The sum of $7.5 million will be spent in celebration of Trinidad and Tobago’s 60th anniversary of Independence, or Diamond Jubilee.
T&T became an independent country on August 31, 1962.
Housing Minister Camille Robinson-Regis said yesterday that $7.5 million will be spent to commemorate the Diamond Jubilee which includes the Independence Day parade and fireworks. All events will be free to the public.
Speaking at a news conference at the offices of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) headquarters, South Quay, Port of Spain, she also said the celebrations will be “muted” since the Government was cognisant of the ongoing presence of Covid-19.
She also said there was no decision leaning towards mandatory masking.
Robinson-Regis urged citizens to continue to strive to be patriotic and civic-minded. She also said the nation’s history would feature the Black Power events of 1970, and the July 27, 1990, attempted coup.
Other major highlights will include official visits by Jamaican Prime Minister Andrew Holness and President of Guyana Dr Irfaan Ali. President Ali will visit on August 18 and PM Holness on August 31.
On the state of T&T, Robinson-Regis said: “We are a small nation, but we have done well. We have been a top producer of ammonia. We have over 100 years in the oil and gas industry. We have produced artistes and sportsmen. For 1.4 million people, we have done exceptionally well.”
She added: “For 60 years, we are still very excited. We will still have muted celebrations. We will use social and regular media. We will take it to all citizens of Trinidad. We have youths. No one will be left out. The Independence Day parade will take place. We are discussing the fireworks. There were some other possibilities like a children’s rally, but it was ruled out. Covid-19 is still part of the existence.”
As the celebration swings into full gear, she said there is already great anticipation within the national community for the Diamond Jubilee, and “I am confident that as more details of the events are released, the national community will respond as we have always done—with pride in our achievements, and boundless faith in our destiny”.
The celebrations will include:
• National parades at Port of Spain and Scarborough;
• Diplomatic events;
• Nationwide cultural activities;
• Competitions and caravans;
• Youth-based activities;
• School-based competitions and activities;
• Community-based activities, events and competitions;
• Awards, dinners and ceremonies;
• Television, radio and newspaper features and nationwide exhibitions.
When asked about Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley’s condition, she said: “He’s doing well.” Rowley is currently in isolation, having contracted Covid-19 for a second time.
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