Archive for July 27, 2011

Hayes Court, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac, architecture, port of spain, trinidad

Hayes Court, Trinidad

9” x 12” Strathmore sketchbook, ink pens, & Sharpies

This is a sketch of Hayes Court in Port of Spain, Trinidad. This is the second of four sketches I have done thus far of the ‘Magnificent Seven (a series of mansions by the Queen’s Park Savannah). Hayes Court is after the Queen’s Royal College. This building was completed in 1910 by the firm of Taylor Gilles at a cost of £15, 700. It was named “Hayes Court” after Bishop Thomas Hayes, who was the second Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Trinidad & Tobago.

Hayes Court, Trinidad, vernelle noel, thinking insomniac

Hayes Court, Trinidad - Photo by Vernelle Noel

Architecturally it reflects a combination of the quiet graciousness of the French and English country house design, with its high ceilings, mahogany staircase, wrought-iron fretwork, and wood paneling. Iron fretwork and a beautiful porte cochere or coach doorway are features of this classic mansion.

Today, July 27th, is the 21st Anniversary of the attempted coup on the Government of Trinidad and Tobago in 1990. Led by Abu Bakr, the Jamaat al Muslimeen invaded The Red House (seat of the country’s parliament), and took the Prime Minister hostage, along with members of his cabinet, government and opposition MPs, and others – some seventeen in all. About 24 people died during the coup attempt, with millions in property losses. More here >>

Our Republic forever changed on that day. Our Capital City of Port of Spain, had to be rebuilt as buildings were burned, and looted. Very often I feel that as a nation, our appreciation of our history leaves much to be desired. I see it in the way we treat our historic buildings, our national heroes, and our award-winners, to name a few. This day of July 27th should never be “just another day.” We must never forget what occurred on this day, and I would like to see a stronger expression of our commemoration of this day.

I believe July 27th should embrace six major principles (adapted from the United Nations Statement of Commitment adopted for Holocaust Memorial Day):

  1. The July 27th, 1990 attempted coup shook the foundations of Trinbagonian democracy and civilization. Its horror should always hold meaning.
  2. The July 27th, 1990 attempted coup must have a permanent place in Trinbagonians’ collective memory.
  3. Future generations must understand the causes of the July 27th attempted coup and reflect upon its consequences.
  4. The sacrifices of those who lost and risked their lives to protect or rescue victims are a touchstone of the Trinbagonian capacity for good.
  5. Education and research about the July 27th attempted coup must be promoted.
  6. An annual July 27th Memorial Day should take place to commemorate this human tragedy and condemn violence, lawlessness, and indiscipline.

Reference: As Time Goes on It’s Vital We Never Forget One of the Darkest Times in World History by Dan Cohn-Sherbok

“Memorials are important because they act as historical touchstones. They link the past to the present and enable people to remember and respect the sacrifice of those who died, fought, participated or were affected by conflict(s).”

Abstract Architecture for the day:

abstract architecture, thinking insomniac, vernelle noel3.5″ x 5″ Strathmore Sketchbook, ink pens and Sharpies

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