National Flag
We are part of the answer
instead of part of the problem
34 Dumfries Road
La Romaine, Trinidad, W.I
Tel/Fax (868) 652-8060

National Republic Day Awardees


Alvin Corneal receive 2011 National Republic Day Award

Alvin Ainsley Corneal, one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most prominent citizens, was presented with the prestigious 2011 National Republic Day Award by Acting President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago on September 23, 2011 at Servol Auditoriam in La Romaine. He received the award for long and outstanding contribution to National Development in the areas of Sports, Consultancy, Organisation, Management and Coaching. Republic Day Award, which was initiated by the non-governmental organisation Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago in 1993, is in keeping with Trinidad and Tobago’s status as a Republic.

Corneal, who represented Trinidad and Tobago at both cricket and football, was also a member of the first Caribbean Representative football team. He is a sports consultant specialising in organisation, management and coaching.On the death of the legendary Sir Frank Worrell, Corneal was given the job as Director of Sports at the UWI, a position which he held from 1968 to 1973. He accepted an appointment offered to him by the President of the country Sir Ellis Clarke to be a member of a commission of enquiry into the state of cricket in T&T, after which the said committee rewrote the constitution of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Board of Control (TTCBC).

He accepted a government appointment as a Coaching specialist for both cricket and football in the Ministry of Education from 1974 to 1987. Subsequently, on the request of the NAR government, he was appointed as a special advisor to the Minister of Sport from 1987 to 1991. He received an invitation by the North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina to be head coach of their Soccer program from 1994-1998. Since 1994, Alvin Corneal became one of FIFA's twelve Coaching Instructors. He is a member of the FIFA's Football and Technical Committees to this present time. He is first Caribbean instructor for FIFA and at this point, the longest serving member of the FIFA Technical group.

He was a presenter of Sports News nightly for Trinidad and Tobago Television. He has also been a Radio/Television commentator. /analyst for international events of Soccer, Cricket, Boxing, Track and Field, Basketball, Swimming, and Cycling. He was also employed by Caribbean Broadcasting Union, Nigeria Television and National Broadcasting Service of Trinidad and Tobago.

He was the National senior Coach in 1979-82 and again in 1990-91.

During his tenure, Trinidad and Tobago won the Caribbean Nations Cup for the first time in its history (1982). During his coaching stint, the National team played twenty-eight matches, won twenty-two, drew two and lost four. Corneal served as Caribbean Soccer Coach from 1982-83 and 1993-94. The team, toured Mexico and England, played nine matches, won five and lost four.

Between 1967 and 1968, he played football for the St. Vincent National Team which won the Windward Islands Annual Tournament. He also represented both the Guyana and Barbados National Teams in 1961 and 1962 respectively He coached the professional team ASL from 1984-1986 and won the National league both years. The team played twenty three matches, won 18, drew 2 and lost 3. Corneal was the Head Coach at North Carolina State University Women’s Team from 1994 – 1996. The team played 59 games, winning 30 of those. The university made the play offs three times in three consecutive years. He also served as Head Soccer Coach for the Raleigh Flyers professional “A” league Club in 1998.

Alvin Corneal was awarded a scholarship at the then Trinidad Petroleum Development Co. Ltd. to be trained as a Driller and was actually the second local to be offered this position (1957 to1960). He was employed be Tate and Lyle of UK to be a cultivation overseer at Caroni Ltd, a position which he held from 1960-61.

Corneal, a former Maple player, scored 69 goals in 119 appearances for the national soccer team between 1955 and 1969. He was also a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Cricket Team from 1955-1971 scoring 1427 runs and four centuries at an average of 33.7 runs per inning. As a bowler for his country, he took 29 wickets at 23 runs each. He also played field hockey, table tennis and golf. Corneal was member of the South Trinidad Table Tennis team and a member of Maple 1st Division Field Hockey squad He won the St. Andrew’s Christmas Golf Tournament 1984. He has been married to Avis Canterbury (Retired School Teacher) for 51 years and has four children: Alan (TV Sports Producer and high School Soccer Coach); Arnold (Manager, Corporate Communications office, Petrotrin)); Anton (Technical director for National Youth programs in Trinidad and Tobago, assistant coach, national senior team, former Director of Coaching at Piedmont Soccer Alliance, High point, North Carolina , USA) Presently, National U-17 coach and Alicia (Flight Attendant, BWIA). He has seven grandchildren: Antonio, Adam, Angelo, Arturo, Annah, Tyler, and Sydney.

Sister Ruth Montrichard receives the 2010 National Republic Day Award

Sister Ruth Bridget Montrichard is the recipient of the prestigious 2010 National Republic Day Award for her longstanding contribution to National Development in the areas of social and community work. She was presented with the award by His Excellency Senator Timothy Hamel-Smith, Acting President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago at the 18th annual Republic Day Award function held in her honour at Servol Auditorium, La Romaine, on Thursday September 23, 2010. The function, hosted by the non-governmental organisation Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) is in keeping with the Republican status of Trinidad and Tobago.

Sr. Ruth Bridget Montrichard. entered the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny in February 1960 and took the Final Vows in the Order on September 1968.She received her primary and secondary education at St. Joseph Convent in Port-of Spain between 1947 and 1958 and went on to obtain a Teacher’s Diploma from the Catholic Women’s College in 1966 as well as a Diploma in Sacred Studies from Loyola University in 1973.

In 1976, she received an advanced certificate in education (M.Ed with distinction) from Oxford University. She worked at Royal Bank in Port-of-Spain and then as a teacher at Scarborough R.C. School, St. Louis Primary School in Grenada and Nelson Street R.C. School before her move to SERVOL.

