Everything Related to the Steelpan Instrument and Music
You recently asked for information from anyone who knew about the clash between Invaders and Tokyo. Here is my account. I am not exactly sure what year it was (there are differing opinions), but I was about seven years old and our friends who owned Chin's Bakery on Park Street told us we could come and watch mas' from there. I was standing on the pavement, my sister next to me and Tokyo was coming up Park Street, I presume, to turn down St. Vincent Street to go to Marine Square. I looked to my left and saw Invaders coming up Park Street, I imagine to go the same route, down St. Vincent Street. I looked back to Tokyo and saw their Captain, I presume, extend his hands to his sides as if to hold his guys back, because Invaders was in view. He said something to them to cool the situation. I turned to look back to Invaders again, but something caught my eye and I looked up. In those days, the American Naval Fleet used to make tops and some ships were in port that day. Sitting at the upstairs window of the Savoy Hotel on the corner of Park and St. Vincent Streets above the rum shop, was a white American sailor with an empty brown liquor bottle in his hand which he held out of the window. I looked at him and our eyes locked. He had a wicked smirk on his face and dropped the bottle. It smashed on the Park Street side. After that, you heard "fight, fight," and people started running helter skelter. The Chin's told us to come into the bakery. We were followed by a crowd of other people. They finally struggled and shut the bakery door. In those days, a two by four dropped into metal brackets closed the doors. Bedlam reigned outside and inside some men actually put their bodies against the door to further bolster it. A lady knocked on the door and said: "Let me in, Oh God, let me in," but the door remained shut. The police arrived eventually and things calmed down. This is what I remember of that incident. Neither Tokyo nor Invaders threw the first bottle. It was a white American sailor who started it when he dropped that empty brown liquor bottle.
My name is Valerie Clarke-Monrose and this is a true account to the best of my memory. I still see this incident in my mind to this day.
Sorry, I meant to say "made stops..."
this is the first time i ever heard bout an american dropping an empty bottle, stating the clsh, but if you say so, so be it,r
... and that is why I eh have NO TIME for the EVER CHANGING PAN HISTORY and everybody so concerned about TEACHING.
I say: leh we LIVE FOR TODAY and TOMORROW and forget CECIL HINKSON and all this taking PAN BACK TO THE SIXTIES with PAN ROLLING ON THE GROUND.
And I say that whilst we living for today and tomorrow (instead of yesterday) leh we figure out how to SHOWCASE THE PAN with some WORLD CLASS GLOBAL PAN MUSIC
WHERE IS THE MUSIC????
But that STORY SOUND REAL CREDIBLE!!!
I hope some seniors who were playing in Invaders and Tokyo on that day will give their version. An elderly Invaders panist told me that it had to do with the rivalry between the steelbands and individuals doing things like confiscating someone's steelpan and daring him to come into "enemy territory" to retrieve it.
Yes YOLANDA!!! They owe it to the HISTORY BOOKS to come and tell their story!!!
And PAN TRINBAGO should be all over this story trying to SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT!!!
This story should be in ALL THE NEWSPAPERS in TRINIDAD for PUBLIC VETTING -- since everybody so love THE PAN and WANT TO TEACH THE HISTORY!!!
This clash happened in 1950 according to the historians. I was 12 and staying by my godmother at 47 St. Vincent St. From there I went to the corner by Globe to see what I could see. There was a big crowd by the corner, and being short I made my way east along Park St. to get an opening in the crowd lining the pavement. When the fight broke out I remember a rain of bottles from higher up Park St., nearer to Abercromby St. aimed in the general direction of Green Corner. I ran into a Chinese laundry on the south side of Park St. and scrambled over the counter to hide. Several big men followed as the crowd scattered, landing on me. We cowered there until things quieted down, then I hightailed it back home. My mother was not in a good mood not knowing where I had disappeared to. That was the end of Carnival for me. For the record, my memory says the bakery on Park St. was on the north side between St.Vincent and Abercromby.
Thank you MR. DUPRES!!!
History gives us a picture of long ago, although it's not accurate and is always subject to new information and evidence. It's a pity that so many seniors passed on without telling their story. Those days steelpan was about love for pan, rivalry to outdo one another leading to all sorts of innovations until the pans we know today became the standard. I would love to see a lot of the old pan inventions on display more often. (I saw some at the airport once as well as on display at Trincity Mall).
Remember that every individual is unique and has a different role. Without history we would know nothing about how the things we have today came into being. Numerous people who went before added to what we have today, while every new generation adds to what was done before.
Well I believe THIS PIECE OF HISTORY (in this report) from the first time that I read it!!!
So THE POWERS THAT FAIL TO BE should follow up with an INVESTIGATION and CORRECT THE RECORD!!!
Thank you madam. I trust your memory of the events that unfolded on that fateful day, as I myself can vividly remember events when I was that age. I hope that this information would be included in any account that is subsequently collated and disseminated. Concurrence by other living eye witnesses, not necessarily of the bottle dropping incident, but of what they may consider to be an unprovoked attack from either side, in my opinion would support the subject report. Records already in existence should be edited to reflect this disclosure, as I would not be inclined to question the integrity of the source for the same reasons that Chalkie described in kaiso.
"Records already in existence should be edited to reflect this disclosure, as I would not be inclined to question the integrity of the source."
RUSSEL PROVIDENCE: Yuh is AH BOSS!!! Ah like that sentence too bad!!!