Thursday, March 13, 2014

Harlequins & Pierrots - Brooklyn J'ouvert 2012

It is a never-ending love story...
Harlequin steals Columbine away from Pierrot, whose heart is perpetually sad. The scene moves from Paris to Venice, city of canals and romance, where Columbine seeks refuge and time to decide wh oher ultimate lover will be. 

J'ouvert morning 2012 NYC and the festivities have begun! Labor Day celebrations in NYC has a history of being one fo the best ethnic festivals that occurs in North America. St. James Times had the best opportunity to be a part of this years J'ouvert celebrations. 

From our vantage point this years' production would be a winner again! Roy Pierre, who has roots in St. James and maintains his ties to the community has proven once again that he is a master at his craft. 

A picture tells a thousand words but Roy Pierres production this year is by far one of the best he has ever done. To all those who witnessed the Jouvert morning mas the word is it was a winner! Kudos to Mr. Pierre and Gods blessings, health and strength to you and your associates. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

It's WeBeat Time Again!

It's WeBeat Time Again!
Celebrating 50 Years of RED, WHITE and BLACK!

WeBeat will be again, plagued with funding problems....going on for 10 years it seems that each year presents a challenge for the CIC group. In conversations with the chairman you come to notice that it is taking a toll on his ability to produce this well known event. With that said st james times is in total support of CIC making this years event a memorable one. As we celebrate 50 years of independence st james times looks forward to the spirit of independence infusing its energies into the WeBeat festival so at some point in time WeBeat will celebrate 50 years. St james times looks forward to an outstanding week of festivities in the st james area. Visitors, well wishers and participants can look forward to a welcoming environment, local cuisine and exciting night life in a safe and secure environment.

To All Enjoy!

WeBeat Media Day

St. James C.I.C organisers of the 'WeBeat St. James Live' launched the week long social, cultural and community festival with a Media Launch Wednesday 16th 2012. In attendance were the honorees, special guests, media, sponsors, and various community groups. The C.I.C executives extended greetings and well wishes for a successful festival. The event was engulfed in a sea of the National Colours. As we celebrate Trinidad and Tobago’s 50th anniversary of Independence we were reminded by almost all the speakers of the many achievements and the present course we (T&T) travels as we attain 1st world status.

This is an opportunity for us to display our National Pride.The City of Port of Spain was represented by St. James' own Kevon Valentine in the esteemed position of Deputy Mayor. Also in attendance were Mr. Damian Richardson for the Min. of Arts and Multiculturalism, Mr. Hayden Gittens Port of Spain Rotary, Mr. Victor Griffith Port of Spain North Lions and Ms. Melvina Hazard of the Trinidad and Tobago Film Festival. Royal Bank of Canada, Carib Brewery Ltd. and Guardian Media as the Sponsors also contributed to the significance of this years’ festival as it relates to our Independence.The audience was treated to a 'slice' of what was to be expected in the upcoming days of the festival by Mr. Anton La Fond presenter for the 'WeTalk' segment.This year’s theme " 50 years gone, how yuh feel?" was highlighted of how we as St. Jamesians evolved and devolved as we lived through the Independence period. This years Honorees for WeBeat Live are Denyse Plummer, Keith Simpson and Daniel Brown aka Trinidad Rio. St. James Times as the only true source of St James 'going ons' promises to cover all the events. This year promises to be a 'blow out' and this is in keeping with the style and character of St James. Stay Posted.

It Was Just a WeBeat Lime...

WeBeat 2012 came to a close this evening with the Parade of the Bands. The St. James Main Road came alive with the sounds of steel and the voices and spirits of ordinary people enjoying one of the many aspects of our diverse culture.  The evening was filled with revelry encouraged by our national instrument. This year we celebrate our 50th anniversary of Independence and it was fitting that the WeBeat committee dedicate this years production to our anniversary. St. James Times as an active supporter of the C.I.C Organisation, the group responsible for WeBeat, we were obligated to cover the week long festival. The week proved to be, as comments from the President and members of the committee revealed, one filled with many challenges but in the true Trini spirit style the finished product was a charmer.

St. James Times extends to the Organising Committee of WeBeat a vote of Congratulations on an outstanding week of events. We Beat captured the mood of the nations celebratory spirit and engaged all present with a truly memorable gift for 50 years of Independence. WeBeat in its 12 years of producing this event has always had its share of celebrities in attendance. This year was no different and the Street Parade and the evening was highlighted with a visit from the Minister of National Security Brigadier John Sandy.

The Minister who in his usual 'down home' style mingled with the crowds in true 'Trini' style enjoying the sounds of 'steel' and the compliments of friends, ordinary citizens and visitors. The parade of celebrities continued in the likes of St James' own Alderman Keron Valentine Deputy Mayor of Port of Spain, Radio Personality Steve Sealy, Dwayne O'Connor Calypso Monarch and Anton LaFond advocate/consultant. The week is over but the planning for next year is already on the way with the intention to have an even more outstanding week of events which is commensurate with the 'likes' of such events of this magnitude. St. James Times again congratulates the WeBeat committee for a job well done!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mucurapo Boys R.C. ; Nothing But the Best!

