Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 17th 2013 Contents A13
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Sangre Grande is the largest regional corporation,
having an expanse of land larger than the combined
areas of Grenada and St. Vincent and the Grenadines
The largest town and seat of the regional corporation
is Sangre Grande, which is one of the boomtowns
of Trinidad s history.
From 1870 to 1920 there was a boom in global
cocoa prices which saw many forested lands around
the island being hastily propagated into cocoa estates.
In the area of Cunapo this was the case and such
was the production level that the Trinidad Government
Railway extended its line from Arima in 1898. In fact,
a famous calypso refrain went "Arima tonight Sangre
Grande tomorrow night."
Almost overnight the town sprang up and grew to
encompass a police station, schools and a hospital.
Further afield, the municipality extends up to Galera
Point and Toco, which is famous for many reasons,
not the least of which is that it is the hometown of
T&T s second Olympic
Gold medallist Keshorn Walcott.
The famous Toco Lighthouse was constructed in
1897. The area also boasts the only community radio
station in the island, Radio Toco, which is part of
the hugely successful NGO, the Toco Foundation.
Hamlets dot the rugged northern coastline such
as Matelot, Grande Riviere and San Souci. Trans-
portation and a lack of amenities are but a few of
the complaints of residents of these outlying settle-
urther down the east coast, the land opens into
Manzanilla and the magnificent sweep of coconut-
lined road connecting Sangre Grande and Mayaro.
Sangre Grande did not shrink following the collapse
of cocoa prices in 1920 because it remained the pri-
mary market town for the entire eastern seaboard.
Communications with Toco and the northeastern
villages was improved when the bridle path connecting
them was upgraded to a proper roadway in the 1920s.
In 1941, near the village of Cumuto, the United
States Air Force began clearing a massive tract of
forest to make way for one of the largest military
airfields of World War II.
This provided employment for hundreds of locals
from the district, but had the subsidiary effect of
almost exterminating agriculture.
The remains of this aerodrome, Wallerfield, was
for many years ground zero for the motor sport
enthusiasts of Trinidad and the southern Caribbean,
as the old airstrip became the staging ground for
This ended with the re-purposing of the site as
a still to be completed campus of the University of
Trinidad and Tobago.
The Engineering Battalion of the Trinidad and
Tobago Defence Force has its base in Cumuto as well.
From Page A12
Vega de Oropouche was added to
the corporation in 2010.
"I am putting back the PNM. I
took a chance with the yellow and
I will not take a chance with the
green," was all Campo said.
Roads were also an issue at Non
Pariel Road, Fishing Pond. To get to
his home in that community, Rasheed
Mohammed has to pay a taxi $20
from Sangre Grande, a distance of
about five miles.
"It is because of how bad the roads
are, they don t like to go inside,"
"They have done nothing. I don t
know if they think we are too out of
the way to need help, but they
(regional corporation) don t do any-
It was the same issue in North
Manzanilla, where water frequently
runs off the side of badly patched
roads into yards and homes.
Near the police post on North
Manzanilla Branch Trace grass is
overgrown and water pools at the
side of the road as a result.
"We need box drains here," said
"We need box drains and people
to come and take care of the roads
and cut the grass and spray for mos-
quitoes. We need everything because
nothing has been done."
Beekley, who identified herself
as a PNM supporter, said a lot of
the people on her road had sup-
ported the PNM.
"Since this UNC councillor won,
he has done nothing for us. He
ignores the PNM supporters and if
he does work, he will stop before he
gets to this area," she complained.
"That is not fair, he was supposed
to represent the entire area. A lot of
people who live here don t have jobs
and when there are things to be done
in the area, they bring people from
outside to do it."
"It does not even have a Cepep
team here. Since these last elections
there has been no work in the area."
Region rich with history
In the last local government
elections, in 2010, the United
National Congress won six of the
eight seats in the Sangre Grande
Regional Corporation, with the
People's National Movement
(PNM) and the Congress of the
People (COP) winning one each.
This was a drastic change from
the 2003 elections, where the
PNM held all of the then seven
seats in the corporation.
In both the 1999 and 1996 local
government elections, the UNC
controlled the corporation.
The Sangre Grande Regional
Corporation was created in 1990
and the PNM won all the district
seats in 1992.
The region was formerly part of
the St Andrew/St David County
'Nothing has been done'
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