First off, the truth is always better even if it hurts. It is by these circumstances that occur, weather negative or positive, that history is built on. There are some quotes that have recently been made in the Trinidad Guardian September 21, 2015 about The infamous Boysie Singh and his connection to Invaders. The article indicates that at one point during the steel band riots of the '50s there was a "cache of guns under the famous Breadfruit tree in the pan yard for the members to use against the Tokyo Steel Orchestra members with whom there was an ongoing war." This same article goes on to say "but that never happened because Ellie Mannette, then band leader, had more sense than that."
The facts as quoted by Mr. Norman Darway in his recollections of the riots of 1950 recorded in an interview for Trinbagopan.com Febuary 23rd 2005, and posted March 1st, 2005 differ from the Guardian and are as follows:
"One of the riots that took place was on January 02,1950 and "Invaders" came from the court house and two of the "Invaders" men went up Park Street, but "Tokyo" men lay wait, get dis tip off, come down in bathing trunks half naked an' attack these men and these men started to fight their way out, while some of the "Invaders" men who was in de area and heard about it and rush to their assistance and start running "Tokyo" men down Charlotte Street, across Duke Street and back behind the bridge. Some of the bands complain about what would take place because Carnival was just two weeks away. Then "Casablanca" and "Tokyo" had deh plans for "Invaders". "Invaders" came through Park Street for the Carnival Tuesday and they turn into Charlotte Street an' when they turn into Charlotte Street they saw Tokyo in front of them, who block the road and stop beating, while "Casablanca" was at Observatory Street and "Casablanca" move down behind Invaders, so Invaders get sandwich right in de thing, they call it the great ambush. So "Invaders" had to fight dey way through these two bands and come back home. But while in de yard, they were thinking about what they would do, whether they should go back into town or not and in come the great Boyse Singh. Boysie Singh come in de yard and tell them, 'what happening?, we going to town' and he distributed weapons and march them to town with de hench men an' when "Tokyo" se "Invaders" flag coming, they decide to come to it, but when they see Boysie Singh, they turn back and "Invaders" run them straight behind the bridge and they had to scatter. From then on they realize that Boysie Singh was part of "Invaders" too, so they eh taking dat chance. Then you had Oscar "Bogart" Pile who was Ellie friend, even though the band was rioting, they wanted peace.
So, even though Boysie Singh was the most infamous criminal of that era, he did play a part in making sure Invaders were able to exist back in town for that day at least. He stood up for the young Invaders who were no match for bands like Tokyo and Casablanca.
History, good or bad, cannot be rewritten or altered or swept under the rug to suit.
Every PAN LOVER in TRINDAD have ah different history of PAN IN TRINIDAD & TOBAGO. And now that most of the popular books on the HISTORY OF PAN are being written in NORTH AMERICA -- more BACCHANAL STILL!!!
His-story is someone's version of the the facts.
" Invaders derived from "Oval Boy's" in 1949, who was a dust bin band untill 1946, Oval Boy's derived/came from "Green Eyes and Katsenjammers" dust bin bands in 1945, how could they be celebrating there 75th anniversary, I personally heard Ellie Mannette on "Gayel" TV in T&T saying that HE, started Oval Boy's in 1938, when their was only ONE dust bin band with paint pan "ping pong, and bugle, playing melody, with bamboo tamboo sticks etc, from St James that band was Harlem Nightingales, and in 1939 the "Alexander Rag Time band" arrived with fake music sheet's on the road, I question everything these people is saying, because it's not TRUE"... source JJJ.
Invaders beating sweet ah ha coming up park street ah ha Tokyo, coming down beating very slow. And friends when the two bands clash, papa yo if you see cutlash . Never me again To jump in a steelband in port of Spain
Heroes of War . Champion SteelBand with Champion Panmen for because of Dr Ellie and his ever popular Band most of us who came after were able to learn and play the Pan Instruments that were designed by him and used Invaders as the standard to follow. This article also indicates just how feared Boysie was and the struggles of Steelbands . Nice one.
Many of us were teenagers in that era, and when you hear versions of the occurrence contrary to what you remember you wonder.I myself have heard many versions of the clash between Desperadoes and San Juan all stars and as I was there and had to jump over the hospital fence pants caught and torn I shake my head when I hear the different stories. I also remember many stories of the single handed attack on Invaders in their own pan yard by the Casablanca captain at the time known as "One Man" some not too accurate as I knew it to be. My point is, stories after being told many times lose some authenticity just like the bible lost the meaning of so many verses in translation. Even today if you ask Ellie of those incidents you may not get the same answer as you read now..Is he wrong? maybe, did he forget? also maybe, but just like some movies they are based on some facts and we just have to let logic and our intelligence figure it out..or there's always the archives of the "Trinidad Guardian".