Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 20th 2018 Contents news A7
Tuesday, March 20, 2018
Politicians, judges, diplomats and
other specially invited guests who
crammed the foyer of the National
Academy for the Performing Arts
were all overheard asking where
was Paula-Mae Weekes as a recep-
tion hosted by outgoing President
Anthony Carmona got underway
at 11 am.
Minutes before this country’s
Sixth President was sworn into of-
fice at the Queen’s Park Savannah
to a packed audience in the North
and Grand Stands.
As they waited, guests mingled
sipping Presidential wine and
other premium scotch whiskey
and chomping hors d’oeuvre
such as mini barbecue legs, geera
pork wraps, coo coo with callaloo
dip, saheena with tamarind chut-
ney, split peas shot, breadfruit oil
down, cassava and salt fish balls,
mini bake and shark, breaded
shrimp with cocktail sauce.
For desert cassava pone, mini
cheesecake, fudge, tamarind
balls and red velvet cake created
a spectacular platter. All prepared
by President House chef Kerwin
A simple but important func-
tion took place away from the
prying eyes, as security officer
Kevin O’Neil, scrapped away the
double-sided tape which secured
the portrait of Carmona and re-
placed the frame with a photo of
a stoic-looking new President.
Carmona arrived at the venue
at 11 am with his wife, Reema, in
a crimson red dress, and stood at
the entrance greeting guests. The
Fifth President at times had to be
ushered back into the building as
guests queued at the door.
Among the first to arrive was
Chief Justice Ivor Archie, who
leaves the country tomorrow, for
Washington, United States to pur-
sue a fellowship at the Federal Ju-
dicial Center. He was only allowed
six weeks leave, his vacation allot-
ment, and in his absence Justice
of Appeal Alan Mendonca will act
as Chief Justice.
As the minutes ticked by, guests
mingled in the tight space, and
had to move out of the way as se-
curity details for the nation’s top
office holders had the uneasy task
of keeping a close eye on any po-
Outside the venue, soldiers
stood guard on the street corners
and vehicular traffic was diverted.
Weekes arrived at the venue at
12.45 pm and was announced by
the sound of military trumpets
echoing through the hall.
She promptly went to the cen-
tre of the small stage, erected for
a host of performers, to apologise
for her tardiness. Also performing
were sitarist Mungal Patasar and
the Shiv Shakti Dancers.
She said she had been delayed
after stopping to speak to stu-
dents at the Savannah.
In a short address, she said she
was overwhelmed by the occa-
sion being the first female to hold
the highest office in the land.
As she worked the room, press-
ing cheeks, tight hugs and firm
handshakes, the President made
sure to catch up with old friends,
meet new ones and assumed the
role of hobnobbing at the cocktail
event with ease. Something she is
not accustomed to and which she
had avoided in the past.
He laughter was thunderous at
times, such as when she huddled
with judges of the Supreme Court,
who clustered at the bottom of
the left stairwell and subdued as
other people requested selfies.
She obliged to pose with stu-
dents of the Bishop Anstey High
School, her alma mater, who
gathered on the right staircase, to
honour her in song.
Weekes, who was on her way
out of the venue, turned around
and headed to the stage as stu-
dents of Scarborough RC Primary
School recited the spoken word
tribute praising the new presi-
dent and recognising the work
of the former. She stood next to
Carmona as they performed and
the both applauded their perfor-
She stopped in her tracks again
as security ushered her to her
car to hear the First Citizen’s Su-
pernovas rendition of the Mighty
Sniper’s Portrait of Trinidad out-
side the entrance.
Weekes left the venue headed
to President’s House, at 1.40 pm
in a seven-vehicle convoy leaving
Carmona and his wife behind. He
retreated to the lobby to complete
his final task as host of the recep-
What are your hopes and expectations
now that a new President has been installed?
It is too early to
tell in any case.
We have to
watch and see.
I don’t know
the lady and
I hope for the
best for the
new Head of
State but we
have to watch
I am not sure.
I don’t think
anything to do
with it. I don’t
think she being
a woman has
do with it at
all. They need
to look at her
Premium Scotch and Hennessy were
among the drinks served at yesterday’s
reception for new President Paula-Mae
PICTURE DARREN BAHAW Caterers top up glasses with the President’s wine during the inauguration
function at NAPA yesterday.
PICTURE MICHEAL BRUCE
Where’s the President?
As a woman
The same crap.
she would try
and with the
fight down we
have it would
end up being
the same thing.
I hope it should
be better now
President. I am
and I hope it
turns out good.
I wish and think she could afford to change
something with the way the country is. It have
to much of killing and robbery.
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