Tobago East is like a beautiful woman who has fallen on hard times, according to THA Chief Secretary Orville London. However, through the THA’s Windward Rehabilitation Programme, this part of the island will be transformed, he added.
The Chief Secretary, who was speaking at the commissioning of the Belle Garden Recreational Complex and Ground, noted that although Tobago East “had produced so many fine sons and daughters in powerful places”, Windward Tobago had been the “neglected land”.
The project is just one in several infrastructural works to be commissioned soon. The Belle Garden Fishing Facility is expected to be completed before the end of September. Also on the agenda is the Charlotteville Health Centre which, according to London, will rival the new Scarborough Health Centre. A community swimming pool in Kendal is also among the planned development works for rural Tobago.
“We have gotten so accustomed to progress and development that we have begun to take it for granted”, London told the villagers who attended the commissioning ceremony. He said that, in development as in life, one has a choice. “One can focus one’s energies on the things that one has not yet got or on utilising and maximising the things which you have.”
The Chief Secretary pointed out, “You have something now that you didn’t have before and therefore you can do something now that you couldn’t do before. You have a responsibility to use them to the development of the people and the community.” His sentiment was echoed by area representative and Secretary for Infrastructure and Public Utilities Hilton Sandy.
Sandy, who had first conceived the project, said the construction of a recreational facility of this scale was met with much skepticism because of the terrain. “I was told that there was no land to establish a playing field, but I had a vision and dream that this playing field would be a reality – a playing field that can reckon to any playing field in Tobago”.
Construction of a pavilion and lighting of the ground is also expected to start soon.
Newly appointed Secretary for Agriculture, Marine Affairs and the Environment, Gary Melville suggested that, since Belle Garden now had its own quality sporting and recreational infrastructure, its best and brightest would not have to travel to other communities in order to develop their skills. Belle Garden had produced some fine sporting personalities including Dean St Hillarie, a former fast bowler on the National Cricket Team.
Melville further announced that his Division will embark on refurbishing and constructing play parks across the island. He said this will help provide additional wholesome recreational spaces for families.