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International Heritage Project with RAC Arima (Trinidad & Tobago)

March 17th, 2011

Members of Rotaract Club Arima

The Rotaract Club Sofia International has started its participation in the International Heritage Project coordinated by RAC Arima (Trinidad & Tobago) D7030. The project involves also the following Rotary and Rotaract clubs: Rotaract Club of Learnit (Tanzania – D9200), Rotaract Club of El Kantaoui (Tunisia – D9010), Rotaract Club of Kampala City (Uganda – D9200), Rotaract Club of Chittagong Rose Garden (Bangladesh – D3280), Rotaract Club of Margao (India – D3170), Rotaract Club of Mumbai Green City (India – D3140), Rotaract Club of Jogja Merapi (Indonesia – D3400), Rotaract Club of Kopundol (Nepal – D3292), Rotary Club of Metro Lipa (Philippines – D3820), Rotaract Club of San Roque Tramodos (Philippines – D3830), Rotaract Club of Taal-Lemery (Philippines – D3820), Rotaract Club of Metro Mandaue (Philippines – D3860), Rotaract Club of Santa Isabel College (Philippines – D3810), Rotaract Club of South-West Brisbane (Australia – D9630), Rotaract Club of Southern Highlands (Australia – D9710), Rotaract Club of University of New South Wales* (Australia – D9750), Rotary Club of Windsor and Eton (United Kingdom – D1090), Rotaract Club of Birmingham (Alabama, USA – D6860), Rotaract Club of Ottawa (Canada – D7040), Rotaract Club of Ciudad Valles (Mexico – D4130), Rotaract Club of Cuernavaca Obregón (Mexico – D4180), Rotary Club of Everett Port Gardner (Washington, USA – D5050), Rotaract Club of Bahia Blanca Norte (Argentina – D4930), Rotaract Club of Río Paraná Corrientes

Flag of Trinidad and Tobago

(Argentina – D4790), Rotaract Club of Formosa (Argentina – D4845), Rotaract Club of Barraquero (Argentina – D4865), Rotary Club of Firmat (Argentina – D4940), Rotaract Club of Belize (Belize – D4250), Rotaract Club of Oruro (Bolivia – D4690), Rotaract Club of Armero-Ibagué (Colombia – D4290), Rotaract Club of Parque Rodo-Puntacarretas-Pocitos (Uruguay – D4980)

The project is for RACs to do research on a landmark/historical site in their country that they would like to preserve for the future generations. There is an exchange of a club photo, a photo of the national flag of the state where the RAC is active, 3 photos of the landmark/historical site and also a brief history. The Rotaract Club Sofia International sent its proposal – the Tzarevetz monumentary city (once capital of the 2nd Bulgarian state – the Bulgarian Empire). The Rotaract Club of Arima provided the following material:

The Dial

The Dial

Arima is Trinidad’s third largest town in size and importance and was founded on the banks of the Arima River. Its name means “water.” After the Cedula of Population of 1783 it became not only the home of the Arima natives but also of those from Arouca, who were transferred there by Governor Chacón so that their lands could be given to French immigrants. The settlement was made a mission by Governor Chacón in 1786, and was laid out that year. The year 1786 was special for Arima because it was the 200th anniversary of the Peruvian Amerindian saint, Santa Rosa de Lima, and that year Chacón dedicated the Roman Catholic church of Arima to the saint, making it the church of Santa Rosa de Lima.

Economically, Arima was known as the home of cocoa, and because it was such a heavy producer of the crop, a Trinidad Government Railway line was established in 1876 between Port-of-Spain and Arima with the important objective of bringing Arima’s cocoa into Port-of-Spain, and passengers too, of course.

However, the mission of Arima fell into neglect after Sir Ralph Woodford died in 1828. Neither of the two governors following directly after Woodford —Lewis Grant in 1831 and George Fitzgerald Hill in 1833 — were interested in the upkeep of an Amerindian mission aimed at conversion to the Roman Catholic faith, which was a faith they did not profess. So the mission died just about the time of the abolition of slavery in 1838. Yet the customs Woodford had introduced, such as the Santa Rosa horse races, as well as the crowning of a Carib Queen, remained popular festivities in the little town.

The Dial

Another honour followed in 1908: ex-mayor, John Francis Wallen, presented the borough with a Tower Clock. Wallen was mayor from 1898 to 1899 and from 1900 to 1906. Apparently Wallen felt so deeply grateful that the townfolk had to greet him as “His Worship the Mayor” for seven out of eight mayoral terms that he presented this clock-tower, commonly referred to as “The Dial,” as a gift to the people of Arima. It has turned out to be the most popular point of reference in Arima, and such a well-known meeting spot, that those who say they don’t know “The Dial” cannot pretend to belong to Arima.
Arima has expanded and exceeded its original outskirts almost to the point beyond diecernable recognition. In the 1960’s it turned to industry, and the government’s Industrial Development Corporation set up many industries here especially around O’Meara Road. Since then housing developments such as Malabar, and Santa Rosa Heights have appeared along with developments associated with Pinto Road on the east and more than one housing development on the west of the old town. Indeed this former Amerindian mission, Arima, is today as vibrant a place as it has ever been.

Arima, about 45 minutes east of Port of Spain, is the largest town in North Trinidad and is the home of the only organised community of Trinidad’s original inhabitants, the Caribs.

The Dial

In the town, the Arima Dial (clock tower) on Broadway is one of Trinidad’s best-known landmarks: it was purchased in Nice, France.
When Arima’s famous landmark was installed, a stream ran through the centre of the town, and was used to operate the machinery of the “Dial”.

When this system was changed to accommodate the changes brought by the 20th Century, the ability of the “Dial” to tell citizens the correct time was interfered with. A popular children’s poem by Daphne Pawan-Taylor tells of “Arima’s clock that does not go tick-tock, tick-tock”.

The multi-racial composition of Trinidad and Tobago society is nowhere more apparent as in Arima. The Dial can be categorized as a beacon to all “Arimians” (residents of Arima). In its heyday, the majestic clock’s shrill chimes were said to be heard for miles.

The Dial stands at the centre of the junction of Broadway and Queen Streets. This elegant clock stands on a tall majestic silver steel pole and base. The clock has suffered its fair share of misfortune and has recently been completely restored much to the relief and joy of Arima residents.

clubs do research on a landmark/historical site in their country that they would like to preserve for future generations.
 would be an exchange of a club photo, a photo of the national flag, 3
photos of the landmark/historical site and also a brief history.

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