Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 17th 2014 Contents A8
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Tomorrow at 10 am, in a cere-
mony involving the Port-of-Spain
City Corporation and the South
African High Commission, King
George V Park will be renamed the
Nelson Mandela Park, says Port-
of-Spain mayor Raymond Tim
In a telephone interview yesterday,
Tim Kee said the decision was made
by the corporation s 16-member
council, and not by himself.
Asked if there were any consul-
tations about the renaming of the
park, he said, "I don t know what
consultation we have to do. I spoke
to many people around the area
about the initiative and they were
all gung-ho about it."
Asked if he thought a town meet-
ing should have been called to dis-
cuss the plan, he said, "I didn t have
to do that, because council made
the decision. The corporation is the
owner of the property and the coun-
cillors made the decision. Now if
residents had said no, what will I
Tim Kee said renaming the park
after Nelson Mandela was a befitting
way to honour the world icon.
"Mandela has changed the whole
world. He was referred to as the
man of the century and surely the
best way to honour him is not by
naming an animal in the zoo or an
aircraft after him.
"King George V had his place,
but change has to take place," he
But Tim Kee said the commem-
orative stone at the south-west cor-
ner of the park bearing the name
King George V Park would remain.
Tim Kee added he considered it
disrespectful to question the move
to name the park after the South
African freedom fighter.
"I am sure the South African
ambassador, on hearing that Man-
dela s name is being questioned,
would think that it s disrespectful,"
He said a sign with the name of
Nelson Mandela, who died on
December 5, will be unveiled at the
King George V Park to be
renamed for Nelson Mandela
The commemorative stone at King George V Park which will remain, although the facility will be renamed Nelson
Mandela Park tomorrow. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE
Widespread consultation is
needed before renaming King
George V Park, says former
Port-of-Spain mayor Louis Lee
"A matter like this needed
consultation and wider airing so
that the people who are affected
by it, like the residents around
the park, would have been
apprised as to why the change is
being done. I'm hoping that that
"This is a fundamental change
and under my tenure we would
have taken something like this
to a town meeting," he added.
On the suitability of naming
the park after Nelson Mandela,
he said, "I wonder if we are not
riding the Mandela thing. What
about Toussaint L'Ouverture? He
is more relevant to be given
pride and place. He was a
Caribbean man who came long
before Mandela and he did all
the things Mandela did."
Lee-Sing said authorities
needed to be cautious not to be
hasty when renaming places.
"Many people approached me
when I was mayor to rename
places and institutions, but there
are many things to take into
consideration, like the history
and the significance of the
person. Is it that every time a
government changes we change
the name of something?"
LEE SING: CONSULTATION NEEDED
When the T&T Guardian
visited the King George V Park
yesterday, there were mixed
feelings among regular users
about the name change.
A founding member of the
Harvard Club, on the western
side of the park, said he
preferred the name to remain
as it was.
"They should leave it just as
it is. Everybody knows it as it
is and to go and change it now
will lead to confusion.
"Find another way to honour
him. You're taking someone
who we have already
honoured, King George V, to
remove him and honour
someone else. That doesn't
He added: "They should
really consult the people
around here before they make
any decisions on these things."
Another person welcomed
the move. "Mandela is an icon.
He is a man known throughout
the world and King George V is
outdated right now, so I am for
Mandela. I have no problem
with the change." he said.
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