Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 12th 2016 Contents LOYSE VINCENT
Leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Toba-
go are seeking to get the church to play an integral
part in the island s tourism sector.
Located at Glen Road, the Ethiopian Orthodox
Church is led by Father Wolde Darvit Alleyne, who
spoke about his movement.
"There are a lot of public misconceptions about the
Ethiopian Orthodox Church. A lot of people see us
as a Rastafarian church and while we welcome every-
one, we are not just for Rastas," Alleyne told Tobago
"Sometimes people come to you they ask you to
do all kinds of strange things -- things I have no knowl-
edge of and I have to set the record straight. We believe
that the doctrine was handed from (Jesus) Christ, to
the twelve apostles who were commanded to go out
and spread the gospel."
However, he said what makes his church unique is
its rich history.
"This very church was commissioned by Emperor
Haile Selassie himself in 1966. He was the head of
the church at that time and this will defy many beliefs
that he was the messiah, because he worshiped with
the members at this very church.
"And I wish that persons could accept the significant
role the Ethiopian Orthodox Church has played in the
evolution of the island from its colonial days on to
emancipation. We were a part or all of that, we are
an integral part of Tobago s history. "
Alleyne said he also believes that one of the church s
largest celebrations could act as a major tourist attrac-
"Meskel, this is where hundreds of Orthodox priests
and deacons donned in ceremonial regalia gather to
welcome the festival, which they call Jesus true cross,"
"According to history, it s when Queen Helena, the
mother of Rome s first Emperor, Constantine prayed
for guidance to find the cross on which Jesus was cru-
cified. The answer came to her in a dream; she lit a
bonfire and added incense to it. The smoke from the
incense went up and then came down to one of the
mountains; this showed where the true cross was
Alleyne said around the world, on the day before
Meskel, members gather firewood and create a bonfire,
which is sprinkled with flowers and palm leaves, then
left to burn throughout the night. The leftover ash is
then used to mark the foreheads of the faithful, in an
act similar to that of Ash Wednesday. The church
would host religious services and feast before Meskel,
which is celebrated on September 27.
"Ethiopia is the only country in the world that cel-
ebrates the finding of the cross on a national level.
Meskel in Addis Ababa is recognised by UNESCO as
a cultural heritage experience for its significance and
the attraction it has for a growing number of tourists
who go the festival annually," Alleyne said.
He said he believes the celebration could do a lot
to educate Tobagonians about the movement and their
African heritage, while also being a major contributor
to the island s tourism offering.
at the Ethiopian
OCTOBER 12-18, 2016
The two ex-Special Forces soldiers
held last week, allegedly with a cache
guns and ammunition, were denied
bail yesterday after the State said they
were awaiting vital information from
the Defence Force before bail could
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions
Joan Honore-Paul, in responding to the
bail application made by the men s attor-
ney, Sophia Chote SC, said the State had
requested some pertinent information
from the Defence Force and had yet to
receive it. She then requested a short
adjournment should be made until tomor-
row when the matter comes back up for
The two men, Cpl Steve Douglas and
Lance Cpl Devon Edwards, face a com-
bined three charges of possession of 26
rounds of assorted ammunition, a silencer
and possession of three magazines and
two pistols on the Uriah Butler Highway,
Douglas faces an individual charge of
having seven rounds of ammunition at
Palm Hotel, Eastern Main Road, Arouca.
Edwards faces four separate charges of
having a Glock pistol with three maga-
zines, a Springfield pistol and two charges
of having a total of 46 rounds of assorted
ammunition at the Uriah Butler Highway,
Chaguanas, on October 5.
In her bail application Chote, who along
with Trevor Clarke represented both men,
said Douglas, 39, lived at Alfred Street,
St James, and had been a member of the
Defence Force for 19 years. The 39-year-
old, she said, had no previous convictions
or pending matters and as a result was
entitled to bail.
Regarding Edwards, Chote said the 36-
year-old of Oropune Gardens, Piarco, was
a skilled labourer with a pending matter
in Tobago. She said Edwards, who served
for 14 years in the Regiment, was charged
with attempted murder and the matter
was dismissed but the Office of the DPP
charged him a second time. He is sched-
uled to re-appear in court on January 17,
next year, in that matter. Chote argued
that even with Edwards pending matter
he can still be granted bail as he had been
faithful in his attendance before the court.
Chote said she was unaware of what
weight the information sought by the
State from the Defence Force could bring
to the case, given that both men had been
discharged from the Regiment for well
over a year.
In response, Honore-Paul said that
Edwards was charged for two offences in
Tobago---the other being possession of a
Seven women came to court in support
of the two men and had to be told indi-
rectly not to speak with them as they sat
in the prisoners enclosure in the court-
room of the Port-of-Spain Eighth Mag-
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