|“There was a sound of revelry by night,”
Lord Byron's famous poetic imagery found a worthy echo when the centenary of the TBLA - the Trinidad Building and Loan Association - was celebrated on January 13th, 1991, at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain. Several hundred distinguished guests mingled on the canopied Cathedral grounds while the police band, in full dress uniform, played appropriate airs.
The proceedings, which were lavishly capped by the reception, began at 4:30 p.m. with an Inter-Faith Divine Service conducted by the Very Reverend Father Rawle Douglin - Dean and Rector of the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The Service began with the rendering of the National Anthem by the Marionettes Chorale, conducted by Mrs. Gretta Taylor, which set the scene for a memorable evening.
On the conclusion of the Divine Service, there was a Carillon of bells. A fanfare of trumpets followed, and to a roll of drums, and in full view of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, and other dignitaries, the Honourable Minister Selby Wilson, 'threw the switch' to turn on the illuminations which filled, in a glow of light, the majestic TBLA building, which was a stone's throw away.
Hosts and guests then proceeded to the lawns where the 100-candle cake awaited. There, Mr. Angus Mackay, past President of the TBLA, and Ja Neal Moore, the 11-year -old daughter of TBLA’s Russell Moore, proceeded to ceremonially cut the splendidly made cake in replication of the Association's building which was topped by a water fountain. While the large and enthusiastic crowd applauded lustily, the cake was distributed in pre-prepared presentation boxes suitably inscribed. At this point, Mr. John Martin, President of the TBLA, invited the guests to take their seats. Refreshments were then served and many were the pleasantries exchanged.
The Girl Guides splendidly conspicuous all afternoon, performing their several tasks, were seen busily attending to the needs of the guests. These guides had already made an indelible impression when spontaneously forming an Honour Guard for the President of the Republic and other dignitaries, on their arrival earlier in the afternoon.
A highlight of the proceedings was the presentation of bouquets to the several ladies including Mrs. Hassanali, Mrs. Robinson, Mrs. Wilson, Mrs. Jocelyn Sealey, Mrs. Gretta Taylor, Mrs. Kathleen Rochford and Miss Joanne Mendes.