Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 3rd 2017 Contents news A15
Friday, March 3, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Stay away from
Roman Catholic worshippers have been told
that the purpose for fasting during Lent will
be lost if they fail to also practice virtue.
Father Martin Sirju made the point as he deliv-
ered the sermon at the Ash Wednesday mass, at-
tended by more than 700 parishioners who packed
the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic church in
The mass signalled the beginning for the Lenten period during
which Catholics fast for 40 days before Easter.
Speaking on the reasons why people fast, Sirju said one rea-
son was that it trains the mind and the heart and disciplines
"Don't get upset with people because you are fasting, then
you will lose the purpose," said Sirju, who advised those
with that attitude not to fast.
"We do that (discipline the body mind and spirit)
so we could develop virtue."
Saying fasting must be practised internally and
externally, he said: "You cannot fast and on the
outside someone gives you a bad drive and you
curse the person...You cannot be fasting on one
hand and then you reaching 15 minutes or half
an hour late for work everyday, that is reckless
Sirju said someone people believed Lent was
the only period when they should fast, give alms
and prayer, but that was not true.
He said those things were intensified during Lent,
but should be practised throughout the year.
Students and teachers of the San Fernando Boys
RC and St Gabriel's Girls' were among the hundreds
of parishioners on whose foreheads ashes, in the
form of a cross, were applied. (SW)
Priest warns parishioners
son fined for
The son of the late
Mighty Duke was fined
$1,500 for having the
"devil's weed"in his pock-
et on Carnival Monday in
Prince Mendez, a construction work-
er, who has been in police custody since
his arrest admitted that the police caught
him with the marijuana, but he claimed he
got caught up in the Carnival festivities.
Mendez, 29, was arrested around 11.30
am at Lord Street, San Fernan-
do after the police found he
was acting suspiciously and
Court prosecutor Sgt Den-
zil Alexander told San Fernan-
do Magistrate Brambhanan
Dubay the marijuana, which
weighed 10 grammes, was found
in his right pants pocket in a
Defence attorney Ainsley
Lucky asked the magistrate for
give his client, who will celebrate his
birthday today, an early a gift of
Lucky said Mendez
was married and has two
Mendez, he said, got
caught up in the euphoria
of the season.
"Is either the devil's
weed or alcohol. My cli-
ent had the devil's weed,"
"Had the Mighty Duke
been here he would have
frowned on this," he said.
Mendez' father calypsonian Kel-
vin Pope died in January 2009.
Mendez was also convicted for marijuana
possession in 2008.
The prosecutor did not have a tracing
report for any of the accused before the
court. Mendez has to pay the fine in
30 days or serve nine months in
In the same court, Agin
Gaskin, 43, who works at a gen-
eral labourer at a church in San
Fernando, also pleaded guilty
to marijuana possession.
Gaskin, of Corinth
Hills, was caught by a po-
liceman smoking a mari-
juana cigarette along Ci-
pero Street around 8.05 pm
on Carnival Monday.
Gaskin was convicted in
1999 and 2008 for a similar
He was ordered to pay
$750 in 30 days or serve
four months in jail.
In the same court, Brent
Daly, 42, a father of ten,
admitted he had marijuana
and cocaine in his posses-
sion at Railway Road, Vic-
toria Village around 1 am
on Carnival Monday.
The Pleasantvile man
was fined a total of $1,200
which he has to pay in 30
days or serve four months
NCDF: New vision
for Carnival needed
New vision, governance systems and a holistic ap-
proach to Carnival are desperately needed following
the low 2017 season, says National Carnival Devel-
opment Foundation (NCDF) chairman Mahindra
"Someone said there would be a post-mortem on
Carnival 2017, but if you have to do a post-mortem
on something it means it's dead.
Mechanisms dealing with Carnival haven't been
Maharaj said feedback from large, medium and
small bands was that numbers had dwindled and
die-hard masqueraders kept the bands going this
He added: "We've been speaking on the problem
all the time. It's been building, but nothing has been
done. Masqueraders' numbers have been dwin-
dling in the last five years due lack of an enabling
environment for Carnival. But you really saw it
this year, particularly since security, economic
problems and US immigration issues were also
deterrents. So with all the issues, this year was
really a die hards mas.
"Due to the overall challenges, band leaders put
out extra efforts---including ensuring safety---to
counteract lack of an enabling environment for
Carnival to attract foreign and local masquerad-
ers. Thankfully, we also had solid state security
to provide a comfortable anti-crime deterrent."
Maharaj said apologies for the poor Dimanche
Gras production were not enough.
"After having Carnival for more than 70 years,
the event should by now have been a professional,
refined product. New links are required between
tourism, works, security, InvesTT, other arms. So-
cadrome did well and the private sector succeeded
but NCDF is weary of talking.The authorities have
had our recommendations a long time," he said.
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