Bid­ding war ends in eBay sale of Trinidad’s high­est na­tional award

The Star (St. Lucia) - - REGIONAL -

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.

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