Age of innocence

By Raffique Shah
April 05, 2015

Raffique ShahThe Easter weekend has always been a period of intense religious activities for Christians in the country, and one for recreation and relaxation for others in the society. As a child growing up in a Muslim home in the 1950s, I was very aware of its significance to Catholics and Anglicans in particular, since both had (and still have) churches in the Freeport/Boccarro districts where we lived.

Out of custom, and maybe respect for other people’s religious beliefs, I recall my very Muslim mother cooking fish on Good Friday. There were a few “bobolees” crafted, dressed and later beaten “to death” mostly by teenage boys, but all of them were depictions of Judas, the reviled disciple who had betrayed Christ, a story we all knew, whatever faith we belonged to.

None of the effigies depicted politicians, as is the norm today. In other words, religion was not tainted by politics even though race-voting would later insert itself in multi-ethnic communities like the one in which I grew up. As far as I knew, no imam, pundit or priest proclaimed his political preferenc­e from the pulpit.

In so many ways, my boyhood years could best be described as the age of innocenc­e.

I remember my mother pouring the white of an egg into a glass of water which she put on a bench in the sun, and my two sisters and I eagerly watching to see if it would shape itself into a church spire or some such formation (or apparition?)—maybe people older than I can clarify what that was all about.

In Central Trinidad, we did not have public re-enactments of the stations of the cross, no “no-nose Brackley” to volunteer to play Christ on the cross, to plead in a nasal tone, “stone me, my brothers, stone me like they stoned the Saviour”, and when the brothers hurled serious rocks at him, to cuss from the cross, “What de #!@* wrong with allyuh… allyuh want to kill me?”

Over the Easter weekend, there would be several masses, from Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday. Our Christian neighbours would dress in their finest garbs (I remember Miss Plaza, Miss Pragg, Miss Buntin, Miss Mae and Miss Taylor), greet their non-Christian neighbours with warmth, then fill the pews of the Catholic and Anglican churches on St Mary’s Junction.

It was the age of innocence, a time when the village raised its children, when people genuinely cared for each other.

Kite-flying was commonplace since almost every boy knew how to make kites. It was a time when there were no electricity lines to pose danger, and when pure pleasure, not commercial lure, prompted us to fly kites using thread pilfered from our mothers’ sewing machines, all in pursuit of boyhood fun.

Easter also meant the start of the “mango season”, when the hundreds of mango trees in and around the villages, among them scores of species (vin, rose, calabash, starch, axe, spice, dudus…), ripened, providing healthy and tasty fruits for everyone, quite literally. We would roam the bushes and raid the yards, having mastered the arts of accurately pelting the stems and climbing tall trees to feast on fresh fruits. No unhealthy processed snacks back then.

It was the age of sharing, a time when the boys (and some girls) harvested the fruits and shared them with the elders.

It was a time when religious bodies did not depend on the State for their sustenance. When the Catholic or Anglican or Presbyterian church, or the mosque or Hindu temple or denominational schools needed to be repaired or enhanced, everyone in the community contributed. As a student at the College of St Phillips & St James, I collected “blocks” by selling chances on a “punch card” for the construction of Presentation College, Chaguanas. Most people, whatever their beliefs, contributed at least ten cents—which was the cost of one clay-brick back then. Many of the contributors did not have sons who were likely to attend that college. Also, they were poor people. But it did not matter. The village would help build the college where a few of its sons would be educated.

So when today I see so-called spiritual leaders prostituting themselves and their flocks on the altar of materialism, elevating politicians to demigods, prostrating themselves before the wealthy and powerful, people of dubious character, I feel nauseated.

When churches and mosques and temples are reduced to houses of ill-repute, to dens of wheeler-dealers who barter their flocks to the highest bidders, I squirm. When some pastors wallow in wealth and their fawning flocks encourage them to flaunt their materialism as a gift from God, I know I made the right choice by withdrawing from the hypocrisy that passes for religion.

Easter is as good as any time to reflect on how materialism has overcome spiritualism. In the simpler era I reminisced upon, life was far from perfect. I am not suggesting that the “old time days” were superior, that there were more saints than sinners.

But having been there and seen much of it, I am convinced it was a time when, whatever their religious beliefs, people did not sell their souls for a mess of pottage, or less.

