Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : January 15th 2014 Contents YVONNE BABOOLAL
Pope Francis appoint-
ment of the retired arch-
bishop of Castries, St
Lucia, Fr Kelvin Felix, as
one of his 19 new cardi-
nals has brought pride
and hope to local Catholic
They believe the
Caribbean will now have
a greater presence in the
church s headquarters in Rome, Italy
and agreed that, while he would soon
be 80 and would not have voting rights
in electing a pope, he would still have
some say in decision-making. A car-
dinal also advises the Pope.
This was the response from several
Roman Catholic priests the Guardian
spoke to about Felix s appointment,
the first for the English-speaking
Several local priests said they had
trained with Felix at the Mt St Benedict
seminary in St Augustine.
Fr Joseph Harris, Archbishop of Port-
of-Spain, said Felix was born in
Dominica but served as archbishop of
Castries for 27 years.
He recalled, "He was a real Caribbean
person, a humble man and an extremely
Harris said Felix s appointment as a
cardinal was a very significant and
important moment for the English-
"It is the first time an archbishop
has been elevated to the position of
cardinal...It means the Pope is really
seeing all sections of the church as
important and seeking to have advisers
from all parts, big and small," he said.
"It is the first time somebody from the
Caribbean will be able to give a true
account in the Vatican of what the
Caribbean is. The Vatican will come to
truly understand who we are and what
is our culture."
Fr Robert Christo, of St Catherine s
church, Gran Couva, said Felix was a
very humble man who was instrumen-
tal in building the Catholic
Church in the Caribbean. He
said coming from what is
perceived as a poor, remote
area of the world, Felix has
opened the way for people
in these areas to have a voice
in the Vatican.
Fr Gerard Tang Choon, of
St Michael s Church, Mara-
cas Valley, said Felix s
appointment was a great
honour for the English-
"I met him a couple of times...I think
it is a sign they are taking the Caribbean
region seriously and do not see us as
just some forgotten little area," he said.
Pope Francis, in announcing the new
cardinals on Sunday, said their appoint-
ments "represent the deep ecclesiastical
relationship between the Church of
Rome and the other churches through-
out the world.
During his career, Felix served on
various Vatican committees.
He was attacked by a knife-wielding
man after he finished an evening ser-
mon in Castries in April 2006 but was
not seriously injured.
Since his retirement as archbishop
in Castries, he has returned to Domini-
ca, where he has been helping out in
The ceremony to install him as a
cardinal will be held at the Vatican on
Felix said his appointment came as
a "complete surprise" to him. He told
Dominica News Online "it places our
small region on the world map. The
Holy Father is trying to make the church
representative of all elements, especially
the voices of those who ve never been
He said he believed he will remain
working in Dominica.
"The Holy Father wants feedback
from the region and I hope to be a
source of encouragement," he said.
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Environmental Management Authority
(EMA) compliance officers turned up at the
beachfront in La Brea yesterday to do air
quality tests, the day after Petrotrin
announced that the oil spill clean-up was
Yesterday the overall-clad officers, accom-
panied by police escort, were seen using mul-
tiray lite air-monitoring equipment to test the
hydrocarbon levels in the air at Coffee Beach.
While the T&T Guardian was viewing
clean-up efforts along Coffee Beach yesterday,
the team of EMA officers entered the area
and began doing tests.
"Within recent times we have been doing
monitoring to determine the levels of the
volatile organic components in the air. We
have to determine the safety of the air," an
officer said, on condition of anonymity.
The officer said the EMA had noted that
a "certain amount of work has been done"
along the La Brea coastline, but the EMA has
to continue testing air quality in the area.
The officer said the readings so far have
not found anything of concern.
While the EMA officers were doing their
tests, personnel attached to the Institute of
Marine Affairs (IMA) also visited the area.
Yesterday, the tides were high along the
shoreline and workers were unable to carry
out cleaning operations.
However, two workers, wearing white plastic
coveralls, were seen using a power-washer to
remove oil from the trees and rocks on the
shore of Coffee Beach. North of the beach at
Point Sable, workers and heavy equipment
were seen cleaning the sand.
The sand along the shoreline, which had
been blanketed with a thick layer of oil when
the oil spill began washing ashore in mid-
December, has returned to a healthy brown
hue, indicating that conditions at Coffee Beach
had improved significantly from December
17.The only smell lingering on the sea breeze
yesterday was the scent of salty seawater.
EMA checks air
quality in La Brea
Pope to get Caribbean
views through Felix's eyes
An EMA official conducts tests to check the quality of the air
and records information as they continue to monitor the clean
up efforts at Coffee Beach, La Brea yesterday. PHOTO:
KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Fr Kelvin Felix
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