Her responsibilities in the organisation include curriculum development for Adolescent Development and skill training programmes, management, organisation and training staff. She has held the positions of Director, Deputy Executive Director, Executive Director and Chairman of the Board during her more than three decades at SERVOL. She has also represented the organisation at international conferences in Europe, the United States, South America and the Caribbean.

Her interests include development and implementation of programmes for young children, adolescents and parents as well as information technology, music and empowerment of the disadvantaged communities. She received the Inter American Development Award in 2001 for Social Entrepreneurship, the Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow in 2002 and was inducted in the St. Joseph Convent Hall of Excellence in 2007.

In her address, Sr. Montrichard, said she was fortunate to belong to SERVOL for most of the NGOs 40 years in existence because she was among people who cared. “And when you work with people who care,” she added, “you begin to care a little more.” Sr. Montrichard, a Cluny Sister of the Province of the West Indies, revealed that she was also grateful to her Congregation which was started in the last century by Ann Marie Javouhey, a young French woman, who tried to reach out to people who were disadvantaged and who did not have the benefits and luxuries of life during the French Revolution. “A number of women followed her and were eventually asked to come to the West Indies including Trinidad,” Sr. Montrichard pointed out. “My Congregation has nurtured me for the past 50 years. “It has educated and formed me and has also taught me to be of service to people and to the poor which is one of the highlights and one of the objectives that came about from my Congregation,” she said.

“I accept the 2010 National Republic Day Award on behalf of my Congregation and on behalf of all the people who call themselves SERVOL because this journey is one we need to make together,” Sr. Montrichard told the audience. She said: “I also accept the award on behalf of the many NGOs whose members work day and night to help other people and who reach out to make our nation a better place.”

Kamaluddin Mohammed is the 2009 National Republic Day Award recipient

The Republic Day Award Committee selected former Government Minister Kamaluddin Mohammed for the 2009 National Republic Day Award because of his long and outstanding contribution to national development in the areas of Public Service, Culture and Religion. He is among many outstanding personalities to receive this prestigious award which was initiated by the non-governmental organisation Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) in 1993. The late Archbishop Anthony Pantin was the first recipient of the award.

The recipients of the Republic Day Award must have demonstrated a high level of multi-racial, multi-cultural and multi-religious tolerance. Mr. Mohammed was born on April 19, 1927 at El Socorro. He was the fifth of 13 children born to Fazal Mohammed and Khajiman Kartoun. On September 26, 1947, Kamal played the first Indian song ever to be heard on a local radio station. The song was “Kush Raho Tum Allah Wale" (Be happy, O you creatures of God) from the film Noor-E-Yeman and sung by Imam Farook.

He was chiefly responsible for bringing in the forefront such artists as Tarran Persad, Isaac Yankaran, Champa Devi, Jagroo Quawal, Jang Bahadoor, Zora Seesahai, Bhola Persad, Jameer Hosein, Henry 'Tooloom' Dindial and James Ramsewak. His salary as a broadcaster was $10 for each programme. Few people are aware that Kamaluddin Mohammed composed the winning song for Tarran Persad at the 1962 Independence singing contest. He also wrote songs for other singers including Jameer Hosein and Lachand 'Rafi' Singh.

His programme “Indian Talent on Parade” on Radio Trinidad lasted until 1962 when he gave up broadcasting. By then, he was constantly referred to as the “Father of East Indian Culture” in Trinidad and Tobago. His brothers Moean and Sham continued where “Kamal” had left off and they also went on to become very popular and successful with the television programmes Indian Variety in 1962 and Mastana Bahar in 1970.

At the age of 26, Kamaluddin Mohammed was the youngest Imam in the Commonwealth. – a testimony to his religious upbringing. He speaks five languages fluently – English, Hindu, Urdu, Persian and Arabic. He entered politics in 1953. and won his seat as a county Councilor. He was subsequently elected Chairman of the St George East County Council. In 1956, he entered Parliament and became the youngest Government Minister ever in the British Commonwealth when he was appointed Minister of Agriculture, Lands and Fisheries. He went on to excel in every Ministry in which he held office and still holds the record as the only man to be a Government Minister for over 30 unbroken years.

Kamaluddin Mohammed was the first East Indian to reach the office of Acting Prime Minister and was also the first black man to be appointed President of the World Health Organisation (WHO). Kamal, as he is fondly known, is a man who has mixed with kings, Presidents and Prime Ministers, yet he has never lost the common touch.

He was known as “Mr. Carifta” during his stint as Foreign Affairs Minister and the late Prime Minister Dr. Eric Williams had to congratulate him on more than one occasion for his excellent work in External Affairs. As a matter of fact, during his term as Foreign Affairs Minister, Mohammed was awarded Brazil and Venezuela’s highest awards. Then during his Safari with Dr. Williams in 1978, both Senegal and Liberia also give him their highest awards for excellence in Foreign Affairs.

2008 Republic Day Award recipient

Soogaree Jattan receives 2008 Republic Day Award

The 2008 National Republic Day Award was presented to 104 year-old Soogaree Jattan of Califonia for her longstanding contribution to national development. The presentation function was held on Republic Day at the Califonia Hindu Temple located on Sandford Street, Califonia. The award ceremony was hosted by the non-governmental organisation Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago which initiated the award in 1993. In attendance was Minister of Science Technology and Tertiary Education Christine Kangaloo. She said that government was committed to building better individuals because it was committed to building a better country. She added: "Vision 2020 progress is not an abstract concept but a dream of progress which involves every single individual in this nation."