21 Responses to “Age of innocence”


  • Good memories of your childhood days and innocence. Each culture move on but those days were diffrent. The community spirit was strong. Yes there was no television, no cell phone, no microwave, no computers… Yet in the villages the neighbors would pass and drop some fish, edoes, yam or dasheen bush. There was the village news carrier, he was the man everyone looked forward to seeing because he always had some juicy gossip, some story that you may not have known. The children came out to play there was wrestling matches…..geeze I need to write a book. This generation does not know what a real community sense of belonging and spirit Trinidad had.

  • Yuh preaching brother Shah.

  • This is perhaps the only thing Mamoo has said on this blog that I am in total agreement with. Wow! Maybe, just maybe, we might be able to carry on a civil dialog after all.

    • Kian, I believe this article proves what I said in the prior article in which I stated this forum has become a format for racists and egotists to rant.

      This is a wonderful reminiscing of the past but have you noticed that the empty vessels are quite absent.

  • I recall those days also I only wish they can return but again that is only wishful thinking.

    • There are thousands of “trinis” who relish the return of “the good old days”….To reduce “crime” is foremost on the agenda of most individuals.Residents of TnT together with law enforcement must retrieve their neighbourhoods “one street at a time”…..

      “Politics is show business for ugly people”(CBC…At Issue..)Eliminate race,religion,etc,from the psyche of the inhabitants,and instead “elect politicians” who are dedicated; to proportionately eradicate gangs,drugs,corrupt police officers, as well as corrupt politicians.

  • Lovely memories! Bring back the old time days according to the song. This is one of your best blogs.

  • Great comments Mamoo. Write a book Man.

  • A trip down memory lane…..Merci

  • http://m.guardian.co.tt/news/2015-04-10/i-thought-it-was-firecrackers%E2%80%94mom

    Yeah Mamboo ,and back then, kids ,who were evolved in secret/public criminality,knew better, than to eat,sleep,fornicate ,and ….ummmmm…’excrete,’ in de same. territory-especially,close to home,since Randy Fox Burroughs,machine gun bullets,’was no respecter of person,’as we like to say on the streets. Today we have Supt Abraham,and his Bollywood/Nollywood-Hollywood Commissioner Uncle Williams.
    Read you loud and clear,Caribou1,for likewise,then vicks,and firecrackers,did not kill you ,while you were watching Clive Lloyd,and Gus Logie,trash Australia,or Pakistan,in cricket.
    Back then ,your fellow fisherman,or fake farmer ,gun,or drug dealing pal, ensured you reach your maker,to either gyrate with your 21 virgins in hell,or that you return to earth ,in a reincarnated form, as an ugly Central PP toad.
    Got that Chung sing,back then a Chinese restaurant,or food van ,was just that ,mi piasano-a business place.
    Now, one never knows ,Brothaz Chong.
    A proprietor ,with an alleged family, doubles friend ,called Ali,whose business,is located next to a well known, homeless cave -Curepe drug den,is walking around with ,what $TT30 grand, in a bag,then foolishly wrestling with armed bandits ,over it,on the ground,only to eventually have, two stupid ,illiterate,illegal ,Jamaican female/Yardee immigrants,that will try to escape back to Trenchtown,Tivale,or Ocho Rios,with the loot they snatched from de unfortunate victim,while due to an attack ,he was lying,on the verge of death, in his own blood ,on de crime scene,all with dem security cameras rolling .
    I hear you Swordfish,and no wonder you ,and kind ,now despise T&T,and prefer England ,Canada,and Obama country ,America,si?

