Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 10th 2013 Contents CAMILLE CLARKE
Security minister Brig
Joseph Theodore was
among five people
inducted in the St
Mary s College Hall of
Fame on Tuesday.
Theodore, who died on
September 21, has been
hailed a hero for his role
in suppressing the insur-
gents during the 1990
Harris who gave the fea-
ture address at the ninth
induction ceremony at St
Mary s College, said the
five chosen inductees will
serve as an inspiration for
the students at the col-
The St Mary s College
Hall of Fame was estab-
lished in 1997 by the Past
Students Union to
recognise past students
and other individuals
associated with the col-
"I listened to the biog-
raphies (of the inductees)
and tried to discern what
were the qualities to
ensure success," Harris
"It became clear to me
that the qualities shown
to a greater and lesser
degree should and must
distinguish any school s
dedication to the Catholic
and many have made
tions to society," he said.
"In these challenging
times in which we live,
where often times those
portrayed as role models
and heroes are question-
able when closely scru-
tinised, it is crucial that
out students, tomorrow s
leaders are made aware
of true heroes."
Carmona did not attend
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Theodore among five
honoured by St Mary's
Executive co-ordinator of the
Blind Welfare Association Ken-
neth Suratt says all he wants is
an opportunity to invest in the
development of blind people in
this country but this was being
derailed by the inadequate funds
being allocated to the association
by the Government.
The association received a budg-
et allocation of $8 million for 2013
but that money was used up two
months before the 2014 national
budget was read in September.
This sparked a protest by work-
ers in the association who were
being paid late as a result of the
association s lack of funds.
The association received a $1.3
million supplementary budget for
the two months.
For 2014, the association
received $7.9 million, less than half
of its $16 million budget request.
"This organisation needs at least
one million dollars per month to
run effectively," said Suratt in an
interview at his office yesterday.
"That money is simply not
enough to develop the minds and
way of life of blind people."
Suratt, who is blind, said he was
certain that before the next budget
the association would run out of
money to pay workers.
The association s budget covers
the operations of its four branches,
including this country s only school
for the blind in Santa Cruz and a
branch in Tobago.
In addition to money provided
by the Government, the association
has to raise $1.9 million on its own.
The association only raised
$300,000 this year from its hand-
"We are not an income gener-
ating business...we offer a service
free of charge," Suratt said.
"The only way to raise money
would be to charge blind people.
How would we charge poor, blind
Blind Welfare wants
more $$ from Govt
Minister of the People and Social
Development Glenn Ramadharsingh
yesterday said his ministry had lived up
to all its commitments to the Blind
He said the ministry had made funds
available to the association but said
there were still concerns about the
management of the association that
needed to be addressed.
He said if the association needed more
money they would have to make a case
to the ministry.
"We have had meeting with the
management and the union and tried to
iron out all the issues," Ramadharsingh
He said the Ministry of Finance had
raised issues regarding the audit of the
association and those issues would have
to be addressed before discussions of
more money could take place.
Executive Coordinator of T&T Blind Wellfare Association, Kenneth
Suratt at his office on Duke Street, Port of Spain yesterday.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Hall of Fame
the St Mary's
College Hall of
people? That is the Government s
"The Government is purchasing a
service from us which they can t pro-
vide. They cannot teach blind people.
We have the experience to do it."
Suratt said he was not getting the
opportunity to invest in blind people.
"I am not getting the opportunity
to train them in sports or computers,
to train them so that they could earn
more money," he said.
"If we can t do that then all we are
doing is eating, sleeping and getting
Suratt said there was no sort of
development taking place.
He said they could not even cover
"This week T&TEC cut the lights in
San Fernando," he said.
The association has a light bill of
over $28,000 outstanding.
Suratt said this year the association
would not be able to purchase low
vision aides, canes and other devices
for the blind.
"They are giving the blind a false
sense of hope," he said.
"What do I tell a child next year
when I can t provide the things they
need. If you are talking about improving
the lives of the disabled then we need
The association, which was the first
association for the blind in the
Caribbean, turns 100 this year, but
Suratt says it will not be able celebrate
"We might have to celebrate with
(eating a) doubles under a tree some-
where," he said.
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