September 2015

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Gérard A. Besson is founder of Paria Publishing which has published and produced well over 80 titles on the history and culture of Trinidad and Tobago. A published historian and folklorist, he writes an internet blog on history and heritage and published two historical novels.

Mr Besson helped establish a library at President’s House during the presidency of His Excellency, Noor Hassanali, and convened the cabinet-appointed work group occasioned by the centenary anniversary of Tobago becoming a ward of the unified colony of Trinidad and Tobago, 1887-1987. Specialised museums on which he’s worked are thev Angostura Museum, City of Port-of-Spain Museum and Police Service Museum. He is recipient of the Hummingbird Medal (Gold) for Heritage Preservation and Promotion from the Government of Trinidad and Tobago and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago.

Hollis Raymond Charles’ accomplishments directly fostered the advancement of technological research and industry in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean. One of The UWI’s earliest graduates in Electrical Engineering, he then obtained an MSc in Management from the Sloan Programme of the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, USA.

Mr Charles was founding co-Director of the Caribbean Industrial Research Institute and the first local Director. For the next 20 years, he was responsible for developing CARIRI into what is recognised as one of the foremost multi-disciplinary technological institutions in the developing world. He is a Past President of the Trinidad and Tobago Coalition of Services Industries and the Association of Professional Engineers of Trinidad and Tobago.

Justice Ralph Narine, CMT graduated as a Barrister in London in 1952 and served for 35 years in Trinidad and Tobago as a Lawyer and Judge. Justice Narine was also an astute sportsman in cricket and volleyball and a notable musician, playing the mandolin and violin in an Indian orchestra. He was a founding member of the National Council for Indian Culture in 1964.

His appointments to State boards and committees dealt with a host of matters including sports administration, operations of the Port Authority, Justice of the Peace and the Integrity Commission. In 1988 the Government of Trinidad and Tobago presented him with a National Award, the Chaconia Medal (Gold) for public service.

Madame Justice Jean Angela Permanand, CMT, SC, a former Judge of the Appeal Court of Trinidad and Tobago, began her career in Law in 1962 with her own private practice. She was appointed Senior Counsel in 1981, Solicitor-General during 1980-1982 and twice acted as Chief Justice during the period 2001-2002.

The Government of Trinidad and Tobago presented her with the Chaconia Medal (Gold) in 2003 for long and meritorious service to the country. In 2009, she was elected President of the Commonwealth Law Reform Agencies. She has served on the Integrity Commission, chaired the Committee to review mediation in Criminal Matters as well as the Committee to review the Appointment Process of Senior Counsel.

Rajkumar “Krishna” Persad, HBM has steadfastly promoted Indian art and culture for more than five decades. He was the first Trinidad and Tobago national to have been awarded a scholarship by the Indian Government to study music and dance in India and received the title, ‘Natya Kala Ratna’. In 1967 he became the founder, director and choreographer of the Trinidad School of Indian Dance, the first to be established in this part of the world.

This accomplished cultural ambassador has represented his country in North America, the United Kingdom, Europe, South America and the Far East. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago presented him with National Award of the Humming Bird Medal in 1969 and then many years later again recognised him as an ‘Icon’.

David Rudder, more so than any other local artiste, has been recognised internationally for his integration and capture of the essence of Trinidad and Tobago’s multicultural society through his music. His music, which blends pop, jazz, blues, calypso, has been considered a bridge between modern pop and World Beat Music.

Mr Rudder’s lyrical prowess has been recognised, acclaimed, studied and evaluated by academics such as Professors Kenneth Ramchand and Gordon Rohlehr. Renditions such as ‘Ganges meets the Nile’, ‘Hosay’, ‘The Power of the Glory’, ‘High Mas’ have been given significant respect for their impact in further inculcating all facets of the country’s social fabric into song. His sterling contribution has projected the image of Trinidad and Tobago in a positive way on the world stage.

A. Norman Sabga is the Chairman and Chief Executive of the ANSA McAL Group, one of the largest and most diversified conglomerates in the Caribbean with some 6,000 employees. He was educated at the Red Rice College in the United Kingdom and then at Fordham University in the United States.

A leading entrepreneur, he has been pivotal in the expansion of the group’s business through St. Kitt’s, Grenada, Barbados, Guyana and the United States and made significant headway into introducing new commodities and business models in the region.

Dr Marjorie Thorpe is a graduate in English of McGill University and Queen’s College – both of Canada – and The University of the West Indies. She also has a post-graduate diploma in Mediation.

A former University Dean and Deputy, Dr Thorpe pioneered the introduction of the first Women and Development Studies at The UWI in 1985 and published many selected articles. She has held appointments as the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Public Service Commission and the Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago Board of the Defence Force. She served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Trinidad and Tobago to the United Nations from 1988-1992; after which she held the post of Deputy Director of the United Nations Development Fund for Women in New York until 1995. She then served as Resident Coordinator of the UN System Operational Activities and UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean until 1999.