National Geographic : 1953 Jan
Mounted Police Enter Stables of Government House For 200 years after Co lumbus claimed Trinidad for Spain, the island re mained virtually uncolo nized. In the 17th century, when Europe's maritime powers were at one another's throats, Trinidad suffered from raids by the French, Dutch, and English. In 1802 the island became a British colony; it has de veloped rapidly since. Government House, home of the island's Gov ernor, overlooks the Queen's Park, or Savannah, covering 199 acres. Most of Port of Spain's public life revolves around the park, with its race track, cricket pitches, rugby fields, and walks. Close by are the Royal Botanic Gardens, which Charles Kingsley de scribed in At Last: A Christmas in the West In dies. Except for a few British colonial career officers, Trinidad's police are re cruited from creoles, Ne groes, East Indians, and Chinese. Here Govern ment House's white-coated guards enter the old stables with the colors of the Mounted Branch, Police Force. Stables are no longer in use, although the 132-year-old clock in the cupola still keeps good time.