• FOOD


Chinese immigration to Trinidad occurred in four waves. The first wave of Chinese immigrants arrived in Trinidad on 12th October 1806 on the ship Fortitude. Of the 200 passengers who set sail, 192 arrived. They came, not from mainland China, but from Macao, Penang and Canton. This first attempt at Chinese immigration was an experiment intended to set up a settlement of peasant farmers and labourers. The objectives of this experiment were to populate the newly acquired British colony (Trinidad), and more importantly, find a new labour source to replace the African slaves who would no longer be available once slavery and the slave trade were abolished. It was felt that the Chinese immigrants could work on the sugar estates.

Upon arrival, the majority of the immigrants were sent to the sugar plantations. The rest were sent to Cocorite where they lived as a community of artisans and peasant farmers. Living conditions there were awful. Very few of the immigrants stayed on the estates for long. Many of those who decided to stay in Trinidad became butchers, shopkeepers, carpenters and market gardeners. The rest returned to China on the Fortitude. Of the 192 immigrants only 23 opted to stay in Trinidad. The experiment was considered a failure and was never repeated.

The second wave of Chinese immigration took place after the abolition of slavery. Most of the immigrants came from the southern Guangdong province: an area comprising Macao, Hong Kong and Canton. The immigrants arrived in Trinidad as indentured labourers between 1853 and 1866. It was normal for the Chinese to migrate in large numbers to countries in South East Asia, but the period 1853 to 1866 saw them migrating on a global scale to countries such as Australia, Canada, the United States and the Caribbean.

Trinidad received a small portion of this vast movement. Those who came here included both indentured labourers and free Chinese who migrated voluntarily. The indentured labourers were assigned to work on the estates, and their terms and conditions of employment were the same as those given to the Indian indentured labourers. The Chinese indentureship programme came to an end in 1866 because the Chinese government insisted on a free return passage for the labourers. The British government, which had organised the indentureship programme, felt that this was too costly, and ended the programme.

The third wave of Chinese migration began after 1911 and was a direct result of the Chinese revolution. Between 1920s and 1940s immigration increased significantly. These new immigrants comprised families and friends of earlier migrants. They did not work on the estates but came as merchants, peddlers, traders and shopkeepers.

In addition to the immigrants from China there were also immigrants from other parts of the Caribbean region - mainly Guyana. These were Chinese who had originally served their indentureship on the mainland. Once their period of indentureship was finished they migrated to Trinidad to seek better opportunities.

Migration ceased completely during the period of the Chinese Revolution. However, during the late 1970s when China started opening up to the outside world, migration resumed once more. This was the fourth wave and continues on a small scale up to today.


  • Fortitude - 12 October 1806
  • Australia - March 1853
  • Clarendon - 23 April 1853
  • Lady Flora Hastings - 28 June 1853
  • Maggie Miller/Wanata - 3 July 1862
  • Montrose - 18 February 1865
  • Paria - 25 May 1865
  • Dudbrook - 12 February 1866
  • Red Riding Hood - 24 February 1866



(Please click on the thumbnails to view larger images)



This timeline depicts some of the significant events in the Chinese community in Trinidad and Tobago.

1806 - 12th October

First Chinese immigrants arrive in Trinidad when the ship, Fortitude, docks in Port-of Spain with 192 passengers.


First organized Chinese immigration scheme begins; the vessels Australia, 4th March, Clarendon, 23rd April, and Lady Flora Hastings, 28th June brought 1,100 Chinese indentured labourers.

1862 - 3rd July

The ship Wanata brought 467 immigrants from Hong Kong.

1865 - 18th February & 25th May

600 Chinese immigrants arrive in Trinidad

1866 -12th & 24th February

The vessels Dudbrook & Little Red Riding Hood brought Chinese immigrants to Trinidad.