Mucurapo Boys R.C. had it’s first fundraiser for Multimedia and Sports Equipment and training Curry Q on November 4, 2011.
The Trinidad & Tobago Coast Guard in true community spirit manned the galley in preparation for all those who supported the effort. St. James Times in speaking to the school’s clerical officer was made to understand that the fundraiser was well supported. Compliments must be paid to the Coast Guard for such a worthy effort. Events like this helps to engender the protective services to the communities! Kudos to the Coast Guard.
We hope that this event becomes an annual event that will help the school enrich their inventory. The Principal and Staff of Mucurapo Boys must truly be complimented on their efforts on seeing this fundraiser from start to finish. This fundraiser was an effort well done! Congratulations again!

Trinidad & Tobago Cadet Force AIDS Walk 2011

The Trinidad and Tobago Cadet Force organized an Aids awareness walkathon for Young People on Sunday 6th November 2011. This was done to educate and heighten awareness to the issues of AIDS. The walk was attended by hundreds of Young People and Adults. A supporting role was played by Several Government Ministries. This is the Governments input into issues the affect not only young people but the General population. Aids is a Health issue that must be addressed 'vibrantly' to ensure containment and in the future prospects of a cure.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Brother Dedan Kimathi: Freedom Fighter

Passing parade of the warriors of 1970

By Raffique Shah
Oct 30, 2011

Last Monday, we gathered at the Ellie Mannette Park in St James to say farewell to Dedan Kimathi. His name may not mean anything to people outside of the district he helped christen “The Village”. It encompasses De Freitas, Alfred Richards and nearby streets, with the small park as its focal point.

Although he was a key activist in the Black Power revolution of 1970—he was imprisoned during two states of emergency in 1970 and 1971—he kept a low profile, so even participants in those events may not remember him.

To the faithful who assembled to mark his passing, Dedan epitomised the symbols and spirit of that glorious period in our history. He was one of the nicest human beings I knew: friendly, intelligent, informed, vivacious, energetic, helpful. They do not make them like that anymore. As I stood there listening to a number of people pay tribute to the brother, it occurred to me that I was witnessing the passing parade of the Warriors of 1970.

A few months ago, another unsung hero of that period, a boyhood friend of mine named Randolph “Fobs” Chandrakate, also passed on. He, too, was a beautiful person in just about every way. He remained devoted to his mother until she died, pre-deceasing him by only a few years. He was committed to his wife and children, but they lost out some because he gave so much of his time to so many “causes”.

If he was not helping farmers in some far-flung district deal with an intractable problem, Fobs could be found mixing mortar at the Dattatreya Yoga Centre or tutoring younger people in yoga, history or global affairs. Years ago, when we were young and daring, he had given up his secure job to help organise cane farmers. In that period, too, he was among the core of persons who worked hard to breathe life into an organisation called the United Labour Front, well before it was transformed into a political party.

In Dedan’s case, prison only strengthened his resolve to fight for black identity, and in a broader context, to fight against injustice anywhere in the world. He resisted Eric Williams’ attempt to impose the draconian Public Order Act on the people of this country. He spoke out against apartheid in South Africa long before Nelson Mandela’s name and cause became popular. He identified with the Palestinians. And during a sojourn in the USA, he spoke out against that country’s aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Within their communities, Dedan and Fobs were recognised as leaders who could get things done. They would transform ideas into reality. At both funerals, I saw four generations of people pay respect to these brothers. Ma Doris in St James, Tambie’s mother, now 90 years old, is somewhat of a surrogate mother to the Legends of 1970. She knew us as brave young men, and whatever her politics, she looked out for us. I felt saddened last week when I saw her trying to cope with Dedan’s passing.

There were the fallen warrior’s contemporaries, facing reality and our own mortality: Kambon, Nunez, Apoesho, Asha, Josanne (younger, but still a sister), Owen, Esmond, Tambie, Ivan, Georgie, Purnell, “De Prive”.

Then there were the younger ones, those from the “Village Drums of Freedom” who beat rhythms to mark an elder’s passing. There was the immediate family, including the beautiful grandchildren he mentioned lovingly mere weeks ago, who will never know their granddad, an outstanding son of St James.

But there was also a spirit of defiance. For the first time in years, echoes of “Power to the People!” could be heard, loud and clear. The spirit of ’70 came through many of the tributes. You see, among those who were at the forefront of that revolution, not many have stayed the course. Mere weeks ago, Dedan and I spoke about that. We counted those who have remained loyal to the cause on two hands.

All that I have written thus far must tell readers that these were two remarkable men, Fobs and Dedan. I can assure you that I have not done them justice. Nor have I mentioned Ambrose, who also passed on a few months ago—another lion of ’70. These men’s commitment to fighting for justice, for standing up for the downtrodden in society, in the world, cannot be questioned.

Yet, they pass on and the wider society that benefitted from their struggles hardly knew them. As someone noted at Dedan’s funeral, whenever he ran into problems at a bank with some young Indo or Afro clerk, he would politely tell the person, “Listen, I made jail for you to be where you are today!” A gentle reminder of what ’70 was partly about, to a generation that takes for granted some of what they enjoy today, which their forebears could not 40 years ago.

So I stood there in the park musing on the manner in which true patriots make their exit from the land of the living, from the country they were prepared to give their lives for. Except for families, friends and those of us who will never forget their contributions, they depart without song, trumpets.

Not that these brothers would have wanted the fanfares that other, less deserving departed, would have enjoyed. Other than yearning to see their country and people progress, they asked for nothing in return—not office, accolades, wealth, or awards. Humility was their hallmark.

Those of us they have left behind will carry on, speaking out when we need to, shouting from the rooftops if we must, but never letting an injustice go unnoticed. Revolutionaries do not retire.