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/COUP-PLOTTER-HEADS-LONDON-MOSQUE-299423621.html

    Here ,Islamist goons -with the aid of business,political,and religious benefactors-can invade our Parliament,shoot up the place ,murder and plunder willy nilly ,then with the help of said cross tribal friends,escape the law.One can marry 5 trini wives.
    The other can acquire asylum,become a London Imam,and they all can win law suits,over land deals promises.
    Finally,their country’s PM can run to conferences,and lament about terrorism ,as part of her reelection gimmicks,for an unsuspecting,gullible public.
    In Canada ,your Parliament shooting thug,will get de electric chair,even if they have to make a law.
    If Lennox Phillip,aka Yasin Abu Bkar,former trusted henchman ,tries shooting Prince Williams,or PM Cameron in de knee,he and gang would be beheaded in de towers forthwith,even if Queen Liz ,have to abolish her Privy council.
    In America,your North Carolina police, can shoot a Black male ,8 times in de back,as he is running away,and his Simi African President ,can simultaneously visit Jamaica,and sing ‘one love ,’ or his Papa’s Kenya, kumbaya,,with Jamaican -quasi educated -PM,Mama-Portia,and her clueless Trini side kick-Kamla,who after 5 years in office,is willing to sign dem “blank checks ,”to keep Jamaican criminals out of more civilized T&T.
    In Venezuela,well ,qe know how havez pals ,will deal with our Pro ISIS,fake religious thugs,hmmmmm?
    Hey,and Brother Kian ,would it not be a nice idea,if we could build a wall to keep all dem murderous East/West Corridor criminals ,from entering any where ,’South of de Caroni?’
    Better yet,how about having an AG ,
    who was more concerned about tabling sound laws,not called Section 34,or initiating illegal curfews ,only geared to lock up ,low end ,Afro Kinky Head ,high school drop outs, from Nelson Streets,Carnage,and de Beetham?
    Instead she gave us one who made out like a bandit,didn’t she?
    Any word yet on dat Dana Setahal conspiracy-assassination matter,or the 5 tax free, Range Rover,he imported for himself,and cronies,just before his boss Kamla-with ah heavy heart-kicked him to de door?

    http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/-AG-corrects-figures-408m-in-fees-paid-out-299423011.html

    Let Hansard show ,that our Auntie K , is playing her role in advancing that Papa Baz ,’dis is our time ,’ policy to perfection.
    She gave out 5 thousand houses ,chiefly to de tribe,but she still needs help,with oil prices down ,and elections so close ,don’t she?
    Ahhhhh shucks,and to hell with the past. Let’s heed de words of de great Buddha himself,re this escapist fixation,on the past,or unwarranted obsession, on the distant future:-
    “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
    Aren’t we lucky ,he gave that old religion of his ,de symbolic middle finger? The world is a much better place because of it.
    To all my fellow ‘progressive minded Humanist,’ let’s strive to end suffering,while curbing all efforts of dem self serving elites ,si?
    Long live the Republic of T&T!
    Stay vigilant people!

  • Good comments, Neal. Please note, I am a “Trini 2 de bone” not Chinese. My grandda was Chinese and my last name is Chinese. I am amused when my friends call me “Chin.”

  • Don’t be too hard on yourself Brother CS, Neal got your back,and you can trust me on dat.
    As cuz Shakespeare once fondly asked,”what’s in a name?”
    It’s one of the burden many of us have to bear-these names.
    Take myself ,Kain,and Brother Hussain.We three are some of the most vociferous,pro African voices,traversing on dis hear Trini Center,Information Highway.
    For all you know,I could be an Irish ancestral prisoner,or a potato farming ,slave owning bum descendant .
    Kain eyes could blue like his Scandinavian Viking papa ,from Norway,and Bro Hussain,a twin brother,or distant cuz, of that Syrian tyrant President Assard.
    Now here is de million dollar question,I want you to try and answer cuz CS,aka Chin.
    Why do you think de self loathing,PP tribalists, led by TMan,Mamboo,Trini Raw oils,Intricate,and Caribou1,enjoy hiding their true identities,behind dem idiots sobriquets,so that they can spew their hateful verbiage-as if they think ,we the astute,ain’t smart enough,to decipher who they really are,after one comment?
    LUV humanity people,and forget de tribe!Failure so to do can have dire consequences.
    Long live the Republic of T&T!

  • Thanks, Bro. Neal. Chong sing is my middle name. One Love!

