The Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) is deeply saddened by the death of its executive member and Education and Research Officer, brother Ian “Teddy” Belgrave, who passed away early this morning. The MSJ hereby also extends heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of brother Belgrave who has made a sterling contribution to the people of Trinidad and Tobago as one who stood resolute in the struggle for social justice over a period spanning four decades.
Brother Belgrave was a stalwart in the labour and steelband movements.
In the labour movement he served as the Education and Research Officer for the Oilfield Workers Trade Union in the mid 1970’s under the leadership of George Weekes. He was a key leader of the teachers movement in the struggle for the formation of TTUTA, and subsequently served as the first chairperson of the Port of Spain District, and pioneered the union’s study circle groups.
In the steelband movement, he was a founding member of Hylanders, Birdsong, Pamberi, WoodTrin (Woodbrook Secondary and Trinity College), and Arima Secondary Steelbands among others.
He was also always deeply involved in the politics of social transformation and was a key political leader in the Black POWER Movement of 1970. He was a founding member of the original ULF (United Labour Front) of 1976, and served on the Central Executive. He was also a founding member of the Committee for Labour Solidarity (CLS) in the 1980s, and was a founding member and General Secretary of the Movement for Social Transformation (MOTION) in the early 1990s. Finally he was a founding member of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ) and served as Education and Research Officer on the Executive.
He also authored the work “Dare to Struggle” on the history of the Communications Workers Union.
From the news desk of MSJ
In 1962, Teddy and I sat close to each other in Form 5A at QRC and, from then on, there was a constant "woofing" about who was playing with the better band; Teddy with Hilanders, or me with Starlift. The "ole talk" continued almost endlessly until we left QRC in 1964 after sitting for our Cambridge HC exams. I left Trinidad for the USA in 1965 and we never crossed paths again. However, in 2002, on one of my trips to Trinidad after my brother's death, I called Teddy from my hotel room and we chatted for a while. Being a member of TTUTA, he was very helpful in giving me contacts for pursuing my deceased brother's benefits. His passing is a shock to me and my condolences go out to his family. Teddy was a great fan of Bertie Marshall and I am sure that Bertie has a 7-bass waiting for him.
Condolences to the family and friends on the passing of Mr. Ian Belgrade, from Desperadoes Steel Orchestra.