Our Purpose

our PurposeThe purpose of this organization is to increase the popularity of our common interests. We hope to add new members so we will be able to grow and expand. We also want to have fun while when we are together and working on projects. By developing
relationships and friendships, the organization will become even stronger.

Our Mission

Our mission is to seek an understanding of other cultures and societies; to explore common interests, educational, and business opportunities by holding our hands out in friendship to like-minded people in other communities.

A Brief History of the Twinning Project

trinidadCostumeIn November, 1965, while on a promotional tour of Canada (sponsored by Air Canada) a visit was paid to St. Catharines by Mr. Phillip Atteck.

St. Catharines, a city about the size of Port-of-Spain, is the sixth largest city in Ontario. It is in the heart of the Canadian fruit belt and is situated on the Welland Ship Canal in the Niagara Peninsula. There are many similarities between St. Catharines and Port-of-Spain, and through the medium of Radio 610 in St. Catharines the community there soon became more aware of and interested in Trinidad & Tobago and its people. Interest developed on both sides, which led to the proposal to twin the two cities, and earlier this year a committee was formed in St. Catharines and in Port-of-Spain to look into the benefits and advantages of twinning and to explore all the aspects of such an affiliation. Read

Meanwhile, the citizens and various civic organizations in St. Catharines took the initiative in contacting their counterparts in Port-of-Spain, and many of the service clubs are already exploring the possibility of sponsoring student exchanges, while other organizations have already begun to promote our steel band music and our folk-lore, and to develop markets for our handicraft and other locally made products. To this end, there has been a steady exchange of visits, and Trinidad & Tobago is already benefiting from the tourist promotion which has resulted from the project.

The year 1968 having been declared Human Rights Year, the United Nations and UNESCO have been giving much encouragement to Town Twinning. As a direct result to this and of the interest generated between St. Catharines and Port-of-Spain, the City Council of St. Catharines have adopted a resolution to officially twin with Port-of-Spain and to mundialize the City of St. Catharines.

In the light of the above, the Port-of-Spain Twinning Committee decided to hold a Convention at Queen’s Hall on July 14th to inform the community of Port-of-Spain about the meaning and implications of twinning, and a member of the St. Catharines Twinning Committee, Mrs. Sophia Maitland, was invited to attend the convention and to address the gathering.

Four hundred delegates, representing 120 organizations, attend the convention, they were given a full picture of the meaning of twinning or sister-city association and the mutual benefits which might be entailed, and to give them an idea of the city with which Port-of-Spain would be and to give them an idea of the city with which Port-of-Spain would be twinning a film of St. Catharines was shown. Tapes brought by Mrs. Maitland containing greetings from the Mayor of St. Catharines and provincial M.P.’S were also played.

Questions were later put to the Committee by the delegates and at the end of the convention, which lasted five hours, the delegates unanimously approved a resolution requesting the committee to prepare and present to the Mayor and City Council of Port-of-Spain a petition to consider mundialization and official twinning with St. Catharines.
This petition has been handed to the Mayor for consideration at the earliest date.

22nd July, 1968

Biographies of Persons Involved with Twinning

Mr. Philip Atteck

In 1965, when he was the Sales Manager for Radio Guardian at 17 Abercromby Street in Port of Spain, Philip Atteck was asked by the Regional Sales Manager for Air Canada, Dr. Richard Hilker, to tour Canada on a voluntary basis to promote tourism to the Caribbean. Philip accepted this challenge and took his vacation time to do this. He travelled from Montreal to Vancouver, and all major cities in between, on a series of speaking engagements to Rotarians, Air Canada staff, the media, travel agents, and the A.S.T.A. convention in Vancouver. A donation of cases of rum at each Canadian city by Mr. J. B. Fernandes of Fernandes Distilleries made a good combination with Philip’s magic along with an excellent travelogue film of Trinidad supplied by Esso Standard Oil of Port of Spain. The result of this trip was a marked upsurge of tourism from Canada, including from Western Canada.

During this tour, Philip Atteck paid a visit to St. Catharines, Ontario, a city of about 120,000 people located in the Niagara peninsula. He was welcomed by the leaders of this community, and the idea was born to twin the cities of St. Catharines and Port of Spain.