  • Neal, I am a patriot, dedicated to justice for all in Trinidad and, yes, Tobago too. My message is equality, fairness and an end to racial strife and bickering.I have my political leanings, knowing that it does not really matter who is the PM of T&T, or who is in government.Both major political parties have shown that they are committed to all of the peoples of T&T, even though party politics dictate their preferences in making key appointments.
    T&T is basically a peaceful country with people of all races living closely together in harmony, no political figure or organization can succeed in changing that specific dynamic. Their will never be turf wars on the streets like many other countries, even though my friend Kian would like to start one against the pagans of whom he speaks very derogatorily speaks every chance he gets. I am glad you admitted that your voice and the voices of your supportive bloggers are pro-African, because my voice is pro T&T forever!Your lines of reasoning and your constant agitation, supported by the bigot, Kian, belong to the USA, not T&T.

    • Yes TMan! The word Pagan carries an adjectival description meaning idolatrus. Idolatrus carries the meanings – worshipping idols; .treating someone or something as an idol. History is full of characterizations which associate pagans of having and expediting selfish motivations, to achieve wealth and materialism only for themselves. I have written many times about the unselfishness the christians have shown in the history of Trinidad and Tobago in bringing literacy and health care to the peoples of this country without regards to race, religion, class, creed or national origin. Free and selfishness is what is motivating Bhoe Tewarie to ‘give away’ the lands in Chaguaramas to his friends and family. This, after Dr. Eric Williams fought valiantly, tooth and nail to recover it from the Americans. Dr. Williams did it for the people of Trinidad and Tobago, even you will admit that Bhoe Tewarie does not have the interest of the people of Trinidad and Tobago in his thoughts when he decided to give away the lands that Dr. Williams fought for to his friends. There are of course other characterizations attributed to pagans but I will not get into it. Maybe, just maybe you can tell the whole world what the pagans have done for ALL the people of Trinidad and Tobago? I suspect that none will come to the fore. I notice that you are now suggesting that I may want to start turf wars – typical of pagans. I can assure you that I have served in the military and police service of Trinidad and Tobago with diligence and true patriotism and not the phony ones that you so boastfully described. I made it convenient for you to feel proud that you now have ‘your people’ in charge. I have hunted criminals in the hills, and helped identify saboteurs. My diligence was in part responsible for the peace and tranquility that allowed your people to now boast of that phony harmony and ‘equality’ of which you speak. I did it for my country and for the cause of democracy, not for tribe, not for race, not for religion, not for kith, not for kin and certainly not for ethnic superiority. This past five years have put people like you on a pedestal where you feel that you can talk as you like to anyone else. I have walked the walk and talked the talk, it did not matter for me what side of the political divide benefitted. I did it for peace, I did it for democracy, I did it for tranquility and I definitely did it for country, without fear or favor. What say you now TMan!

  • Ah shucks Tman,cut it out my deceptive piasano ,about being pro T&T!
    If you were indeed pro T&T,as claimed ,then you would be the first to denounce your leader for still lying in bed ,with her ultra racist spiritual adviser,Sat Maraj,who thinks, he can use African people tax dollars ,to push his Hindustani agenda,by blocking African folks kids, from attending his state supported schools.
    The word patriotism is an alien concept to folks like yourself,and kind.
    Sadly You alze , only parrot such, when in charge,but has systematically done everything possible to tarnish the image of your country,once things don’t sway your way.
    Glad to know that you suddenly think ‘T&T is basically a peaceful country with people of all races living closely together in harmony,(&) no political figure or organization can succeed in changing that specific dynamic…(or that )Their will never be turf wars on the streets like many other countries…”
    So when your PM in 2010 said ,and I quote ,”blood would run in the streets of T&T,if the UNC/PP did not win,”did you agree or disagree then,and pray tell us, what will be the case if she is unsuccessful in her reelection bid?
    As for Brother Kian repeated denunciations of ‘de other,’professed noble,cultural folks ,who behave like pagans,then who am I to argue with him,re his characterization?
    If it walk likes a Erin duck,talk like a Carapichima duck,and gyrate like a Los Bajos ,or Aranguez duck,it sure ain’t a Carnage Turkey,a Never Dirty Morvant hog,or a Moriah Cocrico,is it?
    Yep,your civic ,business and political leaders ,should continue to run roughshod over citizens rights ,then when the inevitable ‘political blow backs ‘occur ,look to direct the tribe to run to the hills ,and foreign embassies ,while squealing like excitable ,hungry piglets ,with the typical phantom victim hood mantras.
    A word of caution is in order-that stupid act is fast becoming stale,and no one will buy it forever.
    Seeing that you have the inside scoop,just tell us when is the elections. We have a country to save.
    Now this won’t happen in T&T, because unlike Brazil,it would be one term , and back to de political wilderness for your UNC dominant PP,si?