Chinese immigration to Trinidad ceases. In the last 5 voyages between 1862-1866, of 367 females embarked, 309 landed. A total of 2984 emigrants were from Macao, Amoy, Canton and Hong Kong, 2837 landed, 154 perished at sea and 7 were born on board.

1900 - 30th August

The Colonial Government of Trinidad and Tobago banned the exportation of arms and ammunition to China in an effort to prevent local Chinese from providing material support to mainland Chinese fighting against foreign influences in the so-called Boxer Rebellion (1899-1901).


Proclamation No. 30 of August 30th 1900 is repealed.


The Chinese National Association, perhaps the first formal Chinese Association in Trinidad & Tobago, formed close to the turn of the 20th century, now doubles as the Trinidad Branch of the Kuo MinTang of China, based at 19 Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.

1919 -13th June

The Fui Toong On Association is established with headquarters on George Street, Port-of-Spain. It is the first ethnic-based Chinese association in the country, comprising Hakka-speaking immigrants from Northern China.


The Chinese Commercial Association was founded by J.R. Hing King and others.


Amy Leong Pang (1908–1989) becomes a founding member of the Society of Trinidad Independents, a group of local painters, poets and writers who meet to discuss ideas and themes in the early 1930s. The group disintegrates in 1938, but laid the foundation for the Trinidad Art Society.


Upon the outbreak of hostilities between China and Japan (the Second Sino-Japanese War, 1937–1945), two local organisations: the Chinese Patriotic Relief Fund, chaired by Edwin Lee Lum, and the Anti-Japan Association, led by Chinese-born Albert Moyou, raised funds, organised public demonstrations and burnt Japanese manufactured goods in solidarity with their homeland.


The Toy Shan Association is formed, based at 9 Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.


Sybil Atteck (1911–1975), a biological draughtsman and watercolourist of Chinese descent, becomes one of the founding members of the Trinidad Art Society.


The Chinese Association of Trinidad & Tobago is formed based at 7 St. Ann’s Road, Port-of-Spain.


The Sun Wai Association is established.


The China Society is formed, based at 16 Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.


Artist and sculptor Carlisle Chang (1921–2001), executes the mural The Inherent Nobility of Man at the Old Piarco Airport.


The Chung Shan Association is established at 29 Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.

1960 - 7th April

Population Census (Vol. III, Part D) reports that there are 8361 Chinese descendents in Trinidad and Tobago, about one per cent of the population.

1960 -16th July

Sir Solomon Hochoy (1905–1983) is knighted by the queen and becomes the first (and only) non-white, non-British Governor of Trinidad and Tobago.

1962 - 31st August

With the coming of Independence, Sir Solomon Hochoy automatically becomes Governor-General.


The Chung Shan Association relocates to its present headquarters at 129 Charlotte Street, Port-of-Spain.


Albert Moyou is awarded a national medal by the President of Free China (Taiwan) for his contributions to his homeland.


Sir Solomon Hochoy receives the Trinity Cross, Trinidad and Tobago’s highest award.


Sir Solomon Hochoy retires as Governor-General.


A “renegade” Chinese association known as Tong Hong is founded at 61 Prince Street, Port-of-Spain, serving primarily as a gambling den. It disappears shortly after.


Percy Chen (1901–1986), politician and son of Eugene Chen, publishes his memoirs China Called Me.


Painter, sculptor and designer, Patrick Chu Foon (1931–1998) becomes the first artist to receive the Hummingbird Medal.

1983 - 15th November

Sir Solomon Hochoy dies at age 78. He is buried in the Botanical Gardens.


Noted writer, painter, sculptor and designer Willi Chen (1934–) publishes King of Carnival and Other Short Stories.

2001 - 3rd & 5th September

President of Trinidad and Tobago, Arthur Robinson meets Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian at China’s Presidential Palace.

2001 - 4th September

Trinidad and Tobago’s Minister of National Security, Joseph Theodore, holds talks with Chinese Defense Minister Chi Haotian in China. Theodore's visit to China is the first high-level military visit of Trinidad and Tobago to China since the two countries forged diplomatic ties in 1974.

