May 2018

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Colin Laird, one of the country’s outstanding architects, died at the age of 93 in early April. Mr, Laird was the designer of some of our most iconic national buildings – Queen’s Hall, the Jean Pierre Complex and National Stadium, the Brian Lara Promenade, and the National Library.

Born in England in 1924, Mr Laird made Trinidad and Tobago his home and in return was claimed by the Republic as one of its own. He was presented with the Chaconia Gold medal in 2001, and was named one of the country’s 50 Icons during the 50th anniversary of independence celebrations in 2013.

The UWI owns the Colin Laird Architectural collection which records a substantial amount of the work he did during the period between 1946 and 2008. The collection includes sketches, designs, photographs and reports from his various projects throughout the Caribbean. In 2014, The Alma Jordan Library, where the collection is housed, held a mini exhibition of his work. The accompanying photo shows one of the designs for Queen’s Hall in 1956. He was awarded first place in that competition.

Librarian at the West Indiana Collection, Lorraine Nero said that Laird had a passion for maps and as a result accumulated an impressive map collection. “In 2009 we acquired that collection which has been labelled as the Caribbean Charts and Engraving collection, and includes maps from 1555-1818.”