February 28, 2014
GOPIO to hold 25th anniversary convention in TnT

Vincentian Dr Arnold Thomas, international coordinator (Caribbean Region) for the Global Organisation of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO International) has praised the organisation’s decision to hold its 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in the Caribbean.{{more}}

The event will be staged in Trinidad and Tobago, with a two-day gala celebration 27th May to 29th May, 2014, preceding the annual Indian Arrival Day commemoration in that country.

“It is important to highlight this region of the Indian diaspora, along with the many benefits and unique advantages of holding GOPIO’s 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in Port of Spain,” Dr Thomas said.

The GOPIO International Trinidad & Tobago Chapter will be the convention host, supported by a convention team which includes GOPIO’s regional and international chapters, executives, councils and life members, as well as businesses, government, organizations and academic supporters.

A release from the organisation said hosting of GOPIO 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in Port of Spain has been enthusiastically endorsed and supported by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago, prominent persons of Indian origin and several chambers of commerce, businesses, organizations, academicians and academic institutions, media and others.

The International Chapter of Trinidad & Tobago is among the most active and vibrant of GOPIO’s many chapters globally, addressing current and critical community issues such as spousal abuse, alcoholism, education, children and health concerns, the release said.

GOPIO is proud to have hosted Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar on 12th January, 2012 at a special reception/dinner in Kolkata, during her visit to India as the chief guest at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2012, the release added.

GOPIO chapters in the Caribbean region are: Trinidad and Tobago; Guyana; Suriname; St Vincent and the Grenadines; Belize; Guadeloupe and Martinique, with others in formation in Jamaica, St Lucia, Grenada and Barbados. Recently, GOPIO has held and collaborated on several major conferences in the Caribbean region: Trinidad & Tobago (2011); St Vincent and the Grenadines (2012); Suriname (2013); Guyana’s 175th Indian Arrival Day Commemoration (2013) and Belize (2014). Minister Vayalar Ravi (India’s Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs) visited Trinidad & Tobago and other countries in the Caribbean region in 2007, 2011 and 2013.

“We feel privileged and are fully prepared to host GOPIO 25th (Jubilee) Anniversary in 2014 in Port of Spain in grand style that is fitting and well deserved”, said Ena Maraj, president of GOPIO International Trinidad and Tobago Chapter, who initiated the proposal to host the event.

Trinidad and Tobago has a population of over 1,300,000 of which 45 per cent are people of Indian origin whose ancestors were brought there as indentured sugar plantation labourers, with the first arrivals on 30th May, 1845.