2005 - 30th January

Chinese Vice President Zeng Qinghong visits Trinidad and Tobago. His visit is aimed at enhancing mutual understanding, promoting traditional friendship and deepening mutually beneficial cooperation on all fronts between China and Trinidad and Tobago.

2006 - 31st August

Professor David Picou received the National Award, Chaconia Medal - Gold, in recognition of his service to medicine.

2006 - 12th October

A National holiday is given to commemorate 200 years of the Chinese Arrival and Contribution to Trinidad and Tobago.




Once their period of indentureship was finished, the Chinese left the estates. A few of them returned to China, but most of them opted to remain in Trinidad. They became shopkeepers, farmers, restaurant owners and small traders. Many of them set up shops in the rural villages, competing with the already established Portuguese shopkeepers. The Chinese were gradually accepted in their local community and became an indispensable part of village life. The male Chinese proprietor was called Chin and his wife Mary, regardless of what their real names were.

Often customers who were short of cash were allowed to take their groceries on credit. This system was calledtrusting. The shopkeeper would record the goods taken and their prices in a copy book. The customer would then pay off his debt in installments. The Chinese shopkeeper would deduct each payment from the principal owed until the debt was fully paid off. Every transaction was recorded in the copy book. It must be noted that there was no fixed amount for the installment, no interest charges and no specific time period in which to repay the debt. In fact, very often, the customer would pay off his debt and take a new set of groceries on trust on the same day.

The era of the Chinese shopkeeper is but a memory in the twenty first century. The small shop has given way to the large supermarket owned and operated, not by an individual, but by a conglomerate. Credit and debit cards have replaced the need for trusting from the Chinese shopkeeper. Many of the shopkeepers themselves have either migrated or gone into new businesses.

Over the years the Chinese developed a reputation for being thrifty and hardworking. Many of them became wealthy and were able to branch out into new fields. The table below compares the occupations of the Chinese between 1806 and the present.

Traditional occupations in 1806:

  • Trading
  • Fishing
  • Carpentry
  • Butchering
  • Gardening
  • Labouring
  • Merchandising
  • Farming

Present Day Occupations:

  • Manufacturing
  • Merchandising
  • Banking
  • Business
  • Farming
  • Politics
  • Librarianship
  • Art and Design
  • Medicine
  • Hospitality Industry

Some of the Chinese immigrants became involved in pig farming. Today, they are also involved in the manufacture of products derived from this activity. For example, Macfoods Ltd manufactures pork products such as ham, bacon and sausage, while Erin Farm continues in pig farming as well as the manufacture of pork products.

Seine fishing is another activity that owes its existence to the Chinese. Holiday makers to coastal areas like Mayaro, Icacos, Guayaguayare do not realize that when they or their children join the local fisherman to “pull seine” they are involved in an activity that was introduced by the Chinese. This version is called beach seine as it practiced in the shallows. Some practice it the traditional way by throwing nets with weights attached to the bottom. By the 1950’s the tuna trade and other trawling were introduced to Trinidad and Tobago by two local Chinese, one of whom was Syndey Lee Lum.



The Chinese brought their customs, culture, food, games, traditions and way of dress with them when they came to Trinidad. Even though they have been assimilated into Trinidadian society they still observe some of these customs. The wider Trinidadian society in turn has adopted some of the Chinese heritage. This can be seen in the popularity of Chinese food, and the game Whe Whe, the legalised form of which is Play Whe.


The Chinese New Year, also called Lunar New Year or Spring Festival, is the oldest and most important festival in China. It starts with the new moon on the first day of the new year and ends on the full moon 15 days later. The date is determined by the lunar and solar calendars rather than the Gregorian calendar used in the West. Therefore the date of the holiday varies from late January to mid-February.

