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November 6th, 2015

Divali Celebration and Art Prize Giving Ceremony 2015 – Address delivered by Chairman, Krishna Boodhai


Address delivered by Mr. Krishna Boodhai, Chairman, T&T Unit Trust Corporation at the Divali Celebration and Art Prize Giving Ceremony 2015

Chaguanas Investment Centre

Wednesday 4th November 2015

His Worship, Gopaul Boodhan Mayor of Chaguanas

  • Ian Chinapoo – Executive Director, Unit Trust Corporation
  • Teachers, Parents and Students
  • Members of the media
  • Staff of the UTC

Good evening all,

It is a privilege and I am delighted to be here to share the celebration with you.

Let me say how much I was in awe when I entered the Chaguanas Investment Centre. I must admit these paintings made me think and reflect on the reservoir of talent that resides in Trinidad and Tobago. The walls were awash with colour along with a panorama of creativity.

As Chairman, this is my first Divali celebration with the Unit Trust Corporation and I must say I am overwhelmed by the solemnity and beauty of the event.

I want to share some thoughts with you. For some people, Divali marks the start of a new beginning and a time for personal reassessment of their life: their personal and family accomplishments, their contributions to society, their strengths and weaknesses and making plans for a new beginning and fresh start. For some, it is also a time for introspection and charting a path to positivity, a path to rejuvenation. It is about making decisions that bring value to people’s lives, much like what we do at the Unit Trust Corporation.

Significantly, it is the core values of Divali that best encapsulate the present-day attitude towards it as a celebration. It is a sacred Hindu festival which symbolizes the triumph of goodness over evil, of righteousness over treachery, of truth over falsehood, and of light over darkness. For many of us, darkness represents ignorance, and the light is a metaphor for knowledge.

The Festival of Divali and the history and significance that is a part of the festival carries innumerable lessons for us. Justice, truth, integrity, humility are values that the Hindu scriptures, like the scriptures of most other religions, espouse. Such values should never diminish in value.

What we must not forget is that Divali is a festival that can be the channel to spark a conversation on how we treat each other – do we build or do we break down? I urge you to see the bigger picture of how we can really make a difference. We should never underestimate the power we have to effect change in the lives of others. Let us shine our inner light to inspire, overcoming old patterns and starting anew.

I am reminded of a quote from Maya Angelou who said, “One isn’t necessarily born with courage, but one is born with potential. Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.”

We would all do well to incorporate these tenets into our daily lives. Not only will it equip us with the tools to make a valuable contribution to our society but bring personal growth and the ability to engage positively with others.

I also feel privileged and proud that our country is blessed with so much diversity and richness of cultures and traditions. With so much strife being observed across the globe, Trinidad and Tobago stands as a beacon for multi-culturalism and where people of difference races can co-exist peacefully.

Another lesson is that the recognition that all our religions have their differences, but they all have their similarities.  We all have our times of year when we want to celebrate what really matters: like our families, service to our communities and the importance of trying to see good triumph over evil.  And that is what Divali is all about. We should celebrate not just Divali but also the incredible success that is multi-racial, multi-cultural Trinidad and Tobago. We are showing other countries how it can be done and how it should be done.

With changing times and the help of social media networking, Divali also gives us chance to share the joy and happiness that the festival brings into our lives. Without this cultural celebration, we would have lost an opportunity to keep intact our social connectedness and our cultural relativism.

But just as Divali invites celebration, we at the Unit Trust Corporation also feel a sense of elation. We would have weathered many storms and risen to the challenges. For the past 33 years, we are ever mindful of the responsibility placed upon us by our customers. I dare say that the trust they have placed in us is something we cherish as it provides the impetus for our growth and evolution. Moreover, we will continue to illuminate the path for all investors by creating and enhancing customer’s wealth by providing superior financial services.   We understand that if we are to continue to meet the needs of our investors, we need to adapt to meet the changes. In the process, we can make saving and investing a reality for our citizens.

Let me assure you that we are committed to building bridges in our communities. Through our art competition, we are afforded the chance to make a difference in people’s lives and shed light on initiatives that awaken the potential within.

I want to express my heart-felt thanks to all of you for sharing your precious time with us and for making this Divali celebration a success.

Shubh Divali. I thank you.