Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 31st 2013 Contents A15
Friday, May 31, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Chairman of the National
Trust Vel Lewis says Lopinot
is likely to be designated a her-
Lewis told the T&T Guardian
on Monday that a committee
had been set up to consider the
calls from residents who had
approached the trust asking for
the area to be so designated.
Once this was done, he said,
villagers would have to agree
to maintain certain buildings
and houses deemed heritage
sites and certain natural areas
within the area would also have
to be maintained.
The community s La Recon-
naissance cocoa estate, he said,
is to be maintained by the State
while certain buildings in pri-
vate hands that are deemed to
be of historical significance
would have to be maintained
by the private owners.
Lewis said it was conse-
quently important for the trust
to get villagers to "buy into"
He said buildings within the
area would become listed prop-
erties with certain conditions
and once this occurred, alter-
ations to the buildings could
not be made without the per-
mission of the National Trust.
The committee, he added, is
in the process of compiling a
dossier and when that was
complete the trust would look
at its findings to determine
whether or not the area should
be deemed a heritage district.
Lewis said other areas being
looked at to be declared her-
itage districts are Belmont and
parts of Waterloo.
President of Citizens for
Conservation Rudylynn Roberts
said the organisation supported
the move, but it needed to be
"looked at and planned care-
fully so that the local residents
A lot of options, she added,
were available to the residents,
but turning the area into a her-
itage site needed to be done in
a way "that would preserve the
natural heritage of the space."
A conservation plan for the
entire village and site is needed,
Councillor for Five
Rivers/Lopinot, Dianne Bishop,
said the idea was "something
good for Lopinot itself," since
the area had a lot of history.
This group of pupils from San Juan Girls' RC School pose for a photographer while participating in
their walkathon, Celebrating Life, on Wednesday. The walk began at their school on Chamdy Lane and
Boundary Road, San Juan, and ended at the Aranguez Savannah. PHOTOS: MARCUS GONZALES
Teachers and pupils from San Juan Girls' RC School walk through the streets of San Juan on
Charles Joseph, Comte de
Lopinot (1738-1819) came to
Trinidad in 1800 after he was
given a grant of land by Governor
Thomas Picton to compensate for
the loss of his sugar estate in
Haiti after the Haitian revolution.
However, Picton received no
word from the Secretary of State
for the Colonies about the land.
De Lopinot decided to stay,
however, and bought part of a
Tacarigua sugar estate on credit.
Hearing of de Lopinot's military
experience, in 1805 Governor
Thomas Hislop made him
brigadier general of the Trinidad
He applied again for land in this
capacity and so received a parcel.
"He and his slaves struck out
into the forested mountains north
of the Arouca savannah where he
lived. Following the course of a
river that is now known as the
Lopinot River, Count de Lopinot
and his slaves made steady
progress through the woods,
pushing more than five miles
north, until at length they came
to an attractive valley with a plain
almost completely ringed by
mountains. The air was cool and
the valley seemed ideal for an
"He obtained the grant of this
valley, which contained 478 acres,
and being totally fed up with
sugar he decided to grow cocoa.
He called the estate La
Reconnaissance (the Look-out).
"The count and his slaves made
the valley flourish and in a short
time the name of Lopinot
became of great importance. A
great deal of cocoa was exported
down the Lopinot River, and from
there to Port-of-Spain. Count de
Lopinot became active, politically,
and in Ralph Woodford's regime
he was brought into the Council
of Government. He remained a
member...until his death in 1819.
"He was buried among the
cocoa trees of La Reconnaissance
not far from his house," the Web
Lopinot eyed as new heritage site
Conservationists want proper plan
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