Launch of National Patriotism Month
Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts
Launch of National Patriotism Month
Friday 18th August 2017
Government Campus Plaza, Port of Spain
Feature Address by:
Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly
Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts and Member of Parliament for St. Ann’s East
My cabinet colleagues
Members of the Diplomatic Corps
Other specially invited guests
Members of the Media
Ladies and gentlemen,
I begin by transporting you back to Sunday 13th August, 2017. Hearts across the nation were gripped with anxiety as Lalonde Gordon was inches away from clinching the gold medal for Trinidad and Tobago in the men’s four by four hundred (4×400) men’s relay at the World Championships in London.
As he crossed the finish line, one of the biggest upsets of the Championships was recorded, and jubilation erupted across our twin islands and reverberated across the diaspora. Whether it was across social media platforms, radio and television broadcasts, or social gatherings with family and friends, we proclaimed victory to the world.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is the epitome of Trinbagonian pride. Today, as the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts launches National Patriotism Month, I salute our men and women whose academic, sporting, and cultural talents raise the profile of our small nation of 1.3 million.
National Patriotism Month was conceptualised as a month dedicated to stimulating national pride through a series of educational, cultural, and environmental activities to remind us of our bountiful resources. The theme “Colour Me Trinbago” explores the multitude of experiences that define our identity.
Last year’s commemoration was a tremendous success as evidenced by the overwhelming response to our activities, which included “Cazabon Sundays”, “Trinbago Fridays” featuring performances celebrating our diversity, a special concert hosted by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, a family storytelling picnic at the President’s Gardens, recitals of the “Bitter Casava” production, and participation in the International Coastal Cleanup exercise which saw over 2,000 volunteers across Trinidad and Tobago gathered at 25 sites to remove debris.
This year, we have expanded on our pilot concept by partnering with the National Library and Information System Authority or NALIS, the Ministry of Education, National Trust, the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival Committee, and the First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago Committee to produce a broader range of activities, and I guarantee you that there is something for everyone to benefit from.
To give you a preview of our activities, we will embark on educational heritage tours through our partnership with the National Trust to rediscover our past, with visits to The Merikins and the Pa Neezer Exhibition in Moruga, to the Hyarima statue and Cleaver Woods in Arima, the Indo Caribbean Museum and the Temple in the Sea to name a few.
As an extension of our community skills training programmes, and in keeping with the Ministry’s motto of “building culturally rich, resilient communities”, we have dedicated two days to showcase our local craft entrepreneurs at the National Academy for the Performing Arts, titled “We Craft, We Culture”.
The National Museum and Arts Gallery under the Ministry will also host activities geared towards expanding our appreciation of the arts whilst harnessing our own talents via the launch of the “Through my Lens” photography exhibition, “Fiesta 117- Museum Alive” and “Three Band Gallery Hop” activities.
To bring closure to our commemoration, our Ministry will host a Folk Theatre Season featuring the premier performers emerging from this year’s Prime Minister’s Best Village Trophy Competition.
This year our Ministry is honoured to join with the First Peoples of Trinidad and Tobago in paying tribute to their legacy, and the official launch of the First People’s Holiday will be incorporated into Patriotism Month.
These are just a few of our offerings, and I encourage you to patronise as many events as you can. Copies of the full schedule of our Patriotism Month activities are available here at the Launch and will be provided at all patriotism commemorative events.
Ladies and gentlemen, I briefly digress from the topic of Patriotism Month to announce the Ministry’s latest ventures in keeping abreast with our tech-savy population. We have redesigned our website to enhance the user’s experience and improve the accessibility of information on our suite of programmes across our divisions. This is now available on our current website portal at www.cdca.gov.tt.
As a Ministry, we are constantly evolving to build our dynamic cultural sector and improve our connectivity with all communities. I encourage you to continue to lend your support through your participation in our events and programmes, as this will provide us with an indication of the effectiveness of our output. Of course, your feedback is valuable to us and I maintain the Ministry remains open to dialogue on ventures that we can explore to foster a culturally sensitive nation.
In closing, I revert to the men’s 4×400 relay sprint event. Our athletes demonstrate steadfast commitment to achieving success in their sporting disciplines. In the face of adversity or defeat, they never lose sight of their goals.
Let us apply that same dedication to our everyday lives as we strive to uphold our nation’s watchwords, “Discipline, Tolerance and Production.” We are a small nation with a distinct vivacious spirit, and we have proven time and time again that we are capable of rising above any challenge.
I thank you for your attendance, and do enjoy the rest of this evening’s cultural presentations.