2008 Republic Day Award recipient

In attendance was Minister of Science Technology and Tertiary Education Christine Kangaloo. She said that government was committed to building better individuals because it was committed to building a better country. She added: "Vision 2020 progress is not an abstract concept but a dream of progress which involves every single individual in this nation."
The Minister said: "We need people who contribute to their communities and who work to help this country progress." She stated that she was happy that CBTT was playing its part in the movement towards Vision 2020 by recognising the kinds of individuals who helped build this nation.
Kangaloo said: "We can hardly hope to move to a brighter and better future unless we first know and understand our history." She added: "It's only when a country knows its history that we can know from where it has come and from where it is going."  She said that in honouring the 2008 Republic Day Award recipient, "we are paying tribute to our ancestors. We recognise them as the foundation upon which this country was built."
"During the early years of our nation's history and long before we became a Republic, our ancestors came to these shores and changed our nation forever," she stated. Mrs. Jattan, who came to Trinidad on August 12, 2008, is the oldest surviving East Indian indentured labourer in Trinidad and Tobago.


CBTT's chairman Harrack Balramsingh stated that his group had always tried to emphasise the importance of Republic Day.The truth is that we became even more independent when we became a Republic."  He said: "CBTT realises that genuine patriots are more interested in what they can do for their country instead of what their country can do for them. This is why, he stated, patriotism should be emphasised on a regular basis in our schools." Balramsingh lamented that too many citizens were unable to recite the National Anthem and the Pledge and he called on schools to help instil in our youth a greater sense of pride in Trinidad and Tobago. "More dedicated patriots are urgently needed," he said.


Other speakers at the function included past Moderator of the Presbyterian Church Rev. Cyril Paul, Genealogist Shamsh Deen, Dr. Dave Ramoutar, Tara Rambaran, all of whom paid glowing tribute to Mrs. Jattan. Also present at this year's Republic Day function was 106 year-old labour hero Elbert Blades who received last year's award.


One of the highlights of the function was a Bhajan rendered by talented Karuna Arjoon, an MPhil student at the University of Trinidad and Tobago. Her brother Vigel Arjoon accompanied her on the drums.


Minister Kangaloo stated that it was to her credit that Mrs. Soogaree Jattan joined the list of outstanding citizens who had received the Republic Day Award. It was first presented to Archbishop Anthony Pantin in 1993.


Mrs. Jattan still looks at religious movies and loves listening to religious songs. She can still hear a little although her hearing is impaired. One family member gave her a hearing aid but she does not like wearing it.  She had five children and 23 great-great grand children plus many grand and great-grand children. She is a vegetarian and credits her eating habits and hard work for her longevity. She worked the canefields at Brechin Castle and Toruba and was also an agriculturist of some repute. Mrs. Jattan believes that one of the reasons food prices have skyrocketed is that we does focus on agriculture as before. "We must plant our own food," she said. She revealed that in her younger days her parents hardly went to the market because they grew their own food.


People from her community believe she deserves the prestigious  Republic Day Award with some insisting that she should have received a National Award this year. People from all over the country and some from abroad have called or emailed to congratulate the 2008 Republic Day awardee.

Senate President Dr. Linda Baboolal praises Elbert Redvers Blades

September 24, 2007

This year’s Republic Day Award recipient Elbert Redvers Blades came in for high commendation from Senate President Dr. Linda Baboolal. In presenting him with the 2007 National Republic Day Award for his contribution to the trade union movement in Trinidad, Dr. Baboolal said: “It’s people like Blades who built the foundation upon which our democracy now stands.”

The Senate President , speaking today at the Republic Day Award function in honour of the 105-year-old labour hero at the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union Headquarters on Circular Road, San Fernando pointed out that it was labour leaders like Elbert Blades, Rienzi Cola and Uriah Butler who struggled for workers and more so fought against discrimination.

Dr. Baboolal noted that these men awakened the urge and desire of the people to be free and to choose and lead themselves and made workers aware of their rights for better wages and also for improved working conditions. She said: “Blades has obviously lived a colourful and an amazingly active life,” and added: “His contribution to Trinidad and Tobago cannot be quantified. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of the Republic Day Award than Mr. Blades,” she told the audience.

She advised the non-governmental organisation Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) “to continue to honour those citizens who in their daily lives contribute to building our nation and who do so selflessly.” In bringing Republic Day greetings, the Senate President called on citizens to continue to contribute to our nation “and like Blades help to build a society where each person can have the opportunity to develop individually to the best that she or he can be and to the benefit of our nation.”

Trade Unions praised as 105-year-old receives T&T's 2007 National Republic Day Award

September 24, 2006

Trade unions came in for high praise at this year’s Republic Day function for labour hero Elbert Redvers Blades. Harrack Balramsingh, chairman of Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) said during his address at the Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union Headquarters on Circular Road, San Fernando this morning that the trade union movement was directly responsible for the benefits enjoyed by many workers today.

He noted that a great debt of gratitude must be paid to the trade unions because without their struggle for better working conditions, many workers would still be living sub-standard lives. He said: “There are still many non-unionised workers who are at the mercy of their employers. They complain of victimisation and exploitation from their employers and continue to have hope that people in authority will come to their defense,” he added.

Balramsingh paid tribute to the OWTU of which this year’s Republic Award recipient, Elbert Blades, was its first General Secretary. He said: “The Oilfield Workers’ Trade Union remains until this day one of the most respected and powerful unions in Trinidad and Tobago. Its leaders from Rienzi Cola and Elbert Blades to Errol McLeod and Wendy White have done yeoman service to the working class,” he pointed out.

He said: “ Elbert Blades and other pioneers of the trade union movement deserve the highest commendation for ensuring that most of our workers get, not only a fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work but also other fringe benefits as well.”

He stated that the Republic Day Award helped to highlight this country’s Republican status. He told the audience that CBTT felt that not enough attention was being given to Republic Day and for this reason the National Republic Day Award was implemented 15 years ago to help highlight this important day in our nation’s history.