The Spring Festival celebrates the rejuvenation of the earth, and the start of plowing and sowing. Houses are cleaned and brightly lit. It is a time of thanksgiving and family reunions. Families gather for large dinners, and ancestors are remembered and honoured at these dinners. There is an abundance of food. In Northern China steamed dumpling is served. In Southern China a glutinous rice pudding is the popular dish.

The 15th day of the new year ends with a Lantern Festival. Houses are decorated with lanterns and a dumpling made of glutinous rice is eaten.


The Chinese dragon is a symbol of wisdom, power and luck in Chinese culture. Unlike Western dragons, the Chinese dragon does not have wings, nor can it fly. It is benevolent, wise and kind. The dragon is revered and respected in Chinese culture, and a depiction of it should not be defiled.

Dragons have been a symbol in Chinese folklore and art for a long time. Temples and shrines have been built to honour them, and Chinese emperors in ancient times traced their lineage back to dragons.

Chinese dragons control the rain, rivers, lakes, and sea, and can ward off evil spirits, protect the innocent, and provide safety. Most pictures of Chinese dragons show them playing with a flaming pearl. Legend has it that the pearl gives them their power and allows them to ascend into heaven.


Dragon turtles combine the longevity of a turtle and the power of a dragon. The dragon head turtle is a powerful symbol of obtaining balance in life.


In Chinese, “knot” means reunion and togetherness. Chinese often use knots to protect themselves from bad fortune or evil and express good wishes to friends and family. Every knot is weaved from one thread. Thousands of years ago the Chinese people used knots for fastening and wrapping. Today, Chinese knots are both practical and ornamental.


The three-legged frog is a popular symbol of prosperity in Chinese culture. It is usually depicted as having eyes and flared nostrils, and it sits on a bag of Chinese money, with a coin in its mouth. It is used today as a wealth generator and should be placed near safes and financial documents. One frog placed within view of the front door will invite money into the home.


These mirrors feature the eight trigram of I-Ching with their special protective emphasis. The power of convex ba gua will ward off any negative chi and the concave ba gua will absorb positive chi in a person's surroundings.


These represent the gods of Longevity, Abundance and Prosperity. Lu is the god of abundance, Shou is the god of longevity, and Fu is the god of prosperity.


The fisherman symbolises wisdom and patience.


Kwan Yu was born a commoner, over 1700 years ago, at the end of the Han Dynasty, completely unaware of the fact that he was destined for greatness. He first came into the limelight when he came to the rescue of one of his neighbours, who had been victimized by corrupt government officials. Physically, Kwan was very large and powerful with a distinct red face. He was considered a formidable adversary. He was a local hero to his peers who respected him as he helped those who were exploited. His quest was to uphold justice and foster peace and order among his people. He was revered for his wisdom, honesty and compassion, and is a symbolic representation of righteousness, loyalty, humility and justice. He is the patron saint of the Chinese Martial Arts.


Jade (Yu) symbolises nobility, perfection, constancy and immortality. It has been an integral part of the lives of Chinese of all positions and classes for centuries, and is considered to be the most valuable of all precious stones. It was used not only for the finest objects and cult figures, but also for grave furnishings for high-ranking members of the imperial family. Today, this gem is still regarded as a symbol of goodness, beauty and perfection.


Kuan Yin, also known as Quan Shi Yin, is the Goddess of Compassion in Chinese culture. Quan means to inquire or look deeply into, Shi means the world of people or generations, Yin means cries. Kuan Yin is considered to be the feminine form of Avalokitesvara (Sanskrit), the bodhisattva (or Enlightened One) of compassion of Indian Buddhism, whose worship was introduced into China in the third century. As the sublime Goddess of Mercy whose beauty, grace and compassion have come to represent the ideal of womanhood in the East, she is frequently portrayed as a slender woman in flowing white robes who carries a white lotus - the symbol of purity - in her left hand. Ornaments may adorn her form, symbolizing her attainment as a bodhisattva (or Enlightened One), or she may be pictured without them as a sign of her great virtue.


