This was the assurance given by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who attended a Christmas concert function at the bowl on Tuesday evening.

In fact, the Prime Minister announced that when Trinidad and Tobago celebrates 50 years of independence in August next year, the bowl would be designated a heritage site.

But Persad-Bissessar did not say whether Government has had a change of heart, in utilising the newly-constructed Southern Academy of Performing Arts (SAPA) for cultural activities, so as to facilitate a planned schedule of tertiary activities at the bowl.

It was announced by Government last month that the bowl would also be utilised by the Ministry of Tertiary Education, for the training of nurses, as well as for doctors to conduct training seminars.

The objective was to scale down the cultural activities in the bowl in favour of SAPA, but cultural groups in San Fernando criticised the move.

A public forum was held by the San Fernando Arts Council, where cultural icons such as James Lee Wah condemned the move. At the forum, San Fernando West MP Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, promised to speak with Persad-Bissessar on the issue.

On Tuesday, Cedar Grove Primary School held its Christmas concert and invited Persad- Bissessar and Attorney General Anand Ramlogan as guests.

In a brief address to pupils, teachers and parents in the bowl’s auditorium, Persad-Bissessar admitted that there had been a hue and a cry about the use of the bowl in as far as cultural activities were concern.

She said: “I want to make it very clear that Naparima Bowl will continue to be used as it was, for functions, and as a cultural centre in San Fernando.

And as we move towards celebrating 50 years of Independence, I intend to propose that Naparima bowl be treated as a heritage site in Trinidad and Tobago.”

The Prime Minister’s announcement drew loud applause from the packed auditoruim. The children then participated in several cultural items such as: “A Trini Christmas.”

The Prime Minister and the Attorney General then joined the children on stage to sing: “We wish you a merry Christmas.

Original article by Azard Ali of The Trinidad and Tobago Newsday