Minshall addressed his colleagues at a meeting of the High Level Panel of Experts at the Ministry of Planning and the Economy yesterday after they surprised him with a birthday cake.
Minshall was born on July 16, 1941.
Minister of Planning and the Economy Dr Bhoe Tewarie, who endorsed Minshall’s wish, said if development is based on things “that are not authentic to us, we would end up with skewed development in which the country basically makes a statement on development that can become even hostile to what it actually is.”
Therefore, he said, “our culture is an important part of the development thinking and strategy in the country.”
Minshall could not help exclaiming “Wow!”and “Whew!”
“It seems at least 1,000 years ago that myself and two others present in this room, Jackie Hinkson and Pat Bishop, were ‘three of a five,’” he said. Hinkson and Bishop are also members of the panel of experts. The five he was referring to included Alice Greenhall and Arthur Webb — all past students of Queen’s Royal College and Bishop’s Anstey High School.
The five, then young painters exhibited their first works in 1961 at the then Woodbrook Market in French Street, Port-of-Spain.
The market, he said, was the finest headquarters for an art society anywhere in the world.
“But especially here on the southern most island in the Caribbean, but we broke it down. I only hope that what we build in its place would be better,” he said. “May Tan Tan and Saga Boy dance on. May we look into ourselves to find ourselves and our future, and not look elsewhere to discover who it is that we are supposed to be,” he ended. In praising Minshall’s work, Tewarie said his creative arts provided “creative opportunities perhaps second to none in this country.”
“We want to make a commitment that the life in art he has given to this country will not proceed unacknowledged, nor will it be left as a forgotten contribution that simply withers with time,” Tewarie said.