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2015/04/protesters-brazil-seek-ouster-president-150412180525479.html

  • During those days SELF was never the primary focus. There are those among us started this SELF thing. First came the greed and then the divide and rule from the oil industry where foreign ownership was the landscape(ESSO, SHELL, TEXACO, TESORO, AMOCO etc.) and then the spread of all the evils took place under the guise of development …but for WHO. Then the scams came. During this time we were focused on on each other instead of the real enemy amongst us and the fears in us took root. The divide and rule policies soaked in. We never learnt from our history as we should have…like BUTLER….ETC.. The evil in us came out. Like in North America where Valmon Jones was educated and came back with the scams. And our people began to run abroad as job opportunities got scarce here in T&T, fearing the end to our country. Yes we were played. GATE came but no jobs with it. Our foreign exchange grew from 1.25 to 6.33. We were devalued and put right back in a harsher enslavement as they often said “suffer them and they will pay attention” as there are many crabs in the barrel. When one dies there are plenty more. Then we were played again as they propagandered us into believing that tertiary education was important in our little country. And then the seeds of black power were sown. They were really robbing us of our great wealth in our T&T and will not stop until there is nothing left for us to survive on. The war continues elsewhere as refugees multiply greatly elsewhere. And the doors in these countries became more and more closed and are now practically closed. And they continue to rob us as the job levels occupied by the foreigner goes up even in the lower and lower as the grease hand stretches lower and lower ranks. Yes there is grease hand in almost everything now. Like the $600 BILLION USD, Amoco took from us in the 70s they continue to take plenty more which is not revealed to us. Kamla never tells the whole story from her trips abroad. Kamla recently boasted to the SUMMIT she attended recently that there is plenty more left for them to share in …of course she never includes how we as a nation stand to benefit. We are toast as they say. That is only important to SIS and the close ring around her here. What we will hear on the campaign trail are the fabricated truths of course. And of course people like MITSUBISHI stands to rake in billions. We get the peanuts as always. Like the ADD we do not take vacation like they do. We are excluded from all the ALL INCLUSIVES. I spent 30 years in T&T working as an engineer coming back as ERIC WILLIAMS called us back home to build POINT LISAS in the late 70s from ground zero up. We gave up plenty but got back little. I was a fool to come back as my family suffered greatly. My father drummed in me that hard work always pay off. That was never the case. Well we received little recognition for our many efforts and were blacklisted for our outspokeness against the wrongs we were faced with over the years forced on us by the white french creole bosses who sucked up to the foreign bosses. I worked for crumbs as PNM put a ceiling on our salaries for fear of inflation. And a townhouse I had a mortgage on in Diego Martin in the 1980s which was $100,000 TT, now sells for $2.4 MILLION TT. How’s that for controlling inflation. Yes the joke is on us. We were played. Our earning power has been cut in half while our foreign peers have gone clear three times. You remember when Mr. Manning salary doubled and ours went up by 3%. We have to isolate the enemy among ourselves NOW.

  • And the great Lloyd Best once said we are a product of all our historical calamities. We were so messed up by our enslavement and the gross discrimination we faced and still faces and the FORCED labour upon us. You must remember that many of these so called G8s ever since the days of Eldorado (never ENDED; was never only about gold but it just changed to oil, gas, cocoa, cane or whatever)fought many battles over these two littliest countries in the world. Greed and dreadness came from all of them since the 1600s and men like Mr or Sir Best,Sir CLR James and others who gave their lives fighting for a better life for all of us here in the West Indies came to nought as they were castrated etc.,(one from 10 leaves 0)while these bastards recruited our leaders to continue the damage to our two countries. I TELL YOU …GOD WILL STRIKE. We just got to keep the faith.