Double Ten Day is the national day of the Republic of China (which is now administered from Taiwan)and commemorates the start of the Wuchang Uprising of 10th October 1911 which led to the collapse of the Qing dynasty. It is also known as National Celebration Day in Taiwan (Taipei). Double Ten is celebrated not only in Taiwan, but in other parts of the world, wherever people of Chinese origin reside, including Trinidad and Tobago.


Fans have been used by Chinese people to keep cool in summer for over 3000 years and are still popular in the rural areas. They are also used as artistic props in plays, dances and story telling and even home decorations. There are three major types of fans: feather fan, folding fan and silk fan.

Feather fans are the oldest type of Chinese fans. The feathers from eagles, magpies, cranes, kingfishers and peacocks have all been used to make fans.

The silk fan is full-moon shaped and called the round fan. The frame is usually made of iron or bamboo slips. A peace of silk is stretched over the frame and is then decorated with colored drawings. It used to be popular among young ladies in the royal court and those in wealthy families.

The folding fans are the most popular in China. They date back to the Song Dynasty, about 700 years ago. Emperors and their ministers used them. The mount of the fan was made of ivory, sandalwood or mottled bamboo and was often carved with figures of birds, flowers, landscapes and even poems.


The 5th Day of the 5th month of the lunar year is called Duan Wu Festival or Dragon Boat Festival and is celebrated everywhere in China. This Festival dates back to about 2000 years. According to legend, the Dragon Boat Festival in China commemorates the death of a national hero, Chu Yuan, who drowned himself in the Mi Lo River to protest the corruption of the rulers at the time. Because he was unable to persuade the king to mend his corrupt ways, Chu Yuan tied an enormous rock around himself and threw himself into the waters of Tung Tin Lake in Hunan Province.

Many attempts were made to recover his body but it was never found. Much later, his ghost was seen in the spot where he drowned, moaning that he had been devoured by monstrous water creatures.

Today, the dragon boat races honor his memory. Participants sit two abreast, with a steersman at the stern and a drummer at the bow. The addlers race to reach the finish line, urged on by the pounding drums and the roar of the crowds.




The Dragon Dance originated in China during the Han Dynasty (180-230AD) as part of the farming culture and spread throughout China. The dance symbolises the bringing of good luck and prosperity to human beings on earth in the year to come. Green is the main colour of the dragon and symbolises great harvest. Other colours are yellow which symbolises prosperity, red which symbolises excitement, and silver which represents the scales and tail of the dragon. These glitter constantly and create a feeling of joy.

The Chinese Lion Dance goes back some one thousand years. The first record of the performance of an early form of the Lion Dance dates to the early Ch’in and Han Dynasties (Third Century B.C.). The lions express joy and happiness. From the fourth day to the fifteenth of the New Year, lion dance groups would tour from village to village in traditional China.

The Lion Dance also plays an important role in the consecration of temples and other buildings, at business openings, planting and harvest times, official celebrations, and religious rites.

During the Tang dynasty, the emperor once dreamed of a palace where he was surrounded by beautiful dancing fairies in colorful flowing robes. This dream turned into a command for a dance with spectacular displays of long silk ribbons to make his dream come alive. The traditional Chinese ribbon dance, once performed only for royalty, is now popular among all walks of life for its grace and beauty.


This traditional Chinese dress has been in existence for over 300 years. Cheongsam is the word used in western countries to describe this dress. It means "long dress" and comes from the dialect of the Guangdong Province. In other parts of China it is called qipao.

The cheongsam is popular both in China and in the west. It is easy to slip on and comfortable to wear. It sports a high neck, closed collar and either short, medium or long sleeves, depending on the season or one's preference. It is buttoned on the right side, with a loose chest, a fitted waist, and slits on both sides. It is worn at different lengths, and can be worn on both casual or formal occasions. It can also be made from different types of materials.




