blink | bmobile hands over $50,910 to Catholic Cathedral Restoration Fund

Harris was presented with a cheque from EVP Bmobile services and Operations Ronald Walcott on behalf of bmobile customers for $50,910 to go towards the cost of the renovations.

The Catholic Cathedral, located on the Eastern end of the Brian Lara Promenade, should mean something to the entire nation, not just Catholics, according to Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port of Spain, Joseph Harris.

Harris was speaking at the 160 plus year-old Cathedral, currently undergoing renovations, where he was presented with a cheque from EVP Bmobile services and Operations Ronald Walcott on behalf of bmobile customers for $50,910 to go towards the cost of the renovations. blink | bmobile customers donated the money through the mobile operator’s text-2-donate drive in which both prepaid and postpaid customers could text $50, $100 or $500 to contribute towards the renovations.

The cathedral has been in desperate need of renovation and will cost roughly $70 million to complete extensive repairs. Damage from a severe termite infestation resulted in the need for a new ceiling among other things and extensive water damage affected the crypt located in the Cathedral where past Archbishops are interred. The cathedral itself is undergoing a general facelift.

“We are very grateful for the support from the public and companies like TSTT as this is not only a catholic church, it’s a historical monument and as such all people in Trinidad and Tobago have to value it and help in restoring it, not for the church so much but for future generations” explained his Grace. “The work that was done here, 160 years ago is something that we should be extremely proud of as a people, because in those days we didn’t have mechanical ladders and those things. But yet, the people at that time were able to build a cathedral, a beautiful cathedral on what was essentially mangrove land and it has lasted over 160 years and I think as a tribute to our ancestors, we have to keep it alive and keep it well.”

He added that it is much the same case for all historical sites, found around the country, which are severely dilapidated. He suggested the establishment of a maintenance committee to oversee the restoration and maintenance of all such historic buildings.

“We need to establish a process for systematic maintenance not only for the church, but for all the beautiful buildings we have that are falling down; the President’s House, White Hall, all very beautiful buildings which need to be maintained,’ Harris said. “If you spend a little bit now, you escape spending a lot more in the future. So I think we have to establish a good maintenance process to ensure that all of our historical buildings are accessible for successive generations.”

Speaking on behalf of blink | bmobile, Executive Vice President of Bmobile Services and Operations, Ronald Walcott, explained that the company was keen on getting involved in the restoration project as the Cathedral holds great historical value. “The participation of customers in this fundraising also signifies the attachment the public has for the cathedral and their shared wish to have this iconic structure and all that it stands for, around for future generations.”

“As a company, blink | bmobile has always invested in the culture of Trinidad and Tobago and this cathedral holds great cultural significance to our nation. The Cathedral has been a significant historical monument in T&T for over 160 years,” explained Walcott. “As such, when we were approached to get on board with the drive we were more than eager to do it and we urge citizens to continue pitching in, in any way they can.” Walcott said he looked forward to seeing the cathedral in all its glory once more.

“Even in its present state, one can still identify the beauty and value in this structure and I sincerely hope that future generations, another 160 years from now, will be able to look upon it and celebrate its history.”