  • The Jeff Clark connection
    Story Created: Apr 25, 2015 at 9:54 PM ECT
    Story Updated: Apr 25, 2015 at 9:54 PM ECT
    It was sold as a new rush of oil prospecting in South-West Soldado, a decade-old dream of dizzying black gold that would reduce Petrotrin’sreliance on imported crude and inject some much-needed cash into the State energy giant’s balance sheet.
    Instead, there were false starts to the much-ballyhooed SW Soldado development project; a failed shipyard expedition to the United States, insider information provided to a Houston start-up and a small Mexican firm, and the theft of US$750,000 (TT$4.794 million) in public funds.
    Camini Marajh, Head, Express Investigative Desk, delves into Petrotrin’s troubled and increasingly expensive bid to reactivate the SW Soldado field and the rich deals that have benefited a few individuals. This is the eighth in a series of articles.

    Questions remain over the circumstances in which an ille­gal advanced payment was made to the company’s Mexi­can contractor, Maritima de Ecologia SA de CV, also known as Marecsa, and the facilitating role played by American expat Jeff Clark, for all of the parties connected to the Soldado affair.
    Among them: why did Petrotrin make a payment ahead of time, in violation of its own contract agreement? Why was the board not told? Why did the company accept an almost US$2 million performance bond from an underwriter that did not meet the minimum investment rating requirements? Where did Dexter Daniel get the authority to negotiate and decide on a variation of the contract terms? Why is there no documented evidence of this material variation or agreement to prepay?
    Also, why was it necessary for Petrotrin to seek legal sanction on an internal request for payment document? And having secured legal input, why did the company then fail to follow the advice of its internal lawyers and vary the terms of the contract to reflect the reported changes to the agreement? Why was a copy of the contract not included in the Daniel memorandum, seeking approval for payment of an upfront commissioning fee? And what about the contention of the VP Finance that she signed under a false premise?
    Also still unclear are: who are the beneficial owners of the private bank accounts? Are the accounts still active? Where did the money go? Who are the un-named Petrotrin contacts who used general man-of-business Clark as a conduit for the repayment instructions and subsequent money transfer? Where did Clark get the authority to request and direct repayment to non-Petrotrin bank accounts?
    What was it about the Clark repayment instruction that caused Maritima’s top executive Gabriel Delgado to transfer US$750K to two Port of Spain bank accounts shortly after receipt of the money, at a time when he was floundering financially and unable to make even the lease payments on the barge? What made him believe Clark’s story that Petrotrin wanted its money back when the oil company had just paid what its lawyers insist was an agreed-to mobilisation
    fee? What exactly was mobilised?
    What was his understanding of the arrangements that made him transfer the remaining Petrotrin funds without a single question posed to Clark and the oil company? Was he as naïve about the repayment instructions as he has let on? And if we believe his version of events, why did he transfer the money to non-Petrotrin bank accounts?
    Also, if this was at all or in any way connected to a legitimate business transaction, why was one set of the money remitted into Clark’s separate company account, Sterling Marine Ltd (SML), and not the locally incorporated Maritima Trinidad business unit? Was the US$100K paid directly into Clark’s SML account payment for services rendered?
    Delgado has not answered the basis of that transfer to any degree of satisfaction and has provided the stock response: “Funds were returned as per the bank accounts indicated” and “we did not question”.
    His refusal to be forthright on the issue of the prepayment and subsequent transfer of funds from Houston to Port of Spain or to identify the party who put him on to the lucrative oil production deal provides an insight into how the parties operated. Petrotrin has refused to provide a proper account for the failed Soldado contract and has instead demanded that we name our sources on this investigative series.
    The oil company has also refuted claims made by its Mexican contractor and naval architect, Delgado, that the American expat who lived in a leased Diego Martin townhouse for several years acted in an unofficial capacity for unnamed individuals inside of the State-run company and has publicly asserted it had “absolutely no dealings” with Jeff Clark.