Chinese cuisine is viewed as being one of the richest and most diverse cuisines in the world. It is also steeped in customs and rituals. Different foods can be eaten to produce specific desired outcomes.

  • On New Year's Day Chinese families eat a dish called Jai, which is supposed to bring good luck
  • The lotus seed will bring luck in having a baby boy
  • Black moss seaweed stands for wealth
  • Dried moss curd means wealth and happiness
  • Bamboo shoots mean everything will be good
  • Fresh bean curd or tofu is not eaten because it is white. White is unlucky because it symbolises death

 A Chinese meal typically consists of two or more general components. A carbohydrate or starch such as rice or noodles, and accompanying dishes of meat, fish, vegetables or other food. Spices such as ginger, garlic and spring onions are used in food preparation and preservation. Most dishes in Chinese cuisine are prepared in bite-sized pieces. The traditional eating implements are chopsticks, used for solid food. Soups are eaten with a wide flat-bottomed spoon. In traditional Chinese culture knives and forks are considered barbaric because them are seen as weapons. In Trinidad and Tobago, the Chinese community use both chopsticks and knives and forks.


For centuries China was an agriculture-based economy, subject to the forces of nature. Sometimes there were surplus harvests; other times a natural disaster could wipe out the food crop. To deal with this problem the Chinese people developed food preservation skills designed to extend the shelf life of many foods. A wide variety of preserved Chinese food is available. Food is preserved by smoking, salting, sugaring, pickling, drying etc. Foods preserved include eggs, meat, fruits, vegetables, and fish. The Chinese who came to Trinidad brought these skills and traditions with them. Today they are still in use and have become popular in the wider community. This can be seen in the consumption of preserved mango, plum and pommecythere to name a few.


The custom of eating moon cake can be dated back thousands of years. Moon cakes symbolise the reunion of families and couples. The exchanging of gifts during the mid autumn festival is an hospitable custom and lovers give moon cakes to show their passion.


Chinese tea culture refers to the methods of preparation of tea, the equipment used to make tea and the occasions on which tea is consumed in China. Tea drinking was popular in China for centuries and was regarded as one of the seven daily necessities. Today tea is considered a national drink in China and is grown in several provinces.

Tea culture in China differs from that of the West in terms of preparation and tasting methods, and the occasions on which it is consumed. The serving of tea is viewed as a sign of respect. Because of this, an elaborate tea ceremony has developed over the years. There is a ritual involved in the tea ceremony and rules must be followed. Emphasis is placed on the type of tea, its taste and its smell.

Chinese tea is also used in traditional Chinese medicine.



Chopsticks, called kuaizi (quick little fellows) in Chinese, are traditional eating implements in East Asian countries. Chinese people have been using chopsticks for over 3,000 years. It is believed that early Chinese people retrieved their food from the fire using sticks and twigs. Later, rising population and scarce resources caused them to save on fuel by cutting their food into small pieces for faster cooking. Knives were not needed for these small pieces, so chopsticks became the tableware of choice. In addition, it is believed that Confucius identified knives as instruments of slaughter, and not fit for the table.

Chopsticks are usually made of wood, bamboo, ivory, metal, or bone. In modern times they are also made of plastic. Chinese chopsticks are normally about 10 ½ inches in length, rectangular in shape, and tapered to a blunt end.


Traditionally, in a Chinese meal, each individual diner is given his/her own bowl of rice, while accompanying dishes are served in communal bowls which are shared by everyone at the table. Tea is served in a teabowl.


The wok is a versatile round-bottomed cooking vessel originating in China. The word wok is of Cantonese origin. The curve of the wok allows for maximum cooking with minimum fuel consumption. The food cooks faster. The wok is also versatile since it can be used to boil, stir-fry, steam and deep-fry food. The wok is used extensively in Chinese restaurants and is even used by non-Chinese in their home cooking.



