Monday, 6 March 2017

Perplexing Things - Part I - March 6, 2017

As indicated in my Curriculum Vitae, I have had many interests (over the years) with most of them occurring in my work life where I was exposed to:
  • Taxation - which had its own level of materiality as compared to auditing,
  • Corporate secretarial records  - where there were different due dates and information which dealt with other parts of legislation,
  • Accounting - which had: end of year inventory counts, financial statements, schedules and notes to support financial statements,
  • Audit - reports, statutory audits, audit planning, and plans, reviews, client meetings, audit files and records,
  • Human resource management - annual performance plans, performance reviews,
  • Consulting - projected cash flow statements,
  • Payroll - end of year close, monthly payroll, statutory payments
  • Internal audit - rotation plans for testing of systems.
So in my last position at the R.C. Archdiocese of Port of Spain - Parish of Maraval, as one of the responsibilities of  the role, I visited the church where I spent some time looking up at the stained glass windows and there was one, to the back of the altar on the right side of the wall which bore the name Alvarez and the period of his life. Having worked with a lady whose surname and geographical history were similar, I was like, o.k., I need to stop and look at things.

To put a little more background to the post, here are three (3) factors which impacted on my "being" at that time;

  1. Coming from CREDI, where there was talk of "Tracer Studies". research, papers and such which were necessary for a Catholic Tertiary institution to have as part of its documentation and focus, there were lots of bridging concepts on my mind... How to let the two institutions go forward together.
  2. Understanding from starting my Master's degree, that research was a necessary component of attaining some Masters and doctorate degrees (which priests need to move up in the hierarchy of the church) and I may have had to rethink my choices with my Masters.
  3. I wanted to document the sacramental information in a software and with  things were getting in the way, I started documenting with gusto, some sacramental information relating to Baptisms, First Communion, and some confirmation records depending on the age of the person whose record was  being entered.
After working on some of the burial records as it related to plots in the cemetery, some information on leases I realized that I needed to stop  and refocus.

I decided to start looking at some additional information, death records from the 1900's going forward.. At that time, the death records contained a certain amount of information, while records of approximately 100 years later contained additional information which the earlier ones did not contain or were not included in those which I was viewing. That is when I started asking questions, such as:

i) Where did a person who was 89 or 90 years old in the early 1900's come from?
ii) Were they Catholic before dying?
iii) Where was the sacramental information documented?
iv) How did they arrive in Trinidad and Tobago? Was it by boat? Or were they born here?

Having left the parish, with its 150+years of records and knowing that there are parishes of similar age and knowing that there are no answers, I am even more in the dark as I do not have:
I) The technical knowledge to write a programme which will sort and match the information with existing legal records...
II) I cannot possibly enter all of the records on deaths and weddings in a reasonable time frame to start entering the sacramental records in the prescribed manner...
III) How do I link the names in both records without persons coming forward  to provide data which can be relied upon going forward?

Anyway, here is a link with the dates on which some of the churches in some of the parishes were established, so that you can have an idea as to the number of parishes for which records are to be entered for lengthy periods. P.S. I do not know how many of them have cemeteries to maintain records for that area of operation.

After attending the Non Violence session which was held at Living Water on Saturday 5th March 2017. where there were presentations by persons of different faiths, I am curious as to the record keeping of the Hindu Community in Trinidad and Tobago as it relates to recording deaths and burnings... Would they need a special key board to capture the language in Excel or how do we bridge the gap to retain the records in a culture which is part of our society... Here is a link to one of the alphabets which I found on the web

copyright: Jennifer N Bailey

No comments:

Post a Comment