143 years ago, on January 21, 1880, Princes Town got its name.
Previously called Mission de Savannah Grande by the Spanish colonisers, it was renamed to mark a visit by two British princes, one of whom would become King some 40 years later.
The area, first inhabited by the First Peoples before the arrival of the Spanish missionaries in 1687 and Canadian Missionaries in 1868, came to be referred to locally as “nissan,” a version of the name, Mission.
In 1880, Princes Albert, 15, and George, 14, came to Trinidad as part of a world tour of The Mediterranean, Australia, Fiji, Tenerife, Africa, and the West Indies.
They’d known about Mission —then two broad streets of stores and cottages— by way of Charles Kingsley’s book “At Last: A Christmas in the West Indies” which records his 1869 visit to the area which he called “paradise”.
At the request of the rector of the town’s St. Stephen’s Anglican Church, Reverend J.G Knight, the princes planted two poui trees in the churchyard. Thereafter, Mission was called Princes Town. Prince Albert died from pneumonia in 1892, at age 24. George became King George V of The United Kingdom in 1920, and reigned until his death in 1936.
Video extract from The Story of Princes Town by the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago: https://youtu.be/mAZZbTJ_jqI
The first group of Jews in Trinidad arrived in 1783 with the Cedula of Population, when Trinidad —an underpopulated Spanish colony— opened its borders to Europeans.
The second group came in when African enslavement was abolished in 1838.
The third wave of Jewish immigration occurred during and after World War II when European Jews were fleeing the the Nazis. Many of them held German and Austrian passports.
During WWII many of the Jewish families were interned in camps, considered as new “enemy aliens.” In 1943, the Jews were freed but with certain wartime restrictions.
About 600 Jewish refugees from Nazi Europe ended up in Trinidad as they sought sanctuary from persecution and violence. Several thousand Jewish refugees came by boat to Caribbean islands, including Barbados and Jamaica, in the run-up to and during the second world war.
British colonies in the Caribbean, such as Trinidad, had no visa requirements, merely charging a landing deposit. The Jews, many of whom had professional qualifications, arrived penniless but willing to adapt to a new life, helped by modest grants from refugee agencies to start new businesses.
At the turn of the 20th century, however, there were just 31 Jews in Trinidad, most of English origin.
Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on January 27 to mark the 1945 liberation of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp, the largest of the Nazi death camps. It commemorates the victims of the Holocaust, which resulted in the murder of one third of the Jewish people, along with countless members of other minorities between 1933 and 1945 by Nazi Germany.
- Dominic Kalipersad.
New App look, with more informative screens, and access to social media and website links. bug fixes.
Epidemiologist Dr Avery Hinds provided data showing that the number of Covid infections is increasing, and the speed infections is increasing.
He said that the infections would be driven further by planned gatherings (presumably Carnival).
“…we are seeing an uptick in the speed in which the weekly totals are increasing. So, that’s something we’re bearing in mind. And we know that it is, to some extent, driven by all the gathering and mingling that we would have done. And we note that it would be driven further by the gathering and mingling that we plan to do.
“We do need to, at this point, put out some cautionary advice in terms of bearing in mind the potential for spread for this virus..”
Bim was a groundbreaking T&T film that premiered in Port-of-Spain 46 years ago.Written by journalist Raoul Pantin, directed by Hugh A Robertson, and based on an original idea by Suzanne Robertson, the film was described by Bruce Paddington as "one of the most important films to be produced in Trinidad and Tobago and ... one of the classics of Caribbean cinema".
The plot, set in 1950s colonial Trinidad, revolves around a young man who survives a life of violence and crime to become part of the political movement towards independence.
The lead role is played by Ralph Maraj. The distinctive music was created by Andre Tanker, who worked with a group of Indian musicians to fuse African and Indian elements.
Bim premiered at Roxy cinema in St. James on 30 January 1975. Originally scheduled for 31 December 1974, the premiere was delayed by a ban imposed by the T&T Film Censors Board because a character uttered “Oh shit!” and “Mother ass” a few times.
The board also cited the film's supposed potential for inciting racial hatred, and an attempted rape scene in which Bim realised that his intended victim was a long-lost girlfriend.
The Minister of Education, Carlton Gomes, appointed a special committee of five persons to review the film, which was eventually passed uncut, but restricted to audiences over 18.
Ironically, Bim won a gold medal special jury award as "a film of unusual merit" at the 1975 U.S. Virgin Islands Film Festival, and was shown at the CARIFESTA Film Festival in Jamaica and the Los Angeles Film Festival (both in 1976). It also earned a sympathetic review in the New York Times (Dec. 2, 1976), which found Bim a good deal more interesting than many more slickly-made films.
In 2014 writer Pat Ganase started a Facebook page called Bim, the movie—the modern-day equivalent of the Hollywood fan club—in an attempt to ignite online discussion about the film and the issues it dealt with.
Repost from @dominickalipersad
140 years ago —on May 29, 1883— the Port-of-Spain Tramways began carrying passengers. The Blue Tram went up Frederick Street. The Red Tram went via South Quay, St. Vincent Street and Cipriani Boulevard. Belmont Tramway inaugurated an electric streetcar service in Port-of-Spain on June 26, 1895. The line ran from the railroad station up Frederick St. and along Queen’s Park East. Trinidad Electric Company inaugurated the city’s second electric tramway system in July 1902. It opened a line to Laventille in 1918.
One of the unusual features of the Port-of-Spain tramway was its track around the inside of Queen’s Park Savannah. St. Clair cars ran along the east and north sides, and after 4 pm each day trams marked “Savannah” ran in both directions around the entire 2.2-mile loop. The World Survey of Foreign Railways, published in Washington in 1933, reported 30 cars in Port-of-Spain.
Port-of-Spain had the only trolleybuses in the western hemisphere that had doors on the left side and ran on the left side of two-way streets. The T&T government expropriated Trinidad Electric in 1937 and thereafter the tramway system was operated by the local Trinidad Electricity Board.
TEB opened a trolleybus line along Mucurapo Road and Ariapita Avenue on October 1, 1941 It eliminated the tramway loop in Queen’s Park Savannah and closed the Four Roads line beyond Cocorite. TEB also closed the St. Clair and St. Ann’s tram lines on March 31, 1950, eliminating all tram operation in the city.
All local transport was taken over in 1955 by City Transport Services, which closed the trolleybus system on the last day of 1956. The Port-of-Spain tramway may have been the last to operate on a Caribbean island.
- Dominic Kalipersad.
We welcome the world to IZWE, the Global Village 🌎 Come join us as we celebrate Love, Life and the Spirit of who we are. ❤️✨
Welcome Home 🙏🏽
Kes the Band presents IZWE 2023 - The Village
Tuesday 14 February, 2023
Brian Lara Stadium
7 PM TO 1 AM
Ticket info in pinned posts or at kestheband.com (link in bio)