Below are the profiles of some of the people of Chinese heritage who have contributed to the development of Trinidad and Tobago.


SYBIL ATTECK (1911 - 1975)
Sybil Atteck was one of Trinidad and Tobago's leading artists and this country's first outstanding female painter. She was a founding member of the Trinidad and Tobago Art Society and her work is prized both at home and abroad.

AMY LEONG PANG (1908 - 1989)
Amy Leong Pang was a founding member of the Society of Trinidad Independents, a group of local artists who met to discuss ideas and themes to paint in the early 1930s. Dedicated to painting and developing West Indian themes and experimenting with various styles, Amy Leong Pang was a pioneer in her time and a close friend and collaborator with the artist Hugh Stollmeyer.

CARLISLE CHANG (1921 - 2001)
Carlisle Chang was born on 21 April 1921, in San Juan. He attended Tranquility Government School. His early art education included a correspondence course from the Washington School of Art, a two year study program under Amy Leong-Pang, and a Master's certificate from the New York Institute of Photography. In 1950 he won the British Council Scholarship, which enabled him to study poetry, painting and mural painting at the L.C.C. Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where he received the diploma in 1953. He also won an Italian Government Scholarship to the Instituto Statale d'Arte for Ceramics in Faenza in 1953.

Chang returned to Trinidad in 1954, and in 1955 opened an art studio. The period from 1955 to 1980 was the most productive and rewarding time of his career, with over ten murals in various media, costumes and sets for both theatre and ballet, concepts and designs for more than 12 years of Carnival and easel paintings in water-colour and oils. His work was sought after by both local as well as foreign curators from Europe and South America. He designed the Coat of Arms for the Federation of the West Indies, and the one for Trinidad and Tobago. In addition he was member of the sub-committee for the flag and insignia of Trinidad and Tobago. In 1970, Chang started Guyapa Industries Limited, which produced various forms of handicraft. He switched to interior design. He worked on such projects as the Seetaram House, Santa Margarita, the Nigerian High Commission and various branches of the Workers’ Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. Two of his most renowned pieces are Conquerabia (2002) and the 40-foot mural entitled The Inherent Nobility of Man.

Chang received various awards in recognition of his achievements. These include the: VII Bienal de Sao Paulo Bronze Medal (1963), the Chase Manhattan Inaugural first prize, Humming Bird Medal-Silver for Fine Arts (1964), Citation from the Press Club of Lausanne Switzerland (1972), Beryl McBurnie Foundation Certificate of Honour (1987), President’s Honour Award for Art (1991), Trinidad Art Society’s Golden Anniversary Honour Award (1993), and National Carnival Bands Lifetime Achievement Award (2001). He died in 2001.

PAT CHU FOON (1931 - 1998)
Patrick Warsing Chu Foon was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad on 3rd October 1932. His family lived above his father's shop on Park Street. He attended Rosary Boys RC School and later Tranquility Intermediate for his higher education. He developed a talent for drawing butterflies, peacocks and the nature scenes he saw on the Chinese Art his father had brought from his homeland. Carnival too, was to inspire Pat's love of colour, which was later expressed in his carnival costumes.

In 1963 Chu Foon received a scholarship to study at the University of the Americas, Mexico, where he gained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine and Applied Arts in 1967. He continued his studies in sculpture at the Universidad National de Mexico, Academia San Carlos. He was the first Trinidadian and one of the first Caribbean artists to exhibit his work at the International Salon, Museum of Fine Arts, Mexico.

On his return to Trinidad and Tobago in 1968, Chu Foon joined the Ministry of Culture as a teacher at the Teachers Training College. Later he became a Cultural Officer II within the Ministry. From the period 1981 to 1984 Chu Foon held office as the Acting Director of Culture and Youth Affairs. He became the Cultural Officer II from 1984 until his retirement in 1988. During his career Chu Foon held many exhibitions both at home and abroad. A few of his many works include the Ghandi Statue, Tribute to the Steelband Movement, and Claude Noel. He also has many abstract paintings located at the Bank of Nova Scotia, Trinidad and Tobago Limited.

