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Arima Dial

Arima Dial 1898 | Photograph Courtesy Geoffrey MacLean 2009

Written by Geoffrey MacLean

Arima, about forty miles east of Port of Spain, is Trinidad’s third largest town. It is the centre of Trinidad’s original Amerindian inhabitants, the Caribs. Every August the Carib Santa Rosa Festival is held to honour the Patron Saint of the New World, Santa Rosa de Lima.

In 1898 Mayor John Francis Wallen presented the people of Arima with a clock purchased in Nice, France, which was placed in the centre of town at the corner of Broadway and Woodford Street and has since been known as the Arima Dial. The chimes of the clock were said to give the people of Arima a sense of time, particularly at the start of a new day. No longer chiming, the Dial is known nowadays more as a landmark than a timepiece.

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