It’s official. December 4 will now be known as Tobago Day.
For the past five years, the anniversary of the establishment of the Tobago House of Assembly has been celebrated on that date.
At the October plenary meeting last Thursday (October 22, 2015), the Assembly Legislature accepted a motion to effect the change. The motion was tabled for debate by Leader of Assembly Business and Secretary of Health and Social Services Assemblyman Claudia Groome-Duke, who urged members to support the recommendation of the Executive Council for the name change.
The motion also mandates the Executive Council to implement appropriate programmes to achieve the desired objectives and to urge all Tobagonians to support the initiatives and programmes of the Assembly “as we continue to contribute to the development of our island and the preservation of our heritage”.
Groome-Duke said: “Tobago Day could provide an opportunity for the people of Tobago to celebrate their common history and their shared culture. The celebration could also provide an opportunity for all Tobagonians to strengthen and re-affirm their cultural identity.”
Groome-Duke said the Executive Council recommended a week of activities to commemorate Tobago Day. These include the decoration of public buildings, a thanksgiving service at the Shaw Park Complex where each division will mobilise their clients and stakeholders they serve.
Also suggested were exhibitions at the Shaw Park Complex and the Scarborough Library, the lighting of a tree in each electoral district, an inter-department parang competition, school quiz and essay competition.
She also proposed that the THA could highlight Tobago’s development over the years, and the prestigious Chief Secretary Award could be presented to a deserving Tobagonian.