    Continuing Sunday Express investigations have however revealed the State energy giant has been less than honest with the public on this matter. Petrotrin’s own official documents show Clark was well-known to persons inside of the State-run oil company. He was directly involved in arranging the performance bond and expediting payment of the upfront commissioning fee of US$1.25 million to Delgado.
    The evidence trail show nine days after SW Soldado projects man­ager Dexter Daniel secured payment approval from the vice-president Finance and E&P (exploration and production), Clark provided Petrotrin with a written testimonial to the invoice accuracy of a copy of the original Maritima-submitted invoice, dated March 26, 2012.
    The handwritten note, signed by Clark on the top, right-hand corner of the single-page document on August 24, 2012, stated: “I certify this is a true and certified copy of the original.” Petrotrin insiders report the Clark-certified invoice was walked through the system and entered— as evidenced by the date stamp on the document—into the company’s computerised SAP financial system the same day, a Friday.
    On August 29, 2010, three days into the working week, the so-called mobilisation money was wire-transferred through intermediary bank Citibank to Delgado’s Membersource Credit Union account in
    Houston, less US$187,500 in withholding tax.
    The invoice document, like all the other related Petrotrin payment documents on this matter, speaks to a “commissioning fee” and not “an advanced commissioning” or “mobilisation fee” as Petrotrin has said. The invoice document actually describes the payment as part of the agreed-to tender contract and cites the refe­renced contract term 2.1, which specifically talks about a single lump sum payment “when the contractor has completed commissioning and test run and Petrotrin has certified the facility for the commencement of services”.
    Petrotrin has publicly maintained it approved and paid a negotiated mobilisation fee of US$1.25 milli­on to Delgado’s privately owned marine company but failed to disclose the approved award did not include prepayment of any fee, mobilisation, commissioning or otherwise. It also failed to disclose the approved contract award did not have a mobilisation fee but a commissioning fee, which, according to the contract, was only payable after the Maritima-contracted production facility was in Trinidad and certified fit for service.
    Also, as reported previously, the company ignores the fact that mobilisation and commissioning are two distinct, non-synonymous activities. The State oil company has also failed to respond to a published June 8, 2012, e-mail which identified Clark as an involved party in an internal company e-mail on expediting payment of the upfront fee to Delgado.
    By Delgado’s own account, albeit a limited one, Clark was “a broker in the middle of everybody”, representing myriad interests associated with the Soldado contract, including Petrotrin, the broker on the contract Comprehensive Insurance Brokers Ltd (CIBL) and lastly, as the local agent of his own Mexican incorporated company.
    Delgado said he was approached by Clark after he won the Soldado contract with an offer to secure the requisite insurance needed to satisfy the terms of the just-landed Petrotrin contract. He said Clark told him he was associated with a Port of Spain brokerage house later identified as the Neil Gosine-run CIBL. According to Delgado, “Clark was the person with the contacts in Trinidad. He was talking on behalf of individuals inside of Petrotrin. He took me to CIBL.”
    Delgado’s version of events suggests that the parties knew each other before he won the contract but he declined to call names. “We did not question,” he said to repeated questions from this reporter about the identity of the key players involved. “That was never disclosed or asked,” he said, making clear he asked no questions and received no answers about the parties involved or anything unrelated to the specific contract agreement signed with Petrotrin.
    Yet, he was an integral part to the illegal prepayment and subsequent repayment of two sets of Petrotrin money to private bank accounts in Trinidad, one identified as Clark’s and the other an unnamed account using Clark’s temporary business address at 9-11 Fitt Street, Woodbrook.
    For someone who knows a lot about what went on behind the scenes and who the beneficiaries of the private bank accounts are, Delgado is saying very little on the matter.

