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Sterling Betancourt MBE talks about his experience of performing at the 1951 Festival of Britain with Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra.
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Now I know I'm really old!!!
I actually remember the tunes being played by the band!
The first one (just after the hideous,racist picture) was "We wan't Ramadhin on de ball" by King Radio.
Nice arrangement, too!
This was a calypso celebrating the greatest West Indian spin bowler to ever come out of Trinidad and Tobago, Sonny Ramadhin.
1950 was the year that a West Indies cricket team including such legends as the "Three W's", Ramadhin and Valentine and others beat the English team in their backyard at Lords for the first time in history.
I remember that victory being celebrated on the streets at carnival in 1951.
I also remember the second tune, but I've forgotten its name
If you are mentioning TASPO, and your account does not include the name of George "Sonny" Goddard, then you (obviously) do not know to whom the credit should be given. As such, I repost:
This is the TRUE account as to how "Operation Britain" came about, and although Sir Hubert Rance should be credited for his support and patronage, TASPO was not a creation of this former Governor's "recommendations", and the credit should be re-directed to the proper party/parties. What is interesting to note, is that this "operation" coincided with George "Sonny" Goddard's first official post, as Vice-secretary of the (then) Steelbands Association (c. April, 1950). On the invitation of Invaders' Ellie Mannette (Invaders' captain) and Clarence Gulston (Invaders' secretary), George attended a series of meetings, and the result was the forming of the association. The other officials elected at that meeting were Sydney Gollop (President), Nathaniel Crichlow (Vice-president), Sonny Harewood (Secretary), and Carlton Bidhi (Treasurer). Coincidentally, the first recital they held was partly to raise funds to assist Spree Simon, who had been shot (George's book says it was an "accident"), according to recent information I received from Kim Johnson (author and journalist). These former executive members (GOLLOP, CRICHLOW, HAREWOOD, GODDARD, and BIDHI) are the ones truly deserving of the credit, and the evidence shows why.According to Goddard (in his book), as early as "late in 1950 or...early...1951, on hearing of the Festival of Britain (planned for August 1951), the association believed that "Trinidad and Tobago should present steelband music at the Festival", and solicited the government for financial assistance ($6,000 TTD) for sending a "representative steelband". The government denied their request, stating that their "application was a bit too late" The Trinidad Guardian, on April 13, 1951 (long before the governor's alleged July 1951 "recommendations") reported that the government's "financing of the local team to the Pan American Olympics has exhausted the money for these purposes". The association then decided to raise the funds on its own, and a "nember of sub-committees were set up". During that time, Albert Gomes was a die-hard supporter from "day one", and POS Mayor, Raymond Hamel-Smith made a public "appeal for $7000" (Trinidad Guardian. April 25, 1951). That target was later reset to $15,000 (Sunday Guardian, May 6, 1951) One of the sub-committees the association formed, was headed by Canon Farquhar, and Wilson Marshall, Carlyle Kerr, Lennox Pierre, and Ulric Nesbitt were members of that committee, and these persons also deserve the credit and recognition. Also deserving honor, are the Bermudez Buscuit Company also donated "one dozen steel drums", and well-known tailor, Fitz Blackman "offered to tailor, free of charge, the uniforms..." (Trinidad Guardian. May 3, 1951)It was in keeping with their fund-raising efforts, that Sir Hurbert Rance, in a brochure the association put out, entitled "Operation Britain", posted a message of support, but he was not the only one, as Albert Gomes, Canon Farquhar, and Roy Joseph, also posted messages. (Trinidad Guardian. May 29, 1951) Interestingly, there was also foreign support from the (then) Mayor of New Orleans, Lesseps Morrison (Trinidad Guardian. June 13, 1951), as well as the "local press". By mid-June, the T & T Tourist Board would "promise to contribute $500...on the condition that the campaign must reach thetarget of $15,000". (Trinidad Guardian. June 21, 1951). Others "chipping in" included Lt. Brian Gething (the Governor's Aide-de-Camp), Mr. Winfield Scott, R. J. Shannon, Edward Lee Lum, the Hon. Stephen Maharaj, E. J. Clovis,, and T. A. Telemaque, and the Hemisphere Club of Barataria. Canon Farquahar also pointed praise to persons such as P.M. Renison, W. minshall, Sir Gerald Wright, Mrs. Mahanna Hathaway, Lt. Griffith (the musical director), and the Montano bro
After really watching and listening to your interview, I commend you. Especially the singing bit.
Your St Crispin School Buddy
Great history lesson!
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