The National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago joins the national community in observing Indian Arrival Day 2021 and is commemorating this year’s event with a series of initiatives to promote a deeper understanding of the experiences and impact of Indian indentured workers coming to Trinidad and Tobago.
During the period 1845 to 1917,approximately 147,596 indentured labourers were transported across the Atlantic from India to Trinidad to work on agricultural estates. From 1866 onwards, Nelson Island, a listed property of the National Trust of Trinidad and Tobago located off the coast of Carenage, became the designated landing and immigration station for the arriving indentured labourers. Nelson Island was also the point of departure for those opting to be repatriated to India after their indentureship contract had been fulfilled.
The National Trust invites the public to experience a free, immersive, virtual tour of Nelson Island on the Trust’s YouTube channel and to join a free, online lecture on June 9th, which the Trust shall host in conjunction with the National Archives of Trinidad and Tobago. In this lecture, government archivists , will illustrate ship and estate registers over 100 years old, which can be used in tracing family lineage and ancestry.
Parents can also enjoy fun activities with their children by using a new e-workbook produced by the Trust, entitled “The Indian Contribution to Trinidad and Tobago” which includes challenging puzzles and word games that will make learning fun for the family. The Trust invites families to learn more about heritage associated with the arrival of indentured labourers by downloading this workbook from its website. To close off its commemorative activities, the Trust will also post on its website a story entitled “The Last Ship”, which explores the beginning of the end of the indentureship system and the ship, the S.S. Ganges, which brought the last shipment of Indian Indentured immigrants to Trinidad in 1917.
The Trust wishes everyone an enjoyable and safe Indian Arrival Day holiday.