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Woman commander in charge

By Darcel Choy Monday, September 1 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Stunning: Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Stacy Roopnarine is stunning in a dress of the national colours at the Independence Awa...
Stunning: Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure Stacy Roopnarine is stunning in a dress of the national colours at the Independence Awa...

President Anthony Carmona and Lieutenant Commander Kele-Ann Bourne, the first female military officer to assist the Commanding Officer at an Independence parade, were the crowd’s favourites at yesterday’s 52nd anniversary Independence Day Parade at the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS), Port-of-Spain.

The hundreds of persons who attended yesterday’s parade, dressed in red, white and black constantly cheered, whistled and applauded Carmona and Bourne.

The cheering began for the President as he arrived at the QPS at about 8 am. As he exited his vehicle, the crowd in the North Stand and those who assembled at the right of the paved section of the savannah cheered and screamed.

Carmona then inspected the parade and as he passed the crowds gathered he waved, beat his chest twice and put up two fingers, showing the peace sign. He did this several times.

Earlier, Parade Commander Darryl Daniel and Bourne took their positions on their horses at the front of those assembled and as the announcer told the audience of Bourne’s achievement, many stood up to applaud her.

One woman said, “It is good to see a woman making history out there. I’m very happy for her.”

Every moment Bourne was seen, she was cheered as many kept their eyes fixated on her.

After the march past, it was time for what some described as the most anticipated part of the parade, the helicopters from the Air Guard and the National Operations Centre.

While the crowd waited for them to arrive, a flock of pigeons flew in formation on to the pitch which made the crowd laugh out and they applauded the birds who quickly flew away.

The helicopters arrived but the pilots did not put on much of a show this year as they just quickly flew by but many people still enjoyed it.

Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, dressed in a red dress with a red hat, sat and applauded the presentation before her, along with her grandson Christiano Bissessar and husband Dr Gregory Bissessar.

Another favourite at this year’s parade was the trot past with members of the mounted escort of the Trinidad and Tobago Mounted Branch, as they showcased several formations to the delight of the crowd.

There were a few first timers in the North Stand and they said they enjoyed the parade.

“I never watched the whole thing on TV so I didn’t know it was all of this that goes on. I really enjoyed the trot past and the helicopters,” one man said.

Those who have attended the parade in the past said this year was not as exciting as a few years ago.

“I attended the parade two years ago, for the 50th anniversary and it was non-stop excitement, everything was so great but this year, it seemed kind of laid back, but I will come back again, it has now become a tradition for me and my family,” one woman said.

Also in attendance were several Government ministers including Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Housing Minister Dr Roodal Moonilal and Minister in the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, Stacy Roopnarine.

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