Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 12th 2014 Contents A28
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Young students are innocent. Their hearts and
minds are pure, and they are selfless. In the pri-
mary school, you will find that many of them
observe perfect discipline and are well behaved.
By the time they are in secondary school, the puri-
ty and discipline slowly decreases. When they
reach a college or university, everything becomes
topsy-turvy! What really happens in between? As
they grow in years, their mental balance is upset;
they lose the steadiness of mind and self-control.
They are exposed to undesirable influences. At
this stage, teachers and parents must practice
exemplary behavior and ensure that the children
are on the right path at all times. Students also
must bear in mind that all the regulations and dis-
cipline that are prescribed are for their highest
good and in their own interests.
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By the time this is published, God
willing, I ll be on my way to Glas-
gow, Scotland, where I ll be taking
part in a writing residency. The residen-
cy, Trading Tales, is co-hosted by the
British Council and the Mitchell Library.
It is meant to allow two Caribbean writ-
ers to spend three weeks in Glasgow
exploring the Mitchell s archives of that
city, with an eye to producing a piece of
historical fiction on the connection
between Glasgow and the Caribbean.
"Glasgow s Mitchell Library hosts a
vast collection of original archival materi-
al relating to Scotland s shared history
with the Caribbean, forged in many ways
in the 1750s by the North Atlantic Slave
Trade," the CaribLit Web site said,
announcing the residency.
In turn, in September, a Scottish writer
will spend time in the Caribbean doing
the same thing.
"How you does get these things, boy?"
a friend and fellow writer asked frankly
after I said I d be going on the residency.
Earlier this year I was in Grenada on
another residency, so I suppose the ques-
tion is fair.
My answer to him was earnest, and
perhaps not in the spirit in which the
question was asked: "I apply."
I actually struggled with the decision
whether to apply for this Trading Tales
In the first place, I was worried I
wouldn t get it---like all professional writ-
ers I am terrified of rejection and there-
fore hate to apply for anything.
However small or large the prize, pub-
lication or opportunity, it still takes quite
a lot of courage, audacity even, to apply
for it, because applying presumes I am
good enough to compete. A scary
I was also in two minds because it was
only in May I returned from four months
in Grenada, and it might seem insulting
to ask my family to allow me to go off
gallivanting again so soon afterwards.
Fortunately they care more about my
career than I seem to and it was, to
them, a no-brainer that I should take the
So here I am, preparing to go to Scot-
land with Diana McCaulay, a Jamaican
author with two well received novels
under her belt.
"Dog-Heart won a Gold Medal in the
Jamaica Cultural Development Commis-
sion s National Creative Writing Awards
(2008), was shortlisted for the Guyana
Prize (2011), the IMPAC Dublin Award
(2012) and the Saroyan Prize for Interna-
tional Writing (2012). Huracan is current-
ly shortlisted for the 2014 Saroyan Prize.
It is as scary as I had thought it would
have been," said the British Council s bio
Applicants to the residency were asked
to identify what areas they were interest-
ed in researching.
I was interested in the stories of two
Scots who settled in Trinidad in the 19th
century, William Gordon Gordon and
George Brown. Gordon was a lowly clerk
when he came to Trinidad but, through
his enterprise and cunning, he became
one of the richest men in the island by
the turn of the 20th Century.
It was he who commissioned Knowls-
ley, the elegant building on Queen s Park
West where the Foreign Affairs Ministry
now has its offices.
Geoffrey MacLean wrote in an article
for the Citizens for Conservation Web
site: "George Brown was Trinidad s great
19th-century architect. Brown studied at
the Glasgow Athenaeum, where he quali-
fied as a builder/architect in the late
1870s. He joined the firm of Gregor
Turnbull and Co of Glasgow and was
sent to Trinidad in June 1883.
His designs reflect his Scottish origins,
incorporating cast-iron work from
foundries in Glasgow as well as the
introduction of decorative fretwork from
woodworking machines imported from
"In 1891, the Great Fire of Port-of-
Spain devastated much of Marine Square
(now Independence Square) and lower
Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain s central
square and main commercial street.
George Brown redesigned the area in a
Gordon died here, but Brown returned
I wrote in my expression of interest for
the residency: "I m fascinated by the
intersection of architecture and society,
and particularly how these two Scotsmen
made their marks on the island I call
Having never been to Scotland, I m
also looking forward to the discovery of
the city. The background documentation
sent to me by the British Council quotes
singer/songwriter Nik Kershaw as saying:
"Glasgow is less polite than Edinburgh
but that s a good thing---they keep it very
Coupled with the instructions to bring
a waterproof coat and shoes, it is a bit
daunting, actually. But God is good, and
His mercy endureth forever. If He gets
me to Glasgow, I m sure He ll see me
LISA ALLEN AGOSTINI
Iam convinced that politicians are an
insult to my intelligence!
I couldn't believe the rubbish that
penetrated my ears from the mouths
of educated individuals. Educated peo-
ple like Keith Rowley, Ramesh
Lawrence Maharaj, Selwyn Ryan and
Jack Warner said that by demanding a
50 per cent majority from a candidate
to enter Parliament the Government
will encourage "racial voting." Their
logic is that when the population has a
choice between the PNM and the UNC,
the Indians will vote for the UNC and
the Africans will vote for the PNM.
Well first I wanted to ask these dis-
tinguished individuals who, pray tell,
will the dougla like me vote for? Who
will the "Chinee" vote for?
This is an insult to my intelligence!
That after 52 years of independence,
176 years of being emancipated, 97
years after indentureship and at a liter-
acy rate of 98.6 per cent (according to
Wikipedia) these individuals are telling
me that I will be inclined to vote along
I am not dismissing the calculated
patterns years gone by and the work
done by Prof Ryan pertaining to racial
voting, but we are now living in a soci-
ety where the majorities have accepted
or are beginning to accept interracial
marriages, a product of which I am. We
are fast moving to accept same sex-
marriages/relationships but we are not
budging from voting along racial lines?
Why are you insulting the public's in-
telligence, especially when there are
many Indians who support the
"African" PNM and many Africans who
support the "Indian" UNC (yes, Mr
Warner, I am looking at you...)?
Don't think for a minute that the
race/religion card can equally substi-
tute a cogent argument.
It's Your Write
TRADING TALES 'Racial voting' remark
only shows poor logic
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