Even when the holiday was removed, he pointed out, CBTT continued to celebrate Republic Day. We never believed that we had to have a public holiday to celebrate our Republican status. At the same time, he stated, it was unfortunate that the holiday was removed, “especially when one considers the great significance of the day.” He went on to point out that more and more attention was being paid to the significance of Republic Day.

2006 Republic Day Award recipient

Jack Austin Warner receives 2006 Republic Day Award

Jack Austin Warner, President of CONCACAF and Vice President of football’s world governing body FIFA was presented with the prestigious 2006 Republic Day Award from His Excellency Professor George Maxwell Richards at President House on Republic Day,September 24.

Warner , dubbed “Mr. Football” in Trinidad and Tobago, was named as the recipient of the award for long, outstanding and meritorious contribution to national development in the area of football.

Brazil, one of the world’s top football nations recognised the FIFA Vice President in 2005 while the Commonwealth Sports Foundation presented him with a lifetime award in 2001.Jack Warner also received Peru’s highest award in 2005 while Jamaica made him an honorary citizen in 1998 – the same year that the Reggae Boys made it to the World Cup Finals.

Warner, who is well known as a shrewd and tough administrator, was selected for the Republic Day Award not by just five or six people sitting on a committee but by a wide cross section of citizens.. Over 1000 people were asked to name a person they felt contributed the most to the Trinidad and Tobago Soca Warriors qualifying for the World Cup Finals in Germany and Warner came out on top.

People felt that Trinidad and Tobago head coach Leo Beenhacker along with Dwight York and members of the Soca Warriors deserved the award but none came close to Jack Warner’s popularity in the Republic Day Award Committee’ Poll.

He is considered a national hero by many Trinidad and Tobago citizens and for this reason they believe he should be appropriately honored for his long and meritorious service to Trinidad and Tobago’s football. Trinidad and Tobago’s Captain Dwight Yorke said: “It was on Jack’s shoulders that we made it to the World Cup Finals. Without him,” added Yorke, “it would never have been possible.”

Jack Warner has helped his country outside the football arena. Many still remember that when the youthful Miss Universe 1998 Wendy Fitzwilliam was desperately seeking a sponsor for the trip to the international pageant in Hawaii, Warner quietly purchased a first class ticket for her. That he is always wiling to lend a helping hand to the youth stems from Warner's own struggles growing up in Rio Claro and Longdenville, Chaguanas.

Indeed, his own ascendancy from “Zero to Hero” was not an easy climb for the FIFA Vice President who once cut cane in Central Trinidad to help out at home. "We were poor, very poor. I used to cut cane, look after pigs, and walk six miles to and from school. Those were tough times," recalls the Presentation College, Chaguanas graduate who is today an astute and successful businessman.

Warner is a graduate of the University of the West Indies in history and sociology and served as a teacher in Trinidad for 23 years. He also served at one time as a Special Reserve Police (SRP).

Even though he was not awarded a national medal by the present government befitting his contribution, Jack Austin Warner, deputy political leader of the main opposition party in the country, stated that he felt vindicated by the Republic Day Award which he received from the President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago Professor George Maxwell Richards.

The Republic Day Award is given to a great national achiever and is in keeping with Trinidad and Tobago’s status as a Republic. Jack Warner is married to Maureen and has two sons Daryan and Daryll.

President George Maxwell Richards pays tribute to Jack Austin Warner

His Excellency’s address at the 2006 Republic Day Award presentation function in honour of Jack Warner.

CBTT has set itself a mission to draw to the attention of the people of our country the importance of dedicated citizenship.

For the past thirteen years, you have gathered every Republic Day, without too much fanfare, to say “thank you” to a person who, in your view, exemplifies what a good citizen should be. It is no surprise that this year CBTT has chosen to honour Austin “Jack” Warner in your annual award ceremony.

The performance in Germany, on and off the field, of the National Football Team of Trinidad and Tobago, affectionately referred to as “The Soca Warriors” still resounds within our individual and collective memories and, more than that, it captured the affection of football lovers all over the world.

It bears repetition that our team did for Trinidad and Tobago, in one short entrance on the world stage, what years of public relations and other efforts in the public and private sectors did not accomplish. They have effectively provided avenues for international encounters and lasting interface in trade, culture and other aspects of our lives.

There is no gainsaying that a deep debt of gratitude is owed “Jack” Warner who, for very many years, kept faith with football in this country and never wavered in his assurance that we could make it to the big arena of World Cup football. He persevered where others may have feared to tread and kept a vision of Trinidad and Tobago, not as two dots in the Caribbean Sea, but as a dynamic place in the Western Hemisphere that has the talent and the capacity to snatch the place that it had been denied twice, within recent football history.

His confidence paid off and now Trinidad and Tobago is set on a course in football performance that we must see to it is maintained and improved upon, by leaps and bounds. Our professionals received that fillip of national and world acclamation which was necessary to secure in their minds, as well as their hearts, what they are capable of.

But something else happened. The nation rallied, reminiscent of 1989, but with a difference. The old misunderstandings, in the football fraternity, were buried, as big men came together, players and administrators, to show the spirit of Trinidad and Tobago in that particular arena. The old masters were welcomed to combine with relatively new blood to do what had to be done. “Jack” Warner inspired that coming together and moving on from the past. Barriers were mashed up in a display of solidarity, throughout the country and wherever Trinidad and Tobago people live. It would hardly have happened without the under-girding trust and personal sacrifice that came from Mr. Warner.

So this is CBTT’s way of saying “thank you” for showing the nation how much we can accomplish when we are of one mind, together, in a worthy cause. It is an example for which the country longed and which it needs to keep in the forefront of its memory as we go forward, building our nation.

