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“Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much.”   Dr. the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts used this quote by American author and lecturer, Helen Keller as she formally opened the new Palo Seco Settlement Community Centre on Wednesday March 9, 2016.

The theme “Unity” was the common thread in the presentations at the opening as each speaker emphasized the importance of coming together to build the community.

In delivering the feature address, Minister Gadsby-Dolly outlined her belief that “a spirit of togetherness and shared purpose stimulates change in oneself and change in one’s environment.”  She reminded residents that the new centre is a tool that they can use to build their community and challenged them to unite to make the facility more than a simple building, but a central point for the advancement of Palo Seco.

Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs and Member of Parliament for La Brea, The Honourable Nicole Olivierre echoed similar sentiments, calling on residents to use the centre to bring the community back together.   She also congratulated the Palo Seco Settlement Village Council for their hard work and perseverance in getting the centre completed and ready for opening, seven years after the start of construction.

Secretary of the Palo Seco Settlement Community Council, Astii Francois promised that the new centre would be “a beacon of constructive activity for all.”

Special awards were presented to four individuals and two groups for their contributions to the Palo Seco community in various spheres of service:

Edris Jacob – Community Development

Ramesh Marajh – Sports Development

Rudolph Sucre – Education and Community Enrichment

Nigel Jacob – Cultural Development

Los Mundos Parranderos – Culture

Rovers Sports Club - Sports

The ceremony concluded with the official unveiling of the plaque and cutting of the ribbon by the Honourable Minister to formally declare the centre opened.

Also in attendance were: the Permanent Secretary and the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Mrs Vidiah Ramkhelawan and Mrs Patricia Boyce-Diaz respectively; Mr Gerard Bowrin; Councillor for Palo Seco who represented the Chairman of the Siparia Regional Corporation, Alderman of the Siparia Regional Corporation, Mr Junior Thompson and the Councillor for Palo Seco, Ms. Christine Neptune.

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 Minister Gadsby-Dolly (centre) cuts the ribbon to declare the new facility open. Looking on from second right is Astii Francois; Secretary of the Palo Seco Settlement Community Council; the Honourable Nicole Olivierre, Minister of Energy and Energy Affairs and MP for La Brea; Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Vidiah Ramkhelawan and the Chairperson of the Palo Seco Settlement