Canada Day 2012 in Trinidad and Tobago was celebrated in fine style. Why? Because the High Commission of Canada in Port of Spain had three reasons to celebrate.
First, the High Commissioner for Canada, Her Excellency, Karen L. McDonald, and her colleagues joined Canadians worldwide in marking the 145th anniversary of Canada becoming an independent nation.
The High Commission also saluted Trinidad and Tobago in this, its golden jubilee year as an independent nation.
Finally, Canada is marking 50 years of diplomatic relations with Trinidad and Tobago. Indeed, Canada is proud to have been one of only three countries to recognize Trinidad and Tobago on the very first day of its independence -- August 31, 1962. This milestone was reinforced in May of this year with the historic visit to Trinidad and Tobago of Canada’s Governor General the Right Honourable David Johnston.
It was in this spirit of celebration that High Commissioner McDonald hosted a Canada Day 2012 reception and treated the over 300 guests to a speech and slide show describing the various highlights in the relationship over the past year, among them, visits by Canada’s Governor General, Chief of Defence Staff, and Commissioner of Corrections.
Honouring the High Commission with his presence at the celebration was Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran, in one of his first public appearances in his new portfolio. In a very special moment, High Commissioner McDonald presented the Foreign Minister with two unique gifts.
The first was a commemorative coin, specially minted by the High Commission to celebrate the two countries’ fifty years of official diplomatic relations, and featuring a logo designed by a young Trinidadian. The second gift was a framed copy of the original announcements of the first Canadian High Commissioner to Trinidad and Tobago and, conversely, T&T’s first High Commissioner to Canada.
With the official portion of the evening completed, the stage was given over to cultural icon David Michael Rudder. Like some 100,000 of his Trinbagonian compatriots, Mr. Rudder currently makes his home in Canada and flew in especially for the event.
Much to the delight of all present, “King David” performed a rousing repertoire of some of his greatest hits. His performance -- along with a set of Canadian tunes by the Fuzun steelpan orchestra -- made the evening a most memorable one.
All in all, the High Commission in Port of Spain marked Canada Day 2012, and our relations with Trinidad and Tobago, in a very proud and meaningful way. Three very good reasons to celebrate, and many more to come!