I endorse, fully, this acclamation of the Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago and wish Austin “Jack” Warner well in his future campaigns for the future of football in Trinidad and Tobago.

2005 Republic Day Award recipient

Peter Minshall receives 2005 Republic Day Award

Peter Minshall, whose artistic works featured at both the opening of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, Spain and the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, USA, was presented with the prestigious 2005 Republic Day Award by President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago George Maxwell Richards at President’s House on Republic Day.

A native Trinidadian, Minshall trained in theatre design at the Central School of Art and Design in London, and went on to receive unanimous critical praise for his professional theatre design work both in England and the United States. Through his investigation of theatre and the other arts on an international level, he came to appreciate the value and potency of the mas' as a form of creative expression, and gradually returned to the mas' as the principal medium of his work as an artist. In recognition of his accomplishments in this field, both in the Trinidad Carnival and abroad, the University of the West Indies in 1991 awarded Minshall the degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa.

Minshall was one of the first to design mas' for the Notting Hill Carnival in London in the early 1970's. In 1974 he created his seminal individual work From the Land of the Hummingbird for the Trinidad Carnival, and two years later designed his first full-scale mas' band in Trinidad, Paradise Lost.

Other international credits include the 1982 Guggenheim Fellowship and designs for a segment of the Opening Ceremony of the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis. In 1987 he was also invited to present work at the 19th International Biennial exposition of contemporary art in Sao Paulo, Brazil, where his multi-media exhibition of mas' earned special critical mention from among 400 contemporary artists representing fifty-three countries. In 1993 Minshall's work made up a major segment of The Power of the Mask, an exhibition mounted by the National Museums of Scotland to run concurrently with the Edinburgh Festival.

In 1994 he designed and produced The Dance of Nations, a large-scale performance piece that was featured in the Opening Ceremony of the World Cup Soccer tournament in Chicago. Peter Minshall is the holder of his country’s highest award – the Trinity Cross. He will always be remembered as an artistic hero .

President George Maxwell Richards paid glowing tribute to Minshall. He said: "Peter Minshall's artistic brillance cannot be denied and I applaud his work as he has helped to define our country's space on the world map of art and culture which are of great importance in the development of any country."

Prof Beaubrun gets Republic Day Award

By Andre Alexander, Trinidad Guardian- September 25, 2002

The 2002 Republic Day Award organised by Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago was presented to Prof Michael Beaubrun by President Arthur NR Robinson during a simple ceremony at President’s House yesterday.

In congratulating Beaubrun, the President said the presentation of the award had added some significance to the celebrations. He also congratulated CBTT for continuing to recognise deserving citizens through the award.

President of CBTT Harrack Balramsingh said Beabrun was chosen for this year’s award for his contribution to national development in the alleviation of alcohol and illegal drug addiction.

Prof Beaubrun was also chosen for his exemplary efficiency, quality of service and personal integrity, which are important criteria for the award. Throughout Beaubrun’s career, he stressed on the dangers of alcohol and other drug abuse.

Balramsingh said if many of us had heeded Beaubrun’s advice, this country would have had fewer crimes and broken homes. He said we needed to highlight the work of Beaubrun and his organisations such as the National Council on Alcoholism and Other Addictions, which he formed 24 years ago.

Prof Beaubrun’s work remarkable, says President

Courtesy Newsday – September 25, 2002

President Arthur NR Robinson yesterday presented well-known local psychiatrist Professor Michael Beaubrun with the 2002 Republic day Award for long and outstanding contributions to national development, on behalf of Citizens For A Better TT (CBTT)

President of CBTT Harrack Balramsingh stated that the award was given to persons chosen because of their dedication to their particular field. In Professor Beaubrun’s case, he received the award for his commitment to ensuring that persons were aware of the dangers of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Balramsingh noted that even as Beaubrun’s work about the dangers of alcohol was exceptional, there was a bar on the compound of the University of the West Indies, which facilitated students who wished to consume alcohol before going to classes.

President Robinson extended greetings to the persons gathered at the ceremony on the occasion of Republic day, while congratulating Professor Beaubrun for his work in the wider world. The President described Beaubrun’s work as remarkable, as he (Beaubrun) had dedicated a large part of his life to ensuring that persons were aware of the consequences of alcohol consumption.

Stating that CBTT was glad to give the award, President Robinson said he hoped Beaubrun’s example would encourage others to emulate his achievements. He also said the occasion was special as Republic Day had once again been restored as a public holiday.

Upon accepting his award from the President, Professor Beaubrun said he appreciated it, but that he did not deserve the award. He quickly added that it was a nice thing.

Beaubrun honoured for alcoholism prevention

Courtesy the Express Newspaper – September 30, 2002

The sale of alcohol beverages on the St. Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies was criticized at the presentation ceremony of an award to Professor Michael Beaubrun. Voicing his disapproval was social activist Harrack Balramsingh, president of Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), who said that alcoholism was wrecking havoc in society.

“Even at our highest institute of education, the University of the West Indies, there is a bar on the school compound where students can drink alcoholic beverages if they so like before going to classes. Beaubrun received the Republic Day Award in recognition of his work in the prevention of alcoholism and substance abuse.

In accepting the award, he said modestly: “I don’t deserve this, but I appreciate this very much. Thank you for all the nice things that you have said about me, and I shall try to live up to them in my remaining years.”

President Arthur NR Robinson also joined in on praising Beaubrun for his work. “It is a particularly remarkable occasion that a man like Professor Beaubrun, who has devoted such a large part of his life to the work of controlling alcoholism and other forms of substance abuse in this country, that he should be recognized for the work that he has done,” the President said.

