As TT turns 50 Coosal says: Give to others
By Sasha Harrinanan Thursday, August 30 2012
“WHEN you give to others, you get back more in return,” says Managing Director of Coosal’s Group of Companies, Sieurnarine Coosal. This philosophy, inculcated in the businessman from childhood by his parents and grandparents, has seen him donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to several charities, religious groups and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) over the past 15 years of his career.
Most of this was done without fanfare but Coosal’s recent acquisition of a limited edition bottle of Legacy by Angostura for TT $260,000 at a Dutch auction was not something he wanted to keep quiet about.
“I want people to know that the proceeds raised in the auction will go to a local NGO — the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities. I believe all companies should make giving back to their communities an integral part of their corporate social responsibility.” “It’s something I grew up knowing,” Coosal told Business Day. “My parents and grandparents believed very strongly that when you give, you get back more in return, once you give from the heart and you give from your spirit. We don’t give to get in return but there is this belief that if you give openly, God will understand and you will get in return.” Coosal was equal parts happy to have helped fund activities and programmes offered by the National Centre for Persons with Disabilities as he was to be one of only 20 people in the world to own a bottle of Legacy. Angostura said the blended sipping rum, which it created to celebrate Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th Anniversary of Independence, took “six years of meticulous work with seven of (our) most rare and precious rums making the final recipe.” The youngest rum used to create Legacy by Angostura was reportedly 17 years old.
Coosal proudly displayed his 500 ml bottle of Legacy on his desk at his company’s Curepe headquarters during the interview but made it clear the bottle would be placed in secured storage shortly afterward.
“This bottle of Legacy will only be used at very special family functions or occasions in the future, so take a good look at the exquisite craftsmanship while you can.”
The veteran businessman was referring to the hand-crafted packing of the Legacy bottle, the stopper and even the leather and satin box it came in.
“Not only is the rum of the highest standard in the world,” Angostura has stated, “the decanter, stopper and presentation box are also unique collectors’ items. Angostura engaged Asprey of London, jeweller to the Prince of Wales, to develop the 20 limited edition decanters, which each took over 56 hours to complete using ten different master craftsmen.”
The hand-crafted sterling silver stopper was made in the shape of a rare Trinidadian butterfly whose image is used on the labels of Angostura’s Caribbean Rum range. The gift box each bottle of rum came in was made from very supple red calf leather while the inside of each box was lined in white silk and velvet blocked.
Coosal said Legacy was comparable “to the best quality brandy in the world. There’s nothing out there like Legacy. Angostura did an amazing job and I’m lucky to be able to afford a bottle.”