A new community centre is now open and ready for use by residents of St Helena, Matelot.
The facility was formally commissioned by Dr the Honourable Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts on Tuesday November 22, 2016 in a ceremony at Paria Main Road in St Helena.
In delivering the feature address at the opening, she pointed out that the name St Helena signifies a “Shining Light” and that the community should become a beacon for others to take example from. She also noted from her observations, that the passing on of culture from the older to the younger generation is a tradition in St Helena.
Minister Gadsby-Dolly later participated in the ceremonial planting of a tree on the compound of the centre, before cutting the ribbon and unveiling a plaque bearing the name of the facility.
Earlier, Councillor and Chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, Martin Terry Rondon, in his passionate address, paid special tribute to residents in the community who helped make him the man he is today. He noted that the centre belongs to the people of the community, who must take care of it for the generations to come.
Onika Patterson, Personal Assistant and representative of the MP for Toco/Sangre Grande said the community centre should be a safe haven, where all people can come together. She added that it should also be a place for family events that will foster community development.
Secretary of the St Helena Village Council, Alana Roland delivered a comprehensive community report, stressing the need among residents for the new facility and the gratitude that it is now up and running. Special awards were presented to four individuals and one group for their contributions to the development of the community of St Helena.
Bernelle Shears (who was a former Ms La Reine Rive Finalist)
The Dorcas Women’s Group
Entertainment included: an African dance by members of the St Helena Village Council; a Social Commentary entitled, “Love and Unity” by Marian and Alana Glaud and a lively Folk Medley by the St Helena Village Council, with many popular local favourites. President of the St Helena Village Council, John Lewis delivered the vote of thanks to close the programme.
Susan Corbett, Director, Community Development Division served as Chairperson for the event, which was also attended by Angela Edwards, Permanent Secretary; Shivanand Ramnanan, Technical Director, Project Unit and Giles Antoine, Facilities Manager.