Professsor Bartholomew: 50 principals approached to form new youth movement

In an attempt to generate the required support to stem the degeneration of our society, the Medical Research Foundation of Trinidad and Tobago has recently spearheaded a youth movement of 600 young sixth formers in 50 schools throughout Trinidad and Tobago.

Head of the foundation Professor Courtenay Bartholomew revealed this during an address at the 2001 Republic Day Award function in his honour at President’s House, St. Ann’s, Port-of-Spain recently.

Professor Bartholomew said the new youth organization would be known as the Youth Movement for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (YMBTT) and added that members of the Medical Research Foundation was patiently awaiting the assistance of 50 school principals whom they had approached.

He stated that he had always felt that in the evolutionary process of life, be it biological or cultural, the offspring should always become greater than the womb which bore it. He said, “It should be the natural process and progress of growth, growth in all senses of the word.” He added, “It is to the children that we must devote our efforts in our quest and hunger for change because they are the ones to build the new society.”

Professor Bartholomew said he had hoped that the once popular slogan: “Fete done. Back to Work” was going to be a rallying cry for change. Unfortunately, he stated, it was only a fleeting political cliché. He said the responsive call was, and still is, “Work Done. Back to Fete.”

He pointed out, “We live in a society where next year’s carnival starts promptly on Ash Wednesday, where indiscipline is the discipline of the day, where disrespect is respected, where pristine values are devalued, where parents do not parent anymore and are afraid to lead and discipline their offspring, and where family life and ambitions, as we knew it decades ago, is a thing of the past. And so, it’s time for change.”

In thanking the Republic Day Award Committee of Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) for selecting him as the 2001 recipient, Professor Bartholomew said, “Fortunately, my feet are firmly on the ground, and I know of my many failures, some of which will remain untold.”

He added, “I am even aware that in the worldwide attempt to find the ultimate AIDS vaccine we might fail, but if so, only temporarily, I am sure. But there is no failure in trying.” He ended by saying: “Many of us have been part of the problem before, but we are now trying hard to be part of the answer.”

Professor Courtenay Bartholomew as he receives his 2001 Republic Day Award from President Arthur NR. Robinson

Professor Courtenay Bartholomew receives 2001 Republic Day Award

Professor Courtenay Bartholomew, Director of the Medical Research Foundation and Professor Emeritus of the University of the West Indies at St. Augustine, was presented with the 2001 Republic Day Award by His Excellency Arthur NR Robinson at President’s House on September 24, 2001 (Republic Day).

The award committee selected Dr. Bartholomew for the award for long and outstanding contribution to national development in medicine, his research into the AIDS virus as well as religious and social work. He was also chosen for his exemplary efficiency, quality of service and personal integrity.

Professor Bartholomew received his early education at Nelson Boys R.C. School and St. Mary’s College where he won a House Scholarship due to his success in the Cambridge School Certificate. He later studied at University College in Dublin and the National University of Ireland where he obtained his M.B, B.C.H, B.A.O. and M.D degrees. In 1964 he received the M.R.C.P in Edinburgh, Scotland in the subspectancy of gastroenterology. He also holds F.R.C.P. and M.R.C.P. honorary degrees from Ireland, Edinburgh and London.

Professor Bartholomew was the inaugural UWI lecturer in Medicine and served as Honorary Consultant in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital. He was also Associate Dean (Eastern Caribbean Medical Scheme) at the same hospital between 1971 and 1977.

He was Senior Lecturer in Medicine at UWI in Trinidad from 1974 to 1977 and subsequently served as Professor of Medicine at the same university from 1977 to 1996. He also worked as an intern at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Meath Hospital in Dublin and as a House Officer and Medical Registrar in General Medicine at St. Kevin’s Hospital in Dublin. Dr. Bartholomew has received numerous awards and honours, among them being the Medical Society Prize in Medicine and the O’Ferral Medal in Surgery, both from University College, Dublin.

In 1975, he received this country’s Chaconia Medal Gold. The Trinidad Guardian named him as the Achiever of the Year in 1984 and one year later the Trinidad Express Newspaper selected him for the Individual of the Year. The world-renowned professor received the International Human Retrovirology Society Award in 1991 for contributions to Human Retrovirology and earlier this year got the Honorary Award of the Faculty of Medicine of University College, Dublin, Ireland.

In 1991 the Association of West Indian Gastroenterologists gave him an award: “In honour of Dr. Courtenay Bartholomew, the Father of Gastroenterology in the West Indies”. He has been appointed to numerous professional bodies on Aids including the National Aids Committee of Trinidad and Tobago (1987) and the Scientific Advisory Committee of the World AIDS Foundation, established by the Governments of France and the United States of America.

Dr. Bartholomew has been a guest lecturer by invitation on numerous occasions both in Trinidad and Tobago and abroad. He has also presented many scholarly reports at Scientific Meetings around the world and is a prolific writer with more than 60 publications.

In the sphere of public service, he served as Chairman of the Renovation Committee for the Restoration of the Roman Catholic Cathedral and designer of stained glass windows (1981). He was also Restorer of the St. Francis of Assisi Church, Belmont (1983) and St. Raphael Church (1984)

He was given a research grant by the Welcome Trust of London, England in 1970 to study the Action of the Venom of the Scorpion of Trinidad Tityus trinitatis and acute Pancreatitis. He was given another grant by the Government of Trinidad and Tobago (1982) to do a nationwide survey on the Prevalence of Hepatitis A and B in Trinidad and Tobago, in collaboration with Dr Baruch Blumberg, Noble Laureate, National Cancer Institute, Philadelphia, USA.

