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The George McIntosh Community Market was officially opened in Paul’s Avenue Wednesday evening – a pictureque $1.2 million building erected on a site formerly known as the Swamp.

The facility adjoins the parcel of land where the man for whom the market was named was born, and adjacent to the spot where George McIntosh established the Working Men’s Association which became one of this country’s symbols of the anti-colonial struggle. {{more}}

The opening of the community market produced a tinge of nostalgia as the battle for enhancement in the standard of living continues to wage on.

Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves in a relaxed manner expressed pride with the transformation the area has undergone. The potential for the vendors’ enhancement of their lives was studiously analysed by the Prime Minister.

In his usual matter-of- fact style, Dr. Gonsalves pointed out the benefits of the facility, especially to the new occupiers, and the overall environmental upgrade the area has gone through as a result.

The George McIntosh Community Market upgrades the surroundings, and adds to its aesthetics.

The removal of the shops, which jutted onto the streets along that usually busy roadway, will give way to the construction of a sidewalk. This will provide additional safety to the many school children who pass by daily.

A number of entities based in Paul’s Avenue have already moved into the new facility, endorsing the poverty alleviation measures on which the government has embarked.

“Paul’s Lot is evolving beautifully,” Dr. Gonsalves declared.

It was a double celebration, for the govenment officials present who, even though there was only one opening, look forward to the opening of

the National Lottery Authorities (NLA) headquarters, formerly the Cecil Cyrus Squash Complex, soon to be commissioned. Two Squash courts have been maintained and have been upgraded to international standard.

Dr. Gonsalves boasted of his administration’s thrust towards national development, measures which involve buildings in the Paul’s Avenue area.

He said a new Technical Centre is being built behind the NLA headquarters to make way for the building of the national library and lecture theatre.

That facility will be a US$6.7 million structure, and will be part of an enhanced compound in the Richmond Hill area.

Parliamentary representative for Central Kingstown, Conrad Sayers, was in a similarly ebullient mood when he welcomed persons to the function.

He described the George McIntosh Community Market as one of “excellence”. Sayers looks forward to the opening of the YWCA building also in Central Kingstown later this month and the Leeward Bus Terminal, another Central Kingstown undertaking. Sayers used the occasion to boast of 34 new

houses scheduled for handing over at Green Hill soon.

Prime Minister Dr. Gonsalves pledged $500,000 to the NLA as government’s contribution to the George McIntosh Community Market.

More embellishments are expected in the Pauls’ Lot area, to coincide with the improvements in the zone. And the NLA is expected to finance fencing of the Bishops College Kingstown, obliquely opposite the new craft market.

The Avenues Dancers perfomed while architect Aurin Bennett and contractor John Greaves also mounted the rostrum.