SANDRA L BLOOD
Under the presidency of four-time portfolio holder T&T-native Ingrid Barclay John-Baptiste, the Trinidad and Tobago Association of Ottawa (TTAO) celebrated its 40th anniversary themed Cheers to 40 Years, held at the Prime Venue Banquet and Reception Centre, Ontario, Canada, on October 28, 2023.
The evening was shaped in part by a cocktail hour, the introduction of T&T’s High Commissioner to Canada Dennis Moses, entertainment by Minamou Edidjimo and Eddie Alleyne, remarks by the Mayor of Ottawa Mark Sutcliffe, the Honourable Senator Bernadette Clement and Dr Alfredo E Walker, distribution of awards and TTAO’s History read by John-Baptiste. A grand finale dance with music supplied by DJ David Supersound capped the evening.
Awards, scholarships, honoree:
A special award was presented to Ann-Marie Bostic for Volunteerism to the T&T Diaspora and the Wider Ottawa Community.
Scholarships were awarded to fourth-generation-Trinidadian Jaidyn Harper: A. T. Trolley for Afro Caribbean Female; T&T-native Annalisa Achee: CLR James; Jamaican Sherika Jackson-Grant: Friends of Serviam; and first-generation-Canadian of African parents Aisha Mao: Dr Sade Francois for Young Black Women.
Regarding the Young Black Women Scholarship, John-Baptiste said the foundation is particularly proud of its benefactor Dr Sade Francois as she was an awardee in 2015 and decided to give back.
The TTAO 2023 Honouree was T&T-native Dr Alfredo E Walker: HBM (Gold), DMJ (Path), MBBS, MFFLM, MCSFS, forensic pathologist and coroner at Eastern Ontario Regional Forensic Pathology Unit. Vice Chair and Director of Education, Programme Director PGY6 Residency in Forensic Pathology, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Ottawa.
Comprising fully-fledged professionals from its inception, the TTAO is a community-based, non-profit organization initially formed in 1982 as the Hummingbird Organisation, but was officially established in 1983. Its mantra: to promote all things T&T, its mission: to promote and maintain the integrity of T&T’s cultural heritage and assist in the continuing development of nationals of T&T.
John-Baptiste said the association is not about making money, so they started off and are continuing on the premise: service to others.
Its history revealed their first fundraiser. It was a boat-ride down the Ottawa River in the mid-1980s that benefitted the Blind Institute in Trinidad. The organisation became the very-first community Caribbean organisation to host a boat-ride, where DJ David Supersound made his debut performance as a DJ and is still supplying the organisation with music.
Loving T&T in general:
TTAO sponsors cultural and social programmes and projects intended to benefit the T&T community, as well as the wider community in the national capital region where they operate.
John-Baptiste said one of the ways in which the Association ensures a major part of their mandate and commitment remains in balance, is through their scholarship award and recognition programme.
“35-40 have already been offered.”
She said they promote/share information on/celebrate T&T authors, meals, music, celebratory traditions as reminders of how sweet T&T really is. Visitors are welcomed to the website (ttao.ca) by the tune Sweet Island Memories composed by T&T native and Trinidad-based pannist, arranger, entertainer, Ray Holman (DLitt), from his 2019 CD, First Love.
PHOTOS COURTESY MICKYMEDIA PRODUCTIONS
COLLAGE PHOTO CAPTIONS (CLOCKWISE):
Top Right: TTAO's Special Award recipient 2023 Ann-Marie Bostic, left, with Christine Lamonthe, shows off her award for volunteerism.
Lower Right : TTAO 2023 scholarship winners, clockwise: Jamaican Sherika Jackson-Grant (Friends of Serviam), African-Canadian Aisha Mao (Dr Sade Francois for Young Black Women), Trinidadian Annalisa Achee (C.L.R. James), and fourth-generation-Trinidadian Jaidyn Harper (A.T. Trolley for Afro Caribbean Female).
Third on Right: President of TTAO Ingrid Barclay John-Baptiste steals a quiet moment with her husband and former captain of then-Huggins Pandemonium Carlyle John-Baptiste.
Last on Right: T&T-native Joel Ache (head of culinary arts, Ottawa), left, holds the attention of Norm Boucher, Tex Lennox, Tony Dijranascomariano, Nancy Lennox, Lynne McKay, Sally Boucher, and Robin Clarige.
Lowest on Left: T&T-native Canada-based and TTAO resident pannist Eddie Alleyne entertaining guests at TTAO 40th anniversary celebration on October 28, 2023.
Mid Left: TTAO 2023 Honouree Dr Alfredo E Walker with his wife and daughter Stacia and Anaeka, and son Arion.
Upper Left: T&T's High Commissioner to Canada Dennis Moses and one of Canada's Independent Senators Bernadette Clement.
Top Left: President of TTAO Ingrid Barclay John-Baptiste presenting to TTAO 2023 Honouree Dr Alfredo E Walker his award.
A lover of pan and wife of former captain of then-Huggins Pandemonium of T&T, Carlyle J Baptiste, John-Baptiste said she’s thankful for and appreciates the members of the Social and Executive committees and everyone else in the fold, past and present, for having brought the association to this point of celebrating its 40th year of dedication and hard work.