Minister of National Diversity and Social Integration Rodger Samuel reacts after arriving while the Greyfriars Church, Frederick Street, Port of Spain was being demolished on Sunday morning. Photo:ROBERT TYLOR
Greyfriars Church demolished
By Richard Charan email@example.com
A demolition crew moved onto the compound this morning and tore down the church hall. An excavator was ripped into the walls of the church when Dr Nurah Rosalie Cordner, an advisor to Minister of Social Integration Rodger Samuel, arrived on the scene and was able to stop the work by standing in the way of the machines.
Samuel later arrived, and said the buildings were demolished even as talks were underway to list the site as a heritage site, which would have given it legal protection. The church was sold to aprivate developer in August, and since then, there has been widespread anger over the plan to demolish the historic site.
In the church were memorial tablets commemorating the work of Rev Kennedy and Rev Brodie, as well as congregatio¬ners who fell during the two World Wars. The graves of three children are on the compound, which is located near Woodford Square, the Red House, Public Library building and Trinity Cathedr¬al. The church was the subject of a painting by Trinidad and Tobago’s famed artist, Michel-Jean Cazabon, in 1870.
According to the record, the church site at Frederick Street was bought for £300 and the foundation stone in April, 1837, completed at a cost of £4,858 and opened for public worship in January, 1838. The church was named “Greyfriars” after the mother church in Glasgow, Scotland.
Three years later, a manse was built next to the church for its reverend, Alexander Kennedy, who was succeeded by Rev George Brodie, who died in 1875.