In 1985, the national Institutes of Bethesda, Maryland, USA awarded him a sub-contract to investigate HTLV-1 and HTLV-111 in Trinidad and Tobago. He has been given many other grants and contracts by foreign agencies and institutes to do research on the Aids virus. He was External Examiner of the Medical Faculty, University of Ibadan, Nigeria (1972-1973), Visiting Clinical Professor, Liver Unit, University of Miami (1987) and Visiting Clinical Professor, Royal Victoria Hospital, McGill University, Montreal, Canada (1988)

Republic Day Award given to genuine patriot whose life is worthy of emulating

Professor Courtenay Bartholomew receives 2001 award from President Arthur NR Robinson

2001 Republic Day Award
CBTT President at the function with
Professor Courtenay Bartholomew

The 2001 Republic Day Award recipient, Professor Courtenay Bartholomew was described by the head of Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT), Harrack Balramsingh, as “a man of dignity and respect and a role model to the nation’s children.”

Balramsingh was speaking at the 2001 Republic Day Award function in honour of Professor Courtney Bartholomew held at President’s House, St. Ann’s, Port-of-Spain on Republic Day.

He informed the audience at President’s house that “the Republic Day Award is given to a genuine patriot whose life is worthy of emulating.” He said, “There will always be some detractors even when a deserving person is chosen for an award.”

He advised citizens to support Professor Bartholomew and others in their efforts to find a vaccine against the AIDS virus especially since AIDS was one of the major causes of death worldwide. “ In the meantime,” Balramsingh said, “ young people need to heed Dr. Bartholomew’s advice to abstain from sex before marriage.”

His Excellency Arthur NR Robinson presented Professor Bartholomew with this year’s Republic Day Award for contribution to national development in medicine, his research into the AIDS virus as well as for social and religious work.

Prayers for the nation were recited by Dr. Rosabelle Seesaran and Rev. Balram Singh. Marsha Syder thrilled the audience with an inspirational song. Among others present at the award function were First Lady Patricia Robinson and daughter Ann Margaret Robinson, Professor Hugh Sampath, who resides in Canada, Andy Ganteaume, former West Indies opening batsman , John Hackshaw, N. Mohammed, Douglas Williams, Rev. Raymond Sinanan, Arjun Teeluck Janki, Augustus Thomas, Dr. Noreen Jack, Ms. Ann Blanc Fraser, Ms. Jenny Quang, Shenda Murray, Alfred Graham and David Hannays

President Arthur N.R. Robinson receives 2000 Republic Day Award

2000 Republic Day Award
CBTT President speaking at the function as
President ANR. Robinson and his wife Patricia looks on

2000 Republic Day Award2000 Republic Day Award

Dr. Rosabelle Seesaran (picture at left) as she greets President Robinson while CBTT President presents the RDA award to President ANR. Robinson (picture at right)

His Excellency will be honoured by generations to come

President Robinson was officially presented with the 2000 Republic Day Award from Citizens For A Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) on Sunday, September 24, 2000 at President's House for his outstanding contribution to national development, and also for his exemplary efficiency, quality of service and personal integrity.

President of CBTT, Harrack Balramsingh told the very appreciative audience at the award function that "many people have followed His Excellency's career in Trinidad and Tobago and have been able to personally witness his outstanding contribution to this country's educational, social and economic life."

He said,"Even people claiming to be detractors of His Excellency have called CBTT over the past two weeks to state that he is a great choice for the award because of his brilliant mind, and the very high standards he sets, not only for himself but for all those in his sphere."

Balramsingh called on every citizen of Trinidad and Tobago to put aside personal and political differences and join with CBTT in honouring a great citizen who, he said, "would be remembered in history as a Prime Minister whose tough stance during the 1990 coup attempt helped preserve our democracy."

He added, " It is well known that even though His Excellency was shot in the line of duty by insurrectionists, he was prepared to lose his life defending this country's democratic system of government. For this," he said, "President Robinson would be deservedly honoured by generations to come."

The CBTT president pointed out at the award function that "all recipients of the Republic Day Award become automatic members of Citizens for A Better Trinidad and Tobago and are regarded as national heroes." Balramsingh continued, "From our observations, most citizens agree that Mr. Robinson deserves the 2000 Republic Day Award because of his significant contribution to his country."

First Lady Mrs. Robinson and other members of the Robinson family were also in attendance.






2000 Republic Day Award
Rev. Balram Singh praying for
the President and the Nation
2000 Republic Day Award
CBTT President, Mr. Harrack Balramsingh
and President ANR. Robinson
2000 Republic Day Award

Arthur NR Robinson feels honoured to be cited as exemplar to nation

"It's the first time that I have felt so deeply about an award,"
says President

The President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, Arthur NR Robinson, said that he had no reason to be ashamed of anything in the near 50 years that he had been in public life.

President Robinson was at the time speaking at the recent annual Republic Day Award presentation function held in his honour at President's House, St. Ann's, Port-of-Spain. At the ceremony, he was presented with the prestigious 2000 Republic Day Award from Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) for his outstanding contribution to national development and also for his exemplary efficiency, quality of service and personal integrity.

His Excellency told the very appreciative audience, which included his wife Mrs. Patricia Robinson and daughter Margaret, that he always tried to act in a way that the nation's children could emulate. "That has always been the uppermost thought in my mind," he said.

He added, " I feel it very very honoured and humbled when I am cited by such an organisation as an exemplar to the nation."

President Robinson stated that he felt humbled by the prayers, which were offered by CBTT members and went on to point out that prayers were never offered on other occasions in the past when he received awards internationally and at home. He said, "It is the first time that I have felt so deeply about an award."

He showered praise on CBTT saying that the organisation was needed particularly at this time in the history of Trinidad and Tobago. "I want to say what a meaningful task they are engaged in in citing the values, which they hope and think that the population of Trinidad and Tobago would accept, and the children would emulate."

