Nineteen Tobagonians got land ownership when THA Chief Secretary Orville London distributed leases on Thursday (November 27, 2014).
Seventeen leases were for state land located on the Adelphi Estate in Mason Hall while two leases were for state land located at Lammy Road, Argyle.
Recipient Samuel Hislop has been living on the estate for over sixty years. He said he was thankful for the official documents. “I feel very proud about it, because there were some things I could not do before. Now I can.”
London echoed this sentiment, telling recipients they had “a lease on a new life, an opportunity to do new things.” He said the THA recognized it was in a position to bring permanent improvement to the lives of Tobagonians.
“Ensure that you are able to forge a better life for you and the generation that comes after you,” London said. He praised the Land Management Unit for their management of the programme, and the Legal Department for their services including preparing the legal documents and registering it with the appropriate authorities.
Shirley Spencer, who has lived on the Adelphi estate for forty-five years, came with her daughter and grand-daughter. “I’m happy to know that I have a legacy to leave,” she said. The 199-year lease is transferable to children of the recipients. The leases also allows recipients to complete various bank transactions, including taking out a mortgage. To date, 123 of the 208 plots of land have been distributed.
The 49-acre Adelphi Estate was purchased by the THA in 2008 for an estimated $13 million.
Lease recipients included Shirley Spencer, Garth Ottley, Nicky James, Lydia Smith, Miriam Edwards, Lyn Roberts, Joe Campbell, Cheryl Toney, and Samuel Hislop, who collected their leases during the distribution. Other recipients whose land leases were finalized include Alexander Cato, the Mason Hall Pentecostal Church, Doris Christmas, Cynthia Lovell, Roster Warner, Kelvin Warner, Hobson Edwards, Gale George, Marilyn Wilson, and Onica Alleyne.
The distribution took place at the Studio, Office of the Chief Secretary Administrative Complex in Calder Hall.