Chu Foon’s first honour was the Chase Manhattan Award for painting in 1960. He went on to attain the Hemi Scholarship Award from the University of the Americas in 1963 and various Trinidad Art Society awards. He was the first artist to receive the Hummingbird Medal - one of Trinidad and Tobago's national awards for sculpture - in 1983.




William H. Scott was born in Trinidad in 1885. He started in business in 1905 with the Prince Street Bakery. He later diversified into other business ventures such as wholesale and retail, lumber and hardware, real estate, and wholesale and retail chemists and druggists. He was also a director of Colonial Life Insurance Company Ltd., and was a benefactor of several charitable causes.

Louis Jay Williams was born in Trinidad in 1897. He started business as a manufacturer's agent and eventually founded L.J. Williams Marketing Co. Ltd. He was the first Trinidadian businessman to use a local broadcasting station for advertising purposes. He also established the Australia to W.I. Shipping Service. He was a supporter of education and the local film industry.


SIR SOLOMON HOCHOY (1905 - 1983)
Solomon Hochoy was born on 20 April 1905 in Jamaica, and arrived in Trinidad at the age of 2. He grew up in the village of Blanchisseuse and attended St. Mary's College from 1917 to 1922.

In 1927, he began his distinguished career in the Civil Service. He served in various posts, and quickly worked his way up the organizational ladder. He served in the following posts during his career in the Civil Service: Junior tally clerk (1927), Labour Commissioner (1949), Deputy Colonial Secretary (1954), Colonial Secretary (1956) Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George. Upon attainment of Independence in 1962, he became the Governor-General until 1972.

Several honours were bestowed on him - the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.) in 1952, the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St. Michael and St.George (K.C.M.G.), the Knight of the Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (G.C.V.O.), and Officer of the Order of the British Empire (O.B.E.). Sir Solomon was among the first to be conferred with the Order of Trinity in 1969 - the inception year of the Order of the Trinity. He died on 15 November 1983.

Gerald Yetming was born on January 4, 1945. He attended St Mary's College. In 1964 he joined the Royal Bank of Canada (now Royal Bank of Trinidad and Tobago Ltd). He became Executive Director - International Business Group in 1992 and Executive Director - Retain Group in 1995. In 1997 he became Executive Director - Overseas Banking and Corporate Resources. He was promoted to Group Director - Regional Banking RBTT Financial Holdings Ltd. in 2000. He also held positions on the boards of a number of Companies.

He was also Deputy Chairman of the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex Authority, and a member of the National Information Systems Advisory Group.

He was a foundation member of the Organisation for National Reconstruction (ONR), and served as High Commissioner to Canada for Trinidad and Tobago from 1987 to 1989. In the General Elections in 2000, he was chairman of the National Campaign Committee, and was sworn in as Minister of Finance on 22 December 2000. Mr. Yetming is married and has two sons.


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Besson, Gerard and Brereton, Bridget. The Book of Trinidad. 3rd ed. Port of Spain: Paria Publishing, 1992.

Look Lai, Walton. The Chinese in the West Indies 1806-1995: A Documentary History. Mona, Jamaica: The Press University of the West Indies, 1998.

Look Lai, Walton (editor). The Chinese of Trinidad and Tobago since Independence: a Who's Who and Social Portrait 1962-2006. Compact Disc, 2006.

1806-2006: 200 Years of Chinese Arrival in Trinidad and Tobago. Port of Spain: Trinidad and Tobago Chinese Arrival Committee.

Johnson, Kim. Descendants of the Dragon: the Chinese in Trinidad 1806-2006. Ian Randle, 2006.