Bidding war ends in eBay sale of Trinidad’s highest national award
The eBay bidding war for Trinidad and Tobago’s highest national award was on this week, with five bidders in the battle. Most of the bidding for the 18-carat Order of the Republic of T&T (ORTT) medal, posthumously awarded to trade unionist Adrian Cola Rienzi in 2012, was recorded Wednesday – a day after conglomerate Ansa McAl Group made the first bid, offering the US$25,000 asking price that was posted on March 4.
Eight offers came from four additional eBay bidders throughout the day. The bidding ended Thursday.
On Friday it was announced that The Order Of The Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT) had been sold to the Ansa McAl Group for US$25,000. On Tuesday, Norman Sabga chairman of the Ansa McAl group had announced the company’s intention to purchase the medal for the National Museum. President Anthony Carmona, former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and the heads of the unions Rienzi once led all said they felt the award should be returned to Trinidad and Tobago. Some suggested that government purchase the award for the citizens. “‘Despite the incidence of higher bids on the eBay site, Ansa McAL secured the agreement of the store, Crawford Coin Stamp Militaria in Vancouver, British Colombia, to pull down the auction and recognize our initial bid. This move has ensured that the historic piece will be duly returned to our nation in preservation of its bestowed honour and dignity’ a statement from Ansa McAl says.
STATEMENT FROM THE PRESIDENT OF T&T ON SALE OF MEDALS
“I am very much distraught at the prospect of someone peddling the symbol of our national honour and pride. The Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago is not a rag doll that is disposable. This ultimate symbol of our Nation’s pride and honour is sacrosanct. The intended sale of the ORTT medal offends one’s sense of patriotism and exposes a raw nerve,” President Anthony Thomas Aquinas Carmona ORTT, SC. said, “We must explore our way out of this scenario. Maybe the time has come that all persons who are so honoured or their representatives, sign a contract giving the Office of The President (OTP) the first option to buy the medal in the event of intended disposal/sale; or better still, amend the law to absolutely prohibit the sale/disposal of the ORTT medal. We need to create our very own international benchmark as it relates to our ORTT medal. The ORTT must become and should be a proud heirloom in the family.
“My humble admonition and entreaty to whoever is responsible for the intended sale of the ORTT medal, You cannot do this to us.”
Medal and other items on sale on Ebay.