Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2013 Contents His Excellency Anthony Carmona delivered the
following speech last month at a Banquet on the
occasion of the 60th Anniversary of the RAFA (Royal
Air Forces Association) Trinidad and Tobago at The
Wardroom, Staubles Bay, Chaguaramas.
I join with you, the officers and members of the
Trinidad and Tobago Branch of the Royal Air Forces
Association, in celebrating your Diamond Jubilee. It
is certainly no small feat for any organisation, par-
ticularly a charity organisation, to attain this historic
milestone. My wife and I are also delighted to be
patrons of these 60th anniversary celebrations and I
am thankful for the opportunity being given to me to
speak this afternoon.
Sixty years ago, in what was then colonial Trinidad
and Tobago, our local Branch was founded mainly by
persons who fought in World Wars I and II. I am told
that of the 182 citizens who lost their lives, no fewer
than 52 served in the Royal Air Force. I am ever mindful
of the significant contribution made by citizens of
Trinidad and Tobago during those world wars and
successive conflicts serving in the Royal Air Force.
Historical records and accounts speak well of their
exceptional ability, courage and dedication.
It is indeed commendable that those who returned
after the victory of WWII formed this organisation to
seek one another's interests and welfare, in particular,
and that of the greater society in general. Through
the sustained dedication and commitment of the
members of the T&T Branch of the RAFA, over the
decades, airmen, airwomen and even citizens who
may never have served in the armed forces have ben-
efited in times of need.
I am aware that this evening's banquet is just one
of the many activities planned for your 60th anniversary
celebrations this year and include, inter alia, a church
service and a parade for the dedication of a new Branch
Standard and the laying-up of the old, as well as a
gala concert by local artistes and military bands. You
have my full support in your thrust to educate and
sensitise the public to our military past, our military
personnel and their achievements and contributions.
It is a tragedy of our time that the older generation
has not been fulsome or successful in its efforts to
make the younger generation aware and appreciative
of our shared history and of the accomplishments of
the many citizens who have served with distinction,
and contributed not only to this country, but to the
I would like, in this regard, to take this opportunity
to introduce an initiative which I will be embarking
upon as Commander-in-Chief. I have already engaged
in discussions with Major General Kenrick Maharaj,
Chief of Defence Staff, with the aim of reinvigorating
Gaylord Kelshall's dream and reality of a Chaguaramas
Military History and Aviation Museum. This museum,
first opened in 1992, is a rich repository in the main
of military artifacts used by soldiers, sailors and airmen
in World Wars I and II and also treats with the history
of civil aviation in our country. This project is with
a view to add to the existing training and education
and edification of the wider society of Trinidad and
Tobago Defence Force personnel in the area of the
historical aspect of our wartime involvement. It is also
intended to make the museum more attractive to vis-
itors, who already pay a fee to visit.
We are more than limbo and dance. We have men
of courage who have paid the ultimate price and we
need to stand proud and demonstrate this in real terms.
Your plans for increased youth involvement in this
60th anniversary year also augur well for renewed and
heightened interest in not only our military history,
but also potentially in serving in our Defence Force.
The proposed launch of the Pathfinder project to assist
13-17 year olds with career guidance, in addition to
your plans to introduce young people to the sports of
fencing and dragonboat racing will also allow for that
helpful interface which is the starting point for all real
and lasting change.
Very closely aligned
with your 60th anniver-
sary activities is the theme
of your anniversary cele-
brations, "Heroes of our
nation---non nobis sed
vobis---60 years of hon-
ourable service". I under-
stand that "Non Nobis Sed
Vobis" is, in fact, the motto
of the Royal Air Forces
Association and by exten-
sion, that of your branch.
• Continues on Page A44
May 5, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian President to reinvigorate Military
History and Aviation Museum
Officer Tyrone Rodulfo,
rights, has a word with
President Anthony Carmona.
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