Where have you traveled?
Practically every state in the US beside Washington State or Montana, London, Germany, Holland, most Caribbean islands, Barbados is amazing so is Antigua. Jamaica is a personal favorite since I have many friends who live there currently.
What has been your favorite travel experience?
Won’t know where to start! Grand Canyon, cherry blossoms in DC once a year was a favorite at the Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC at Christmas time was probably my favorite, the malls, the décor, the people, it becomes a city transformed…
What do you enjoy about travel? (for example, food? landmarks?)
I drive to destinations once I can, I enjoy the scenery, the company, love food, love landmarks
Where have you not been that you plan to travel to in the future?
Greece, Rome, Vatican, Egypt, Dubai, Aruba, France, Spain, and Cuba
Tell me a bit about soccer in Trinidad and why it is so popular? What about Cricket?
Because of our deep English roots and tradition, Trinidadians have avidly followed and participated in the sports of the English. This is the source of our love for football. It should be noted that the word soccer is almost never used, it’s just plain old football and it’s quite possible for you to say soccer to someone on the street and they have no clue as to what game you are referring! Growing up in Trinidad there were only two sports that had any value, football and cricket. The football players were the equivalent of the American high school football stars, everyone wanted to be them and girls swooned over goal-scorers. These memories place a psychological hold on the mind of youngsters and their love for the game thus continues into adulthood. To be fair Trinidad certainly is not alone in this regard as billions of fans on thousands of countries can testify to the phenomenon that is soccer/football.
Cricket while always having a strong foothold in Trinidad and worldwide has only recently experienced a surge in viewership and seems to have come full circle to take its place as the exciting and complex sport that it is. The explosion of the 20 over format of the game, in combination with popularity of the Indian Premier League, has given cricket an increased audience worldwide and breathed some fire into this sport at a time when its popularity had waned and it needed it most.
What is “all-fours “and are you currently involved in the “all-fours” card tournaments?
All-fours is a card game that originated in England. It is a “cousin” of Bridge and contains a lot of strategy and calls for high analytical ability, math, statistics, and general adaptability. I like to call it the game of CEO’s as it calls for the constant equivalent of economic game theory. Interestingly enough the (now former) CEO of the largest conglomerate in the Caribbean was an avid player and even played with his employees during lunch as a way to socialize while pushing and evaluating their analytical capabilities. In 2004 I led my team to a win in the World Championships and was crowned the Most Valuable Player with a cumulative 23 out of 25 wins on the final day, a record that is still unbeaten. We proceeded to follow up this win with a 2nd place position in 2012. I am currently involved actively in both the NSL Premier tournament in Trinidad and the All-fours Alliance of America’s regional tournament. In the NSL my team has just entered the 2015 playoffs while in the AFA league my team is currently in first place. I play a significant role in both organizations and in fact both captains of the respective teams have trained under my guidance. All-fours as a sport has extended itself internationally to where there is now a World All-fours Alliance (W.A.F.A.) and there are a number of competitions held internationally in places such as Montreal, Brampton, New York, Florida, Texas, Grenada, Northern England, and of course Trinidad and Tobago.
Do you enjoy swimming?
I absolutely love swimming. There is actually quite an interesting anecdote about how I got involved in swimming. When I was born my mother kept having nightmares about me falling into the ocean and drowning so she decided to be proactive and enrolled me in swimming lessons from the tender age of 5 in the hope of staving off such a possibility. Aside from the health benefits swimming can actually serve as sort of a meditative process, as you can clear your mind of thoughts and even do some problem solving and thinking while you are pacing through the laps.
I know you said you are big into automobile racing. Can you tell me more?
I have actively been involved in auto-sport and more specifically Drag Racing for almost 20 years. It started as a recreational activity in my late teens and has blossomed into me currently owning one of the fastest street legal 4 cylinder vehicles in the Western Hemisphere. I also have a NHRA license that permits me to pilot the faster spectrum of Drag Racing vehicles. I am an avid car enthusiast and have owned almost 100 vehicles in my lifetime thus far.
What interest you about horse racing?
My family also has a large horse-racing heritage. My uncle was the chairman of the National Horse Racing Authority for many years and my father, uncles, and cousins have had extensive success as horse trainers and owners. As a youth I enjoyed playing and laughing with horses and who are such amazing and kind animals. My father lived on a ranch with stables in the back where our horses were kept as he was a firm detractor of commercial stables and believed that the best supplement to training was love and affection. Clearly something is to be said about his methodology as he is the current holder of an unbeaten record since the early 1980s, having owned a horse with the most successive wins in the history of Caribbean Horse racing
What Parish were you a Eucharistic Minister for?
Our Lady of Perpetual Help in South Ozone Park Queens
For how long did you do that?
I undertook my responsibility to the Catholic Community on a very blessed day in 2010 so I have been doing this for approximately 5 years
What inspired you to do that?
My father’s parents were very strict Roman Catholics and upon their marriage my mother converted from Islam to Catholicism. Specifically, my grandmother served as both the pillar, and the spiritual pillar, of our family and by large extension our local community. She was as a magnanimous inspiration to all generations that came after her and to this day I still look to her and memories of her as sources of inspiration.