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President to take salute at St Joseph celebrations
President George Maxwell Richards is expected to take the salute at Sunday’s annual First Capital Day celebrations in St Joseph. The President, who is patron of the Trinidad and Tobago First Capital Committee, has been performing this function since the inception of the event in 2004.
A team headed by the committee’s president Michael Valere and including cultural icon Mano Marcelin is hard at work putting the finishes touches to the day’s programme, which has a strong cultural component. Valere told the Guardian yesterday: “This year’s programme promises to be the biggest and possibly brightest since we began staging the event eight years ago.
“It has special significance this year in that Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating 50 years as an independent nation and this committee was established especially to commemorate the fact that St Joseph was the first capital of Trinidad.” Other members of the committee include Ricardo Lijertwood, Ackbar Khan, Michael Lezama, Laila Valere, Andre McFarlane and Jerry Emrit.
Justice Minister Herbert Volney, who is also the MP for St Joseph, will deliver an address at the function which starts promptly at 9.35 am, five minutes after the arrival of President Richards. The parade, which comprises contingents from the Prisons, Cadets Corps, Fire Service and the Police Service, will march around George Earle Park and through the streets of the district.
During the official part of the ceremony inside the park, the Helen Chorale Choir and harpist David Singh will perform their varied repertoire. Later in the afternoon (4 pm to 9 pm) some leading figures in the cultural arena will entertain the large crowd expected.
These include parranderos Sharlene and Wayne Flores, the San Jose Serenaders, 2010 Calypso Monarch Kurt Allen and his daughter Choc’late Allen; former Young Kings winner The Mighty Diamond, Indian singer Naida Badoo, Alexander’s Dance Troupe, reigning primary school parang champions St Joseph Boys’ RC Parang Group, leading tenor pan player Clyde Telemaque and actress Penelope Spencer.
Valere has expressed his thanks to the committee’s main sponsors this year: First Citizens, Coosal’s and the Ministry of Arts and Multiculturalism.
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