Through Philip’s efforts, Twinning Committees were established and the concept of Twinning was embraced by the respective City Councils. The official twinning ceremonies were held in Port of Spain on August 30th, 1968 and in St. Catharines on October 4th, 1968. These two cities then declared themselves “mundialized,” embracing the Charter of Human Rights of the United Nations, and “twinned” for the good of their respective communities. The ceremonies that accompanied these events were orchestrated by Philip. St. Catharines followed the example set by Port of Spain.

Over the ensuing years, great benefits have evolved from this people-to-people exercise. Several Trinidadian children were given free surgical treatment for bone disorders at the Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. Their parents were hosted by families in St. Catharines. Following this, an operating theatre was outfitted at the Princess Elizabeth Home for Handicapped Children in Port of Spain by donations from the Rotary Club of St. Catharines.

Through the Port of Spain Twinning Association, Philip Atteck supplied passage to Canada for Dr. Robertson who was invited to “scrub up” with the orthopaedic doctors at the famous Sick Children’s Hospital in Toronto. Several teams of Canadian doctors later came to Port of Spain to work with Dr. Robertson. They taught him avante guarde techniques for surgical cases while learning to deal with children afflicted with conditions never seen in Canada. Gifts of an incubator, and other medical supplies have been sent to the Port of Spain General Hospital on numerous occasions. Boxes of flashlights and electric kettles were sent from St. Catharines to the Trinidad Police Force during the State of Emergency in 1970.

Over the years, thousands of Trinidadians have travelled to St. Catharines and Canadians to Trinidad to experience the home hospitality of their “twins.” In addition, Philip, through the Port of Spain Twinning Association, supplied free opportunities for many citizens of Port of Spain to travel to St. Catharines to meet their counterparts to exchange ideas and learn other techniques that applied to their vocations. The list includes boy scouts, girl guides, nurses, postmen, firemen, correctional institution employees, customs and immigration officers, city employees, steelbandsmen, etc.

Brock University, located in St. Catharines, conducted three field trips to Trinidad and Tobago for their science students. The Twinning Association in Port of Spain was instrumental is assisting to make these trips successful at minimal cost to the students.

In 1993, Philip requested Brock University to offer a full-tuition scholarship to a deserving student from Trinidad to commemorate the 25th anniversary of twinning. The recipient, Miss Toni M. Isidore Smart, was chosen by a committee made up of representatives from the University of the West Indies, the Port of Spain Twinning Association, and a Trinidadian graduate of Brock University. Miss Smart successfully completed four years of study to attain an honours bachelor degree in accounting and business.

Trinidad issued a commemorative stamp in 1993 to mark twenty-five years of twinning between Port of Spain and St. Catharines.

Each year, since 1968, there has been an annual exchange of people between St. Catharines and Port of Spain to renew the twinning ties, forge new friendships, and create new opportunities for the citizens of both communities. Untold benefits have resulted from this. Philip never lost touch with the twinning exercise. He has been active in both communities, always seeking to enhance the lives of others. In a sense, he was an “ambassador at large” for his homeland.

In 2008, in recognition of the fortieth anniversary of the twinning, Brock University established an annual four-year, full-tuition Twinning Scholarship for a Trinidadian student to study in St. Catharines. The first recipient of the 40th anniversary Twinning Scholarship, Miss Stella-Marie Chong Sing, has now graduated with a B.A. (honours) degree. Two other Twinning scholarship recipients have graduated from Brock University. There are now four Trinidadian students attending Brock University on this annual Twinning Scholarship, one in each year of study.

A memorial to Philip Atteck is located in the International Building at Brock University where the Office of International Services bears his name.

After Philip passed away, Helen Atteck and son, Keith Atteck, travelled to Trinidad to participate in a memorial for Philip Atteck held by the Port of Spain City Council.

As part of the ceremony, Keith showed the City Fathers a brief biography of his father in a power point display. Mayor Murchison Brown then presented Helen Atteck with an impressive plaque which reads as follows:

Appreciation Award
Presented to
Philip Arthur Lionel Atteck
Pioneer in the Twinning of cities initiative
for your
lifelong commitment to the principles of the Twinning
Charter to foster understanding, mutual respect
and friendship between the inhabitants of
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada and
Port of Spain, Trinidad