Pilgrims walk the holy land of Israel, visit the Taj Mahal Temple in India and take a journey to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. In Trinidad a romantic stroll, a jog or a drive by Hayes Court just one of The Magnificent Seven around the Queen’s Park Savannah has similar bearing and contributory value to society. Hayes Court is a residence for Anglican Bishops. It is a beautiful landmark with British and French architectural influences she stands proud just across the street from Queens Royal College. Her aged and withered soul has 140 years of an earful and eyeful of cataclysmic change in the land. She was named after Bishop Thomas Hayes who has never been able to occupy residence there. Today, her 5 bedrooms are uninhabitable.
A cocktail launch last Friday served as the kick starter for pledges to restore Hayes Court. A dance recital by the The Continuum Dance Project, a literary affair from a Pierrot Grenade and imparting of knowledge from the Bishop animated the evening’s itinerary. Attendees included former Hayes Court architect , The Honorary Consul to Barbados, Mr. Audley Walker, The Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration, The Honourable Senator Rodger Samuel, German Ambassadors, other distinguished guests, the media and a warm hosting by Liza Miller and her business partner from Estuary PR company. It was noted that former bake sales by the Anglican church have raised a quarter of a million dollars for the restoration of Hayes Court. Yet, this is not enough to absorb the total repair cost in excess of 24 million Trinidad and Tobago dollars. However, other plans to start tours and open the garden premises to host groups for garden parties and weddings are also on the agenda for boosting funds for restoration of Hayes Court. If proceeds do not meet the need for restoration in a timely manner then this relic would be lost in time forever.
Anglicanism spread throughout the world by teachings from the Anglican missionaries. In 1534 CE this period of reformation set the tone for the birth of a hybrid religion between the Protestant and Catholic faith. It was called Anglicanism. In 2006, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams declared Anglicanism to be distinct from other Christian faiths based on the following. It was the reformed commitment to the priority of the Bible. It also became a Catholic loyalty to the Sacramento and threefold ministry of bishops, priests and deacons. It is noted for a habit of cultural sensitivity and intellectual flexibility that does not seek to close down unexpected questions too quickly. Today it has approximately 80 million members and is the third largest Christian community after Roman Catholicism and The Eastern Orthodox Church. It is these tenets that encompass a faith that embossed the reformation and freedom.
Yet, today as an industrial twin island state we are poised forward as the business hub of the Caribbean. The diversified economy and attractive climate for investment takes us up a notch on the scale of developing country status. While the state is nowhere near its colonized state one can rest assured that this former colony has come a long way to be such a diamond in the rough. However, it is quite odd that a stalwart that symbolizes and boasts of a faith that sparked the ingenuity for change, equal rights, freedom and independence is held with such little regard by its own independent republic state. Hayes Court is an extraordinary marvel of architecture that depicts a pretty picture worth more than a thousand words. It is a statutory emblem of a plight and fight of a people once held captive but now free. The failure to repair and maintain this building will only lead to the axing of one of The Magnificent Seven which adorns the world’s largest roundabout Queen’s Park Savannah. It will serve as the demarcation of a memory and history of the people. But most importantly it will remain an agony to the existing Trinidad and Tobago society and the generations yet to come.
Let’s Go Trinidad and Tobago would like to extend a heartfelt gratitude to estuary Pr and Hayes Court for hosting us !