    —continues next Sunday

  • http://m.guardian.co.tt/sport/2015-05-03/salute-shivnarine-chanderpaul-40-last-man-standing

    Speaking ,re the subject of reminiscing/waxing nostalgic, about dem good old days ,as articulated by Uncle,let me inquire:-So this is what West Indies cricket has sunk to ,folks?
    A 40 year old , desperately ,hanging on,and or ,trying to reach for his rocking chair ,in efforts to break records ,of the greatest cricketer ,that ever lived ,besides Sir Gary Sobers?
    Our unselfish,WI Cricket boys ,of Rohan Khanai,and Alvin Kalicharan,must be turning over in their respective graves.
    Without Alvin’s sacrifice,WI cricketers ,would be still getting peanuts for pay,while juggling 5 jobs ,to put food on their families table.

    Rohan ,was likewise ,a solid Ambassador of our game,and yes ,we loved him.
    Hey Ranji Nanan,Inshan Ali,and Raffique Jumadeen,thanks guys ,for your sterling service ,to T&T,and WI cricket.
    Listen ,and in the interest of full disclosure,let me add,that the last cricket match ,I saw live ,at the Queens Park Oval,the young Prince Lara,was in full glory,and De Master Blaster Viv ,was at the helm.
    I fondly remembered Clive Lloyd, with his big bat,Lance Gibbs the tactician, young Richie Rich,Michael Holding,T&T Derrick the great Murray,Andy Roberts,Joel Garner ,Colin Croft, T&T all rounder Bernard Julian,our T&T Gomes brothers,dem two high flying Bajan Opening pair ,Griennige /Haynes ,our ,consistent,exciting,little magician, Bro Gus Logi,least we forget ,Murray ,successor,Jeff Dujon, and the list goes on.
    During those eras,getting up at 3 am ,to listen to my WI beat Australia ,was a trill.
    Today,I cannot name 5 players on a West Indies team,and even that high spending ,vote seeker Kamla ,cannot pay me a million,to watch a game,that would only result ,in a victory for Bangladesh,Kenya,or New Zealand.
    How is that sex tape escapade ,between ,Simmons son,and is one (alleged)1 night stand-gold digger going folks?
    Hey,since I ain’t no hater ,let’s wish Brother Chanderapaul well,as he remain a symbol of affirmative action WI cricket.
    Go get em Tiger!You still won’t be able to lace up de shoes,much less,carry the gloves, of our international cricket hero ,Prince Brian Lara.
    Thanks Joey Carew,for paving the way,for the Santa Cruz kid,to hit the big stage.
    You are the epitome of an unselfish Trini,who reached out to help elevate someone in need.
    Thanks Lara ,for gracing us with your high skilled, sporting presence,then exiting the big stage ,before you became another useless,stats padding bum!
    Sing with me ,and Brother Black Stalin,”there is one race ,de Caribbean man,from de same place ,that make de same trip,on de same ship.So we mush push one common..”
    Now ,if only we can understand,what he was saying in song was -we all came,on ships ,from afar,and if we push a common agenda/intention,as we did,back when we ruled the cricket world ,we can achieve much more -be it in sports,or politics ,today,and beyond,si?
    By de way,did PP high spending Queen Kamla,spend a penny,to finish that Brian Lara stadium ,over the past 5 years ,of her reign?

    http://m.guardian.co.tt/news/2013-09-11/moonilal-eager-finish-tarouba-stadium-185m-fix-issues

    We know ,they naively think,that giving out 5,000 HDC -vote catching houses, PNM began,was a better investment ,than finishing a cricket Stadium, for a local/international hero,but that was before they knew ,oil prices,won’t remain high forever ,and Moody,would downgrade our T&T,for lack of a diversified economy.
    It’s called Nation Building,showing some magnanimity ,towards , your predecessors,in athletics…ummmm..passing de baton.
    Self serving bastards!
    Hey ,Uncle Shah,you set the precedent, decades ago…ummmmm ,Houses before Horses.’ A misguided policy,on your part ,before you flee ,the Basdeo- salipainter -Panday,political circle.
    AHHHHH,and life ,”South of de Caroni,” where many still lives in squalor ,just like their gullible counterparts,north/south/east/west of the Caura,& East Dry River!
    Sports tourism anyone?
    Again Afo music philosopher Stalin-
    “Peter wait,Peter wait, Peter look Kamla down by de gate …bun she!

    Don’t be cruel guys ,she brought Shaq O neal down to T&T at $5 million price tag,then started a basketball initiative,to take mainly , African criminals off we streets!
    What’s dat,she also brought in ,fake posterior end -White -Euro wannabe -rap dougla -Nikita Maharaj,aka Nicky Manaj,at $5 million,and she, after making off like an ungrateful bandit,went on her US, American Idol TV show,and claimed ,her T&T ,was worst than war torn Liberia?

    Well…..if you insist,but I tried,to put in ah good word for the lady.
    How is dat Chief- weed head -Dougla ,Anil Roberts doing these days folks?
    Think we can win another Olympic gold ,after the way ,their government,reneged on promises,made for T&T youths,given during Cuz Walcott ,airport return celebration/Toco parades?
    Luv Humanity people!

Comments are currently closed.