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OWTU president general Ancel Roget pays tribute to Tubal Uriah “Buzz” Butler after the thanksgiving service at Butler Hall, Fyzabad, on Sunday.

Radhica De Silva

Four days before Labour Day celebrations are scheduled to take place in the historic oil town of Fyzabad, the Oilfields Workers’ Trade Union held a thanksgiving service under strict COVID-19 guidelines.

A handful of executives, led by president General Ancel Roget, gathered in the hallowed ground of Butler Hall where they sang union songs, hymns and made supplications to God on Sunday.

All of them were seated six feet apart and wore masks.

Roget said the union will always be victorious because they knew the power of prayer.

“This union could not have stood the test of time against all the forces that were against us and all the evil forces that are still against us were we not rooted in faith and God,” he said.

He added, “This is where we put our trust for the future and for our union. We are here in the circumstances which are very challenging yet we have decided no pandemic and no disease invented in this world will prevent us from saying prayers to God.”

He expressed gratitude for the chance to celebrate Labour Day this year.

“We thank God for successful Labour Day, for the safety of all those who are standing with us and for sparing all of our lives. We thank God for that,” he said.

He explained that as T&T enters the election period, citizens should be mindful of what is right and wrong.

“There are people who could rejoice because they have the protection of God. That is where we position the OWTU. I am humbled by the opportunity to lead the union and we will do everything by the help and grace of God,” Roget said.

Meanwhile, mother Joyce Cummings and her son Joel Cummings from the Mt Olive Spiritual Baptiste Church, offered a blessing to the union. Cummings told the congregation that they should always stand up for what is right.

“You have to remember the institution that you stand for,” she said, noting that tough decisions will have to be made in the future.

Following the hour-long service, the union executives distributed hampers to school children from the areas of Fyzabad, Point Fortin, Santa Flora, La Brea and Siparia.