The homeless plight of Laventille steelband Witco Desperadoes has afforded Port of Spain businessman Alfred Galy timely opportunity to demonstrate support for Carnival arts.
In urgent need of a panyard base to prepare for 2016 Panorama, Desperadoes has been accommodated in a centre-city space owned by Mr Galy.
The Frederick Street site, close to Woodford Square and City Hall, now pressed into service as a panyard, had been that of the Greyfriars Church of Scotland, built in the 1830s.
Controversy attended the demolition last year of that landmark by the proprietor who had acquired it from the Greyfriars Church authorities.
Until now, Mr Galy's reported plans for the site did not include steelband facilitation. For this season at least, the Desperadoes flag raised on the site marks a happy coincidence of the band's need for a place and Mr Galy's public-relations gain as a benefactor.
“I like to assist the arts,” he said, noting the convenience of the location for visitors such as tourists.
It is indeed a convenient and inviting location that Desperadoes' leaders have sought over the years since the pan side has been constrained, at Carnival time, to move its operations down from its Laventille hillside home.
How ironic and self serving of Galy.... who contemptuously demolished a building designated as part of the heritage of down town Port of Spain, even as he faked "holding discussions" on how to find a solution. Now here he is, law breaker, incarnated in the guise of defender of the arts, rescuing Despers from its lawless environment. Steupsssssss. Poor attempt at self serving PR.
It a pity, very few, even the Church of Scotland, did not think the Building as being of HERITAGE worth before they sold the structures. No one going that far, yet directing their ARROWS on the current owner,.
I and many in my age group , most of whom lived in EAST DRY RIVER attended SUNDAY SCHOOL at that VENUE ,
When I VISITED THE PAN YARD LAST NIGHT , IT BROUGHT BACK VIVID MEMORIES .
Nonetheless, LIFE goes on
That building and the whole area of Woodford Square was already declared a National Heritage site by the National Trust. He held talks in bad faith and that should disturb all of us.
Its really appalling Mr Hinkson the manner you have attacked MR GALY for his generosity toward the art form.Are you suggesting that MR Galy should have bought the property that the Church Of Scotland no longer thought it meant anything to them and create his own congregation?Mr Galy is a businessman/developer period.Buying properties and keeping it for whatever the sentimental reasons that not how business works.Mr Galy should be commended for his efforts to the arts ,and helping Desperadoes in a most difficult time of need.
I am very curious to know what law he broke.I am really sensing that your beef is with the band that's occupying the site.Hence the reason for such condescension.
Every point in my comment was accurate. ... I'm a long time Despers follower and I come from right near Woodford square. I'm also an ardent supporter of preserving the beauty of my city. What Galy did is on record, while the National Trust had already declared the entire area of Woodford Square a heritage area, and specified Grey friars as part of it, he contemptuously demolished that heritage site. While faking holding talks about how to fit his development plan into the city's heritage. I'm calling him out on it, I fully expect he has another hidden agenda using my band. .. I'm just sayin.
Mr Hinson I hear you loud and clear.But the fact is Mr Galy is a business man who paid millions of dollars for that site.And if you feel so strongly about the site being demolished ,you should take that fight up with the Mayor and the city establishment. They are the one's who should have bought the site to keep as a heritage area.There is something that's called CAPITALISM under which business people can operate and its legal in any democratic society.So for you to suggest that he is using Desperadoes, who by the way is there temporarily is ludicrous.Also Mr Hinson,in case you forget the steelband and calypso artform is the greatest national treasure that exist in Trinidad and Tobago.
I greatly commend Mr Galy for his contribution in a time of need, for Desperadoes has become a victim of the scourge of crime that has so sadly embraced our beloved country .I think that is a more meaningful discussion.
The scourge of crime has taken a massive upward spiral since September and things will only get worse. Check out the murder rate for this year. Meanwhile, oil hit $31 and change a barrel today which puts the GOVERNMENT deeper in the hole. The acting commissioner of police threw up his hands last week and gave up on the fight against crime turning the responsibility over to the citizens ... but they are still paying full salaries to the police. Unless IRAN starts a war in the MIDDLE EAST (which I expect to happen soon) oil prices are going to stay low and TRINIDAD is going to devolve into ANARCHY.
A government that chose to use a HIGH CRIME RATE as a political weapon may very well find itself on the receiving end of that VIOLENCE. Just look at DESPERADOES!!!
I wish we'd keep T&T politics out of this forum as much possible , since we have little solutions to offer.
Having said that , I must add that The problems facing T&T span decades and different political administrations , since the resources of the country have been wasted , pillaged and not properly managed or invested by all parties over those decades.
And , since there is little ideological differences between political parties in T&T ,it is really all about patronage.
Personally , to varying degrees , I blame them all for the state that the country is in, whether we're talking about crime or the economy.
The people of T&T deserve better.
And BTW , since it doesn't seem likely that oil prices are going up any time soon , things may get a lot worse before they get better.