Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 21st 2016 Contents B5
February 21, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
SERVICE COMMISSIONS DEPARTMENT
ADVERTISEMENT OF VACANCY
TRANSPORT FOREMAN I (RANGE 22)
IN THE PUBLIC SERVICE
Applications are invited from suitably qualified persons for appointment to the above mentioned
office, who are in possession of the undermentioned requirements and did not submit an application
in response to the previous Advertisement.
MINIMUM EXPERIENCE AND TRAINING REQUIREMENTS
Considerable (more than 4 years and up to 8 years) experience in the operation and maintenance
of motor vehicles and training as evidenced by a Primary School Leaving Certificate; or any equiv-
alent combination of experience and training.
NECESSARY SPECIAL REQUIREMENT
Possession of a driving licence entitling holder to drive Heavy Motor Vehicles (Class 4).
Range 22: $5,828-$7,104/$7,635 per month (2013).
For further details, persons wishing to apply can access the Advertisement, the Application Form
and the Job Specification at the Service Commissions Department and on the website at
52-58 Woodford Street
Please see the website for details on:
a) Information/documents to be submitted; and
b) Applications which are deemed incomplete and unsuitable.
On December 29, 1921, acting Gov-
ernor of T&T, T A V Best, proclaimed
Chapter 8 of Ordinance 42 before the
Legislative Council in the Red House.
The idyllic holiday homes and simple
farmer-fisherman lifestyle of the island
of Chacachacare was changed forever,
for this piece of legislation immediately
appropriated all land thereupon (except
that belonging to the Roman Catholic
church) to be property of the Govern-
ment and orders were issued for all
inhabitants to clear out forthwith. This
draconian move was intended to clear
the space for what would become
known as the "Molokai of the
Caribbean," that is to say, a leper
In the months following the decla-
ration, the Public Works Department
began a massive construction drive
which saw an entire village being estab-
lished at Sander s Bay, complete with
a bakery, mess hall and administrative
offices as well as an infirmary. Male and
female inmates were to be lodged sep-
arately, the latter in small cottages. There
were chapels as well for the Roman
Catholic and Anglican faiths with a
small Hindu mandir being added later.
A Delco plant provided electricity to
some of the buildings, while the patients
quarters had to make do with kerosene
As the facilities neared completion,
the transfer of patients from the Cocorite
Leprosarium (in service since 1845) began
under the supervision of the police to
ensure that none would attempt to
escape the enforced exile that awaited
them on the desert island where as ever,
water was so scarce, it had to be carefully
hoarded in large concrete cisterns.
One interesting situation that arose
from the movement of the first patients
is that those who were only mildly
affected by the disease were transported
first. They worked alongside the Public
Works labourers in the building process
and received a small wage for their
As detailed in one of my earlier articles
on the Cocorite Leprosarium, the lepers
had been cared for since 1868 by
Dominican nuns from France. Their
selfless devotion did not now wane in
the face of the transfer and they intended
to follow their charges thither. A convent
and chapel dedicated to Our Lady of
the Rosary were built at Marine Bay and
perched on a steep incline. To get to
the settlement at Sander s Bay would
entitle a strenuous row in an open boat
and every evening upon completion of
their duties, the sisters would face a
brisk climb to their quarters.
The relocation of these valiant Sisters
began in September 1926 and not with-
out some sadness, since the Reverend
Mother Thomas Nigay, who had loyally
served at Cocorite since 1890, died
before the move after a long illness.
There was further grief upon arrival
at Chacachacare since Prioress Mother
Marie was dying and would breathe her
last on the island three months later.
Her remains were the first laid to rest
in the little cemetery of the nuns on
the island where in the coming years,
others would join her, having given their
lives in the service of the sick. A motor
launch servicing the leper colony was
named in Mother Marie s honour.
The official inauguration of the new
"Hansenian Settlement" was performed
on November 18, 1926, the last patients
and their caregivers having arrived barely
a month before. This final batch of lepers
were those who had been so ravaged
that they could not walk and had to be
carried about on stretchers.
It is quite difficult now to appreciate
fully the feelings of those who moved
to Chacachacare. For the patients, it
would mean that there would nevermore
be contact with family and friends except
by the occasional letter. Whatever emo-
tions the Dominican Sisters felt must
have been quickly suppressed, for they
plunged into their duties with no delay.
In time, it became obvious that in
order to ensure the proper care of the
most incapacitated patients, a night shift
would have to be initiated at the infir-
mary in Sander s Bay. Once again, the
brave nuns were ready to assist and a
small hostel was prepared for those who
chose to work overnight rather than
return to the convent.
Dr Ferdinand De Verteuil, a hard-
working physician from an old Trinida-
dian family, acted as medical superin-
tendent on the island until the arrival
of Dr Welch, an Englishman, on October
10, 1926. It is interesting to note that
the superintendent was housed in one
of the old holiday homes at Rust s Bay
along with his family that included sev-
eral small children.
• Next week, we continue our look
at the history of Chacachacare.
Chacachacare ---Part III
Molokai of the Caribbean
A Dominican Sister with female lepers at Chacachacare in the early 1930s.
The large holiday house at Rust's Bay (seen here in 1910) became the quarters of
the medical superintendent of the leper colony in the 1920s.
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