidad when the opportunity arose.
"I thought this was my one and only chance
to get to Trinidad so that I could actually meet
these people in person and get some information."
She also spoke of the great need for this food
safety expertise in Vanuatu.
"The biggest complaint I have always heard
was certification and assistance with food safety
systems in order for the Small, Medium Enterprises
(SME s) to be able to export their goods."
Amos said their aim is to have the Vanuatu Bureau
of Standards set up by 2017. She said the third Draft
Bill is expected to go before their Parliament shortly.
She has requested assistance in the area of capacity
building and standards of development, certification
and also a look at the TTBS regulations in an
effort to develop her own regulations for Van-
Reddock said before meeting Amos he had
no idea Vanuatu was using the TTBS as a
blueprint and pledged support to assist her
country in achieving its goals to set stan-
dards for trade.
Commenting as well, PQSL CEO Huey
Cuffie said: "I think its interesting that one
of the participants was, without us knowing,
using the bureau as a comparative organisa-
tion. So we are in the midst of strategising
and going forward and I think this is a won-
derful opportunity for us to build on."
throbs to the
beat of calypso
TTBS helps Pacific Island
set standards for trade
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, November 12, 2015
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