Tuesday 26th December, 2006


Soca monarchs unite

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Newly-married Bunji Garlin (second from left) is congratulated by fellow soca artistes Shurwayne Winchester (left), Fireball (second from right) and Maximus Dan during his wedding reception.


What could one expect at the wedding of two of soca’s top artistes—one of whom is a three-time International Soca Monarch and the other a Road March Queen?

Clichés would not do justice to the ceremony and the couple, Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez and Faye-Ann Lyons, but one cannot resist the temptation to gorge on the trite phrases in an attempt to capture the moment.


From ragga soca master Maximus Dan to soca songstress Destra to 2006 Soca Monarch Shurwayne Winchester, members of the entertainment fraternity gathered to witness the wedding ceremony at the Holiness Revival Christian Church, French Street, Port-of-Spain on Saturday.

Neil “Iwer” George, Mr King, Bajan producer Peter Coppin, Jadee, Fireball, Singing Sandra, Nikki Crosby, Scarface, promoters Cliff Harris and Signal II Noise were but a few of the “familiar faces” at the Centre of Excellence reception.

Add a gorgeous Bits and a sparkling Candy Hoyte, two of 13 bridesmaids, and Brian Manning, son of Prime Minister Patrick Manning, the line-up was just about complete.


Despite reports to the contrary, the bride, daughter of four-time Soca Monarch and eight-time Road March King Austin “Super Blue” Lyons, got married in a stunning white wedding gown, complete with an intricately-designed train and a crown well fit for a soca queen.

In fact, the groom complimented his intended as he was garbed in a white three-piece ensemble complete, with a pair of snazzy white shades.

Four-time Soca Monarch and eight-time Road March King, Austin “Super Blue” Lyons escorts his daughter and one-time Road March Queen, Faye-Ann Lyons down the aisle to meet her husband-to-be, three-time Soca Monarch Ian “Bunji Garlin” Alvarez at their wedding ceremony held at Holiness Revival Christian Church, French Street, Woodbrook, Saturday. Photos: Andre Alexander

His 12 groomsmen, a few of whom were his Asylum band members, were outfitted in black suits, mirroring the look of Alvarez, with each sporting black shades.

The iridescent appearance of the bridesmaids’ gowns kept one guessing their true colour, which fell somewhere between the shades of aquamarine and turquoise.

The hall, decorated by none other than the bride and her wedding party, was a royal blue and a white garden filled with caricatures of butterflies perched on walls, tables and floral arrangements.


Bunji Garlin and his bride Faye-Ann pledged their love and steadfastness for one another no less than three times in a ceremony conducted by his brother, Pastor Marlon Alvarez.

Holding each other’s right hand in a solid grasp, the couple recited their vows with booming voices, dispelling any doubt that their minds were not fixed on a joint future.

Pastor Alvarez intoned duty and fulfilling the “will of God” to the couple and those gathered, also speaking of his disappointment that marriage is no longer highly valued.

Later, at the reception, mother of the groom, Henrietta Alvarez told her son and daughter-in-law to remain humble and always be willing to forgive one another whenever differences occurred.

Father of the groom, Ted Benn, stole the show with his “lyrics” and levity, including advice to Bunji to become the fourth greatest lover the world has ever known, he being the third, Romeo the first and King Edward VIII the second.

Father of the bride, SuperBlue, captured the sentimentality of the moment.

Dressed in—what else—but a three-piece blue suit, SuperBlue briefly serenaded the couple before reminding Bunji that his daughter was not an “easy one to catch.”

And, it was he who introduced the couple. SuperBlue left them with a mild warning that he’ll forever be watching.


June Alvarez, accompanied by the Trinidad Guardian’s Marvin Smith, serenaded her brother and his wedding party with a semi-operatic portrayal of The Prayer.

Grandmother of the bride, Ruby Steele, could not resist singing a love song for the couple.

Terri Lyons, while resting her vocals, took to the dance floor with her father during a soca parang session, courtesy Los Dinamicos from the South.

Pannist Dane Gulston opened the reception accompanied by a live band, led by guitarist Vince Rivers.

Shania Twain’s You’re Still The One was the chosen piece for the couple’s first dance.


Creole, Indian, Chinese and wild meat were the sub-headings of the courses offered to delight the palates of guests.

Coo Coo, callaloo, steamed fish, macaroni pie, pigeon peas, avocado and other offerings piled onto plates of patrons preferring to dine a la Creole.

Those whose taste buds ached for curried chicken, pumpkin, curried potato, shrimp and buss-up-shut, found them available in abundance.

Chinese-styled chicken with jasmine rice was followed by an assortment of wild meats, leaving very little room for a range of desserts, including fudge and the Christmas must-have of black cake.

Corn soup, bake and shark, souse and last, but not least, a doubles vendor, rounded off the feasting.


It came as no surprise that as the night progressed artistes gathered and “blessed the mike” with a song or two.

But it may have shocked some guests to see the bride, in her second “wedding gown,” jumping on stage for a soca sweat.

From road march winner “Display” to Bunji’s 2006 offering “Bombs,” the couple gave their guests a run of their hits which ended the wedding where they will soon have to start Carnival 2007.

And if symbols are enough to speak volumes, a “blinging” silver padlock around the neck of the bride said it all.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

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