No love for Mother Earth
Caked in mud, models display the sections, from left, Floods of Terror, Demise of the Ocean and Famine, from Brian Mac Farlane’s C2K8 presentation Earth, at the band’s launch last September on the San Fernando Hill. Photo: David Wears
reigning Band of the Year could be experiencing problems attracting sponsorship from corporate T&T while many a fledging entity in mas can’t find room to place branding for those sponsors rushing to invest tens of thousands of dollars. What particularly irked me is that Mac Farlane’s C2K8 presentation—Earth—is a timely, topical and opportune statement on the environment and global warming; a platform one would think that corporate T&T would jump at the opportunity to endorse.
The United Nation’s has identified, and endorsed, Mac Farlane’s statement, with National Geographic waiting in the wings, yet we are blind to the profound and poignant message this artist and his people are endeavouring to give to the world. But then again, this is Trinidad, where strange is the norm, and mediocrity and lack of creativity are exhalted and rewarded.
My people never undrestand what they have.
OVER the holidays I lost two cherished friends in Terry Joseph and Dexter Peters. The latter was a gifted graphic artist and pan jumbie. In fact he was the founder of Pan Maestros and played before with T&TEC Power Stars. Dexter was also a lecturer at John Donaldson Technical Institute and was one of the valued personnel behind the scenes for the annual WeBeat Festival in St James.
I would require a space much larger than this to speak about my childhood friend Terry Joseph, aka “TJ,” who succumbed to cancer on Wednesday in Atlanta, Georgia. A jack of all trades, Terry’s most significant contribution was his work as a media practitioner at both the Guardian and Express. In fact, with David Cuffy, he was the other person who encouraged me to make the switch from the Express 13 years ago.
It’s a gross understatement to say that Terry will be missed tremendously by those who were close to him, people like Jack Warner, Black Stalin, Roy Augustus, Ainsworth Mohammed, Curtis Pierre, Ibn Llama de Leon, Mervyn Telfer, Angela Fox, Gary Cardinez, David Cuffy, Earl Crosby, Ingrid Lashley, Dune Ali and Sinclair Thompson.
I most remember Terry for his sardonic wit; his intolerance for mediocrity; his passion for music, especially jazz, and the indigenous arts; his appreciation of good food and drink, and a good lime; and, his love for entertaining. He hosted his birthday lime religiously each year and any invitee not attending was reminded of this harshly at every subsequent encounter until the next birthday.
Today marks one year since the passing of producer extraordinaire Ellis Chow Lin On. The founder of the defunct pioneer soca band Charlie’s Roots, “Chow Li,” as he was fondly called, was the manager of Shurwayne Winchester and uncle of radio/showbiz mogul Tony “Chinese Laundry” Chow Lin On.
It’s also one year today that media practitioner/councillor Bert Allette was buried after he was murdered in Belmont.
Both are missed by musicians and media practitioners alike.
Regrello to mediate in mas feud
Juhel Browne firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday, January 4th 2008
Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Culture, Junia Regrello will now mediate in the growing dispute between the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA), National Carnival Development Foundation (NCDF) and the more recently formed Bandleaders Association.
Culture Minister Marlene Mc Donald made the disclosure yesterday during the post-Cabinet news conference at Whitehall, Port of Spain, as she described mas in Trinidad and Tobago as being divided just weeks before the 2008 Parade of the Bands on February 4 and 5.
Mc Donald said a ministerial team had appointed Regrello on Monday to end the feud.
"So mas is really fragmented. This is the best word I can use," she said, adding that Regrello "has powers to co-opt whoever is necessary to bring the mas fraternity together". She said he would start this task after Carnival.
Mc Donald did so even though she said she had not yet seen the report of the Parliament Special Select Committee (SSC), which, last July, strongly recommended that the accounts of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) must be audited by the Auditor General's Department during the next three years.
The SCC report, which can be viewed on the Parliament's web site, also recommended that the NCDF sit on the National Carnival Commission (NCC) board "to ensure equal representation until the existing conflict is resolved" between the foundation and the NCBA.
"I have not seen the actual report sir. What I do know is that the NCDF, they have approached me with respect to a place on the board with NCC. Now, try to understand that each of the stakeholders have one place on the board of the NCC," McDonald said.
When pressed by the Express about the SSC report's recommendations about the auditing of the NCBA, Information Minister Neil Parsenlal intervened.
"The Minister indicated she has not read the report so I don't know if we can pursue that line of argument. Again, she has not seen the report as yet," Parsanlal said.
Last week, NCDF secretary Peter "Blues" Reynald told the Express that the majority of the recommendations in the SSC's report, of which he had a copy, were not yet implemented.