WITNESSING the return of Parliament to the Red House in Port of Spain has been described as the “pinnacle” of his public service career by Works and Transport Minister Rohan Sinanan.
Sinanan was speaking last Friday following a ceremony to declare the Red House ready to resume its role as the seat of local democracy.
He was among MPs, dignitaries and regular citizens to walk the newly-refurbished halls of the Red House, which has been under restoration since 2011.
Friday’s opening was addressed by President Paula-Mae Weekes, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
Sinanan spoke to the Express during a reception in the Red House rotunda, which now resembles an art house-meets-greenhouse.
He described the results of the mega-restoration project as “truly amazing” and said a particular sense of “Trinbagonian” pride was invoked on entering.
“One of the pinnacles of my career serving my country was to come back and see the Red House in this condition,” Sinanan said.
“The service I gave my country, today I feel it was worth it.”
Caroni Central MP Ganga Singh described the restoration as “an excellent idea”.
He said the day had marked an important return to the seat of democracy and this was needed, as the country ought to anchor itself more in a tradition of longevity.
He called the Red House “a place of character” and expressed a desire to see Trinidad and Tobago move away from a “prophylactic” culture.
Former speaker of the House Barry Sinanan, who served under former prime minister Patrick Manning, said: “I’m totally blown away by what I’m seeing here today.”
Sinanan noted some had complained about massive amounts of public money spent on bringing back icons of history, including the Red House and President’s House.
Saying he had enjoyed his time serving in the Red House, Sinanan said the preservation of the country’s history was worth it.
Also among Friday’s guests was Rabia Khan, who said as a former history teacher she saw the reopening as more history in the making.
She commended the effort behind the project, to “keep it alive and pass it on to future generations”.
Communications Minister Donna Cox said the Parliament had returned to its home and she was pleased to be back within its walls.