An Address to the Trinidad & Tobago Association of Washington, D.C., October 2, 2022 by Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
I am pleased that your president, Nigel Scott, has invited me to address you on the 46th Anniversary of our Republic even though I prefer to see the evolution of our political independent life beginning in 1962. In this context, I would also like to pay my respects to H. E. Brigadier General Anthony W. J. Phillips-Spence, Ambassador Extraordinaire and Plenipotentiary, Embassy of Trinidad and Tobago in Washington, D.C. What I am sure that your president did not tell you is that in 1962 both of us were invited by Dr. Eric Williams, Premier of Trinidad and Tobago, to attend a three-day meeting at Queen’s Hall, Port of Spain, to discuss a draft of the first Independence constitution. The meeting took place from April 25-27, 1962. The invitation read in part:
Continue reading Celebrating the 46th Anniversary of the Republic Day, T&T
By Raffique Shah
September 19, 2022
I cried for my country on the eve of Republic Day celebrations, this one marking the 47th year as a sovereign state. That graduation of sorts removed the Queen of England as our Head of State—a contradiction so many former British colonies cling to long after they became independent.
We did, too, but opted to shed the colonial shawl in 1976. Still, we retained a critical umbilical cord that leaves us clinging to Mother England, to the Privy Council as our final court of appeal. If that sounds jokey, think about the embarrassment that we have lived with for so many years.
Continue reading Fight, not cry for our beloved country
By Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe
August 28, 2017
On August 31, Trinidad and Tobago will celebrate fifty-five years of independence. As per usual, there will be an inspection of the members of the armed forces, perhaps a fireworks display (I really enjoyed this as a boy); and many people will troop off to the beaches.
We will also witness the passing of venerable tradition: the conferral of national honors on deserving citizens on Independence Day. Our President has decided he could get more bang for the buck by honoring deserving citizens on Republic Day. Dr. Robert Williams argues: “Handing out national awards on Republic Day is truly symbolic and more meaningful in building and strengthening nationhood” (Trinidad Guardian, August 23).
Continue reading Forgetting and Remembering
By Raffique Shah
September 22, 2013
Republic Day in 1976—Friday, September 24th—remains etched in my memory, a vignette in my colourful life during which I often collided with history. On that day, age 30, I entered Parliament as a frontline member of the ULF, having been elected to represent the Siparia constituency. I had never been in that chamber before. In fact, I do not recall ever entering the Red House before, but when I did, I made as bold an anti-colonial statement as anyone could.
Continue reading Colonial to their garments