Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 22nd 2013 Contents JOSHUA SURTEES
Construction work has begun on the
dilapidated, historic Boissiere House
around the Queen s Park Savannah, Port-
of-Spain, amid suggestions the property
is to be turned into a restaurant or guest
The T&T Guardian understands the
house, also known as the "Gingerbread
House," has not been sold but has instead
been leased out.
The first signs of action began nearly a
fortnight ago when workmen were spotted
toting bags of garbage they had cleared
from inside the house and garden. A wooden
fence has since been put up with signs that
say "Heavy Vehicles Turning."
When the T&T Guardian visited the site
yesterday, it found a busy worksite with
around eight workmen, two backhoes and
a large cement mixer truck all in action.
Large piles of breeze blocks were being used
to build a perimeter wall.
Two mounds of red sand, and barrels of
water were evidently being used to mix
The original stone wall bordering the
house to the front was damaged some years
ago when a car ran into it, taking out a sec-
tion about five metres wide. It appears the
whole wall may now be replaced with a
modern wall encircling the property.
While the house is on the National Trust's
list of heritage sites to be listed and protected
from development or alteration, none of
the houses on the list have been granted
protected heritage status as yet and there
is no indication of when that will happen---
meaning the owners are free to alter the
property as they see fit.
The mystery of who owns the property,
meanwhile, continues to be a puzzle.
A security guard overseeing the con-
struction told the T&T Guardian any ques-
tions about the building should be addressed
to a Mr Maharaj. When asked who Mr
Maharaj was, he replied, "You'll have to
find that out for yourselves."
Canon Steve West, rector at the All Saints
Anglican Church next door, told us that
eight months ago an Indian family he
believed to be from South asked him to
bless the house, telling him they were the
Later, he said he spoke to an associate
of the family who told him they were plan-
ning to "open a business there."
When the T&T Guardian spoke to estate
agent Ann Marie Aboud, who is handling
the property, she said it remained unsold.
Asked who was carrying out the work, she
replied, "We are trying to do some repairs."
Asked whether the house was being
leased she said: "It could be, it's on the
market for sale or rental. I'll find out some
more information for you," before her phone
The house is still owned by Greta Elliott,
an elderly member of the Elliott family
whose son is married to Aboud.
The asking price for the grand old house
was reduced last year from $40 million to
$20 million. The cost of restoring it could
total anything between $10 million and $20
Inside the Boissiere house lights are now
on but, as yet, nobody's home.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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From page A1
Further, Griffith said Immigration officers were
working with clear guidelines and whenever there
is a complaint there is a process to ensure the
officers are not acting arbitrarily.
However, head of the Jamaican foreign ministry's
public relations office, Ann-Margaret Lim, in a
phone interview, said they had already embarked
on an education campaign on the free movement
of people under the Caricom Single Market and
Economy (CSME). Asked if the series of depor-
tations were cases of Jamaicans misunderstanding
the concept of free movement, Lim did not answer.
Jamaican foreign ministry's release said when
the incidents were brought to their attention, the
Jamaican High Commission in T&T sought to
have the nationals safely returned and the com-
mission was instructed to seek clarification and
information from the relevant T&T authorities.
The commission's foreign service officer, Delita
McCallum, said yesterday they were consulting
with the relevant authorities on the matter and
would comment at a later date, adding the com-
mission was still trying to ascertain the facts.
The incident has brought back memories of the
recent Shanique Myrie case against Barbados in
the Caribbean Court of Justice. Myrie was awarded
Bds$75,000 or J'can$3.6 million after being denied
the right to enter Barbados.
The CCJ found that the Barbadian government
breached Myrie's right to enter the country under
Article Five of the revised Treaty of Chaguaramas.
Myrie took the Barbadian government to court
after she said she was discriminated against, based
on her nationality, after arriving in the country
on March 14, 2011.
Calls to T&T"s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston
Dookeran and Sampson went answered.
Friday, November 22, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Spruce up for
for 21st NOVEMBER, 2013
...Historic site may be leased as restaurant
The foundation for a new perimeter wall around the historic Boissiere House on Queen's Park West, Port-of-Spain, was clearly visible
yesterday, as workmen continued refurbishment of the property. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Omar Campbell displays a marriage certificate that
did not sway T&T immigration officials to allow him
entry into the country. PHOTO: JOSEPH WELLINGTON
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