On Sunday June 10, St. Mary’s Grounds was transported back into the 19th Century, when the ANSA McAL Group of Companies came together to celebrate its 41st Sports and Family Day.
The theme for 2007 was “1881 Again” and more than 4,000 ANSA McAL employees and their families enjoyed the festivities which began the day before, starting with the annual 5K Marathon, Football and All Fours Competition on Saturday. This year ‘s theme was chosen in recognition of the Group’s 125th Anniversary, having started with George R. Alston who founded the predecessor company of today’s ANSA McAL Group of Companies.
Nearly 400 runners started promptly at 7.00am in front of the landmark TATIL building on Saturday June 9. Within 15 minutes, 32 seconds, Curtis Cox completed the route at St. Mary’s Grounds and was the winner in the Open Male Category; with Christine Regis winning the Open female category, in 19 minutes, 28 seconds.
Employees Kenrick Williams of Trinidad Publishing Company and Sharon Dickson of Carib Brewery won in the Employee Male and Female categories respectively. All participants who completed the run received medals, hampers and light refreshments at the finish line.
Later Saturday morning, the Football and All Fours Competitions were keenly contested with keen participation from eight football teams and fourteen All Four sides. At the end of the day, Trinidad Match won the All Fours Competition and ANSA Polymer / Penta Paints Caribbean were the winners of the Football Trophy.
On Sunday, amidst Dame Lourraines, Pierrot Grenades, native Ameridians, Creoles, East Indians, Africans and landed gentry; and strains of music and songs from the period, A. Norman Sabga – Group Chairman and Chief Executive declared it was 1881 Again and officially started the Day.
Maria Superville-Neilson, Group Public Relations Manager was resplendent in a white floor length gown styled from the Victorian era, complete with cotton candy pink parasol. Jason Mohammed, Sports and Family Day Chairman, who was outfitted in overseer apparel, Ms. Neilson and Mr. Sabga sat on the marquee stage as the teams deviated away from the traditional March Past and instead performed a 3 minute “Dance Past”.
Eighteen Teams from across the Group made unique Dance Past Presentations, depicting music and dance styles from that period- from the polka, waltz to native Ameridian dance, canboulay, East Indian and Belle Eau Dance. Although all the presentations were excellent, the judges, historian Michael Anthony, renowned local actress Cecelia Salazar and Torrence Mohammed tallied the points to announce ANSA Automotive the Dance Past Winners. Standard Distributors/Bell placed second, and ANSA Merchant Bank/TATIL and ABEL/BESTCRETE tied for third. In winners’ row for the Dance Past Individuals were Anna Lisa Cyrus of MBM (winner), Gabriella Jobity of Standard / Bell Furniture and Andrew Sabga/ Sir Stanley Freeling of Carib Brewery.
In keeping with the theme, a clay oven was on site for the “Bake Off” Competition with eight loaves baked to perfection. The loaf of Janet Guichard from ANSA Automotive was judged the winner, with Veronica Toussaint of AMCO and Donna Whyte of Carib Brewery placing second and third respectively.
The day was fun filled with lots of events for young and old alike with races such as Derby Race, Sack Race, Keep the Kettle Boiling and Trundling the Hoop. In the end, Trinidad Publishing Company was the victorious winner, with Carib Brewery placing second and ANSA Merchant Bank/TATIL placing third.
Towards the end of the day, live entertainment was provided by Tripolian Steel Orchestra, Sharda’s School of Dance, Tassa Drumming, Gasparillo Tambu Bambu Band , soca artiste Marvin Lewis, South Minors, Culture Imani Expression, Syrian- Lebanese dancing performed by Nalini Akal, and the Chinese Ribbon Dancers.