Arthur Andrew "Tattoo" Cipriani, Captain

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Arthur Andrew "Tattoo" Cipriani, Captain

Immediate Family:

Son of Albert Henry Cipriani and Alice Agostini
Brother of Edward Cipriani and Albert Henry Baba Cipriani, II

Occupation: Captain, labour leader and politician. He served as mayor of Port of Spain, elected member of the Legislative Council, leader of the Trinidad Workingmen's Association and founder of the Trinidad Labour Party. labour leader and politician. He served as may
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About Arthur Andrew "Tattoo" Cipriani, Captain

Arthur Andrew Cipriani known to his friends as 'Tattoo' was born on the 31 January, 1875. By the time he was six he had lost both his parents in a typhoid epidemic that swept Trinidad in the 1880s. He was brought up by his aunt Mrs. Dick and attended St. Mary's College. He spent a lot of time on the family's cocoa estates at Santa Cruz and at Gran Couva and from an early age demonstrated a way with animals, especially horses. He left St. Mary's at about sixteen years of age and, turning down various offers to study abroad, decided to raise and train horses. He obtained a trainer's license and traveled in the West Indies as a rider and trainer with some considerable success. His friends described him as a solitary sort of man who never married. Today at the foot of Frederick Street in the middle of Independence Square stands a statue of Captain Arthur Andrew Cipriani, 'The Captain' as he was known to one and all. This statute was erected by the Government, led at the time by Prime Minister Eric Williams. As a mark of respect and in keeping with the wishes of a vast majority of people the statue was erected. Called the champion of the barefoot man, Arthur Cipriani was a renowned sportsman as well as a turfite. A spokesman in the Legislative Council for the people, acting at times almost like an Ombudsman, his contribution to the Legislative process could not be overstated. He was an officer and a gentleman so regarded by his peers, a leader of men, a moving spirit in Trinidad's fledgling Workingmen's Association. He was many times Mayor of Port-of-Spain, and a supporter of many causes. He was presented at Buckingham Palace on more than one occasion. He retained his common touch all his life. He was a man of such personal prestige that he could raise five contingents of volunteers to fight in the first World War. He himself leaving with the fifth, elements of which went into action against a superior Turkish force in the Damay sector of the Jordan Valley in 1917 with considerable success - 'No public man is more widely known in Trinidad', wrote C.L.R. James, " many West Indians (and a few Englishmen too) have worked for the emancipation of the West Indies. Their story will be told in time but none has worked liked Captain Cipriani". (C.L.R.James Captain Cipriani family tradition, Gregor Duruty.) The impact of Arthur Cipriani on the hearts and minds of Trinidadians up to the time of his death in- 1945 is difficult t overstate. That he was revered by the basically black and coloured middle-class intelligentsia that assumed power in the fifties from the played out French creole minority is an indication of the stature of the man.

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Arthur Andrew "Tattoo" Cipriani, Captain's Timeline

January 31, 1875