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Hi Folks. On a recent visit to Canada, the present captain of Starlift, Mike Franco,embraced the opportunity to visit and formally meet the original founder and and first captain  of Starlift, Albert "philo" James. Franco heard a great deal about" Philo". but never met him,so it was with great anticipation that a meeting was arranged at the home of Martin Albino in Montreal,needless to say , the conversation lasted for several hours  actually into the wee hours of the morning, centered around the evolution of Starlift from it's inception to the present time. I was fortunate to be around this remarkable encounter and I  gained a wealth of knowledge. Starlift recently celebrated over fifty years of existence. martin Albino

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Mr. Albino, I am a member of Starlift and have also heard of Mr. James but never knew what he looked like, so thank you for  this piece of a wonderful puzzle.  Would have loved to have been a fly on that wall!!!!

Hi Franko,

Belated welcome to Montreal. I had no idea that you were in town and by Martin or I would have droped by to say hi. Nuff respect to Philo also.

Last year after being invited by Liam Teague, I had the good pleasure of playing with Starlift for the Panorama finals. I enjoyed the Good vibes at the Starlift Pan Yard...Regards .....Salah

Martin,I spent some time with Franco on his return to Toronto from Montreal and he was still on cloud 9.  He had met Hamilton "Web" Alexander here the day before he left for Montreal, so he felt like his trip was more than worth it  Earlier this evening Philo shared with me how much he enjoyed the "meeting of Starlift captains - past and present". Good stuff!

In order to know where you are going one must know where you came from, so Martin I thank you for making it possible for these two men to meet. Philo was captain of StarLift the first year I became a member. I have fond memories of those days, I am fortunate to have played pan with one of the best steelbands in T&T in the "hayday" of the steelband,  that is priceless. Mr Franco as a past member who would like to see Starlift back in the "big five" nominate Ray or Haffers to get us there.

Sidd, Starlift problem is not with Ray ability to arrange the tune but with Ray the person. With Haffers I don't know but will have to say its because he never won. Anyhow you take it Ray or Haffers will bring them back sooner than Liam. I hope that they can bury the hatchet and do the right thing for Starlift.  

Very right.  The problem is that Ray the person is a serious musician who seeks perfection and professionalism and knows what is required to succeed.  Starlift however, appears to accept mediocrity and no longer knows how to win or are willing to do do what is needed to succeed.   They seem for the most part to be run by a set of small minded incompetent seniors who refuse to accept that the world has moved on and are consumed by intrigue and malicious ole talk.

Fearful of their own ridiculous self manufactured paranoia about "Ray wants to take over the band"

They are unable to see that their vindictiveness towards Ray destroys themselves. Ever wonder why they lost their sponsor?

When they are dying they run for him, he resurrects them, then they fire him.

Ever wanted a definition for the word "Dysfunctional"

But that is just my opinion maybe I am wrong !

C.Kirk, How come no other steelband is going after Ray?

On what basis do you make that statement?

It is totally uninformed and incorrect.

Because he is a composer/arranger not a drill-master.

I assumed you meant going after for arranging.

You assumed correctly.

When I visited Starlift pan yard for the carnival season everything there appears to be so slow & worn, even the music lacks spirit. I remember the days  when Starlift and Phase 11, both bands were the flagship of the WEST where the Panorama competitions were concerned. You could have seen the pride in both steelbands to represent Woodbrook. What has gone wrong with Starlift? It seems that they have lost their way somewhat. Management, please wake up and do something about Starlift before T&T loose one of its flagship steelbands.

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