President Robinson said, "I want to thank all those who have come on this significant and meaningful occasion of Republic Day in order to be part of this ceremony to honour me in what I have been able to do in my own individual capacity." He thanked the citizens of the nation who sustained him and assisted him to do what he had done.

"And above all," he said, " I want to thank almighty God to whom I give thanks more than once every day for what he has done through me in order to help others, which I set out to do in my public life to be of service to others."

In 1990 President Robinson, then Prime Minister of his country, was shot on the leg during an unsuccesful coup attempt on his government.

NAR congratulates President on Republic Day Award

The National Alliance for Reconstruction (NAR) has congratulated it former political leader, President Arthur NR Robinson on receiving the 2000 Republic Day Award from Citizens for a Better Trinidad and Tobago (CBTT) for long and outstanding contribution to national development.

President Robinson, who also served as Prime Minister of his country from 1986 to 1991, received the award from CBTT leader Harrack Balramsingh at President's House, St. Ann's, Port-of-Spain on September 24, 2000.

The party said: "The NAR feels proud that CBTT has recognised in His Excellency, a former leader of the NAR, a person of exemplary efficiency, personal integrity and bravery.

"The NAR urges CBTT to continue its programme of recognising persons who have made outstanding contributions to the society with granting of its prestigious award." The award, which was given to West Indies fast bowler Courtney Walsh last year, is held in high esteem by Trinidadians living both at home and abroad.

At the presentation function for His Excellency, Balramsingh described the President as "one of the most brilliant minds the nation has ever produced." He predicted that His Excellency would be honoured by generations to come for his many significant contributions to his country.

Balramsingh added that the President created history when he became the only person in the country's history to hold the positions of both Prime Minister and President and also predicted that no one was likely to emulate that feat in the future. He said, " President NR Robinson is internationally recognised having been involved in the establishment of the International Criminal Court since 1972, serving as Consultant and Executive Director of the Foundation."

President Robinson in his acceptance speech, said that the Republic Day Award meant more to him than all the other awards he had received locally and internationally, because it came from a reputable organisation in his own country which was doing its best to uplift the lives of others. CBTT also offered prayers for His Excellency during the function.

CBTT mourns the passing away of T&T's
first Republic Day Award recipient
Archbishop Anthony Pantin
- a man who lived by example

Roman Catholic Archbishop Anthony Pantin, who in 1993 received Trinidad and Tobago’s first Republic Day Award from CBTT for his spiritual and moral uplift of the national community, died suddenly of a heart attack on March 12, 2000. He was born in 1929 and became Archbishop of Port-of-Spain in 1968.

Archbishop Pantin was a religious leader who lived by example. He will be sorely missed because he was not afraid of speaking out against the many of social ills plaguing the society. In a world where there are large numbers of religious men who fail to practice what they preach, Archbishop Pantin set very high standards not only for himself, but for all those in his sphere.

Every person who came in contact with His Grace was most impressed with his humility and genuine love and concern for his fellow men, especially the youth. He was unquestionably one of the most respected and admired religious leaders in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

We can eradicate many of the social ills in society today if more religious leaders stop being hypocrites and begin to emulate the life of the late Catholic Archbishop. He was not afraid to speak out against corruption, immorality, racism and discrimination because he saw them as ungodly acts which can destroy a nation.

We would be continuing the legacy of Archbishop Pantin if we look at every human being and see a brother or sister. He had done much to eradicate racism by helping to develop within our young people a sense of racial tolerance and respect for the rights of others.

CBTT recognised the Archbishop’s contribution to society while he was alive, having honoured him with the first T&T REPUBLIC DAY AWARD in 1993. In 1998 the group presented him with a SPECIAL AWARD to mark his 30th anniversary as head of the Roman Catholic Church. CBTT also gave the Pantin family, of which the late Archbishop Pantin was part, the FAMILY OF THE YEAR AWARD in 1994 to commemorate the International Year of the Family.

CBTT has lost an advisor and a great friend. Although he had numerous church commitments to attend to, he was never too busy for us because he rightly believed that CBTT had a critical role to play in helping to rid the society of corruption, racism, discrimination, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other social ills.

We had his unequivocal support, and we are not going to let him down.

Republic Day Award Pictures

1993 Republic Day Award recipient
Roman Catholic Archbishop
His Grace Anthony Pantin
1994 Republic Day Award recipient
Former Governor-General and President Sir Ellis Clarke
1995 Republic Day Award recipient
Educator Dr.Anna Mahase

1996 Republic Day Award recipient
Servol Chairman Fr.Gerard Pantin
1997 Republic Day Award recipient
Former President and First Lady, Justice Noor M. Hassanali and Mrs. Zalayhar Hassanali
1998 Republic Day Award recipient
Catholic News Editor Fr.Michel de Verteuil
1999 Republic Day Award recipient
West Indies Fast Bowler Courtney Walsh being presented the 1999 RDA by Mr. Ganace Ramdial

2000 Republic Day Award recipient
President ANR. Robinson
being presented the 2000 RDA Award
2006 Republic Day Award recipient
Austin Jack Warner
being presented the 2006 RDA Award

Mr. Harrack Balramsingh
Thank you note from the President

Historically, people everywhere have paused at times to give THANKS for sunshine, rain and all things that give stimulus to life.

I believe in One Eternal Thanksgiving. Each day in my meditations and prayers, I am giving thanks to God and to all persons who have shared in my life experience.

I thank all those who have contributed to the success of CBTT. Please continue to lend us your unequivocal support and you will experience a changed world. We are committed to making this world a better place in which to live.

Please write or e-mail us with your comments since your views are of extreme importance to us. We invite you to help us to help others. Once again, THANK YOU AND THANK GOD.