AIA gets US$52, 000 chandelier anniversary gift
The Argyle International Airport (AIA) this week received a first anniversary gift valued at US$52,000, which has been dubbed âVinci Loveâ.
The gift, a specially designed LED chandelier, was delivered by businessmen Carlos Leon Manickchand and Ian Brown, operators of Trinidadian firm CALM5/Superior LED.
The uniquely designed piece, which is located on the ceiling of the Departure Check-in area of the AIA, was donated by a small group of aviation enthusiasts, based in London and San Francisco, who have family ties to St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
The sponsors commissioned CALM5/Superior LED to design the chandelier and it was installed in collaboration with the AIAâs electrical engineering team led by Josette Greaves.
The chandelier has three layers, and speaking at a ceremony on Wednesday when the fixture was turned on, Manickchand explained the concept.
âThe outer rings are us at birth and as we go in, we grow, we multiply, and then we become that centre which I will leave to your personal interpretation,â said Manickchand.
He added, âWhat are we really? Am I an Indian? Am I from Africa? We are mixed, we are members of the Caribbeanâ¦we have differences, but we agree to disagree, that is what this light is about.â
The Trinidadian with roots in Bequia said when people are using the AIA and they pass through the departure lounge, he wants them to look up at the chandelier and remember, âwe are all the same and we are all free to interpret ourselves as we feel.
âVinci Loveâ¦that love
is love of who we are, love of country, love of our neighbour, that is what this light represents or what I wanted it to represent,â explained Manickchand.
He said he was happy to a part of the process as he has memories of this country that are both sad and happy.
He explained that a few years ago, as a little boy, he would play on the beach in Bequia under the watchful eye of one of his uncles, whom he called Uncle Mack.
He said a few years later, when he became a pilot, he flew a plane into Bequia to see his uncle and his uncle was so impressed with him being a pilot that Uncle Mack decided to learn to fly.
ââ¦Uncle Mack learnt
to fly and his first flight out of ET Joshua; he didnât make it,â said Manickchand, who told the gathering that his son knows of his love of SVG so when the son learnt about the AIA, he messaged him and told him about the new airport.
âI did some research and saw this magnificent airport. As a pilot, it has a lovely approach, you donât pass over any houses, clear departure, no obstructions, a beautiful modern building and I thinking, did they find oil in St Vincent? Where did they get this from?,â recalled Manickchand.
He noted also that during his research, he came across a speech by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves, in which he said, ââ¦never allow any people or nation to impose upon us limitations to our imaginations.â
ââ¦ This is a message to all the children of St Vincent and the Grenadines, to free what is in their minds, to excel, this is a message, a very simple message,â said an emotional Manickchand.
The designer also
used the opportunity to thank the AIAâs electrical team of Josette Greaves, Markie Samson, Ricardo Scott and Mowatt Cruickshank.
Manickchand said that the chandelier was slightly damaged during shipping and they received the instructions on how to fix it from the factory and the local electrical team took apart and rewired the fixture.
ââ¦. These people worked with us every night, from 9 to 5. We leaving when the first passengers coming in,â said Manickchand who suggested that primary schoolchildren be asked to submit designs for a Vinci Love logo.
Commenting, the Prime Minister said, âThis is a remarkable gift and I want to thank you very much and the people of SVG are very grateful.â
ââ¦It represents the stages of our evolution from childhood on to adulthood and to pairing. This one with three is a symbol of the family, but it is also a symbol of the fact that we Vincentians, Caribbean people, we are a veritable symphony, we are the songs of the indigenous people, the Calinago and the Garifuna, we are the rhythm of Africa, we are the melody of Europe, we are the cords of Asia and we are the homegrown lyrics of the Caribbean in a united symphony in which there is a wholeness, there is a unification,â said Gonsalves.
The ceremony also heard from head of Marketing at the AIA Glender Francois and manager of ground handling and cargo services Winston Wright, who spoke on behalf of the AIAâs chief executive officer (CEO) Hadley Bourne, who is away on airport business.