opening despite no pan
Rex Nettleford has already given his assessment of the Cricket World
Cup opening ceremony. As he holds pride of place as senior
partner in the area of critical evaluation of things cultural,
I must concur with his evaluation, not simply because of his status
in the field but because, given the constraints against which its
preparation developed, the opening ceremony was a marvel and minor
miracle that came off as handsomely as it did.
To what constraints do I refer? What, if anything, might have ameliorated
I have heard comments that larger numbers were needed to adequately
fill the expansive Greenfield grounds, that the lighting could have
been better, and that the first section was a bit long. To those
it should be explained that the electricity supply gave out and
the show was run on a generator supply, a serious glitch that was
overcome reasonably well.
The opening would undoubtedly have benefited from a larger cast
but the increased number would have entailed more complex logistics
and finances than were possible given the countrys pressing
priorities. Nevertheless, voluntary support could have been tapped
to take full responsibility for certain small areas of casting.
As to the length of section one, many requirements from overseas
and local sponsors and media had to be satisfied, hence the length.
As a matter of thematic consistency, however, one questions the
relevance of some of the songs performed on the programme?
The most serious constraint was the time factor. When one considers
that China, in preparation for the Olympics in 2008, is already
running dress rehearsals, then one wonders how on Earth did the
trio of Stines, Rose, and Lawrence achieve what they did in just
under four months.
The discipline they learnt from their participation in the rigorous
world of theatre kept them afloat even when things seemed to be
becoming unbalanced, even sinking.
Should that not provide a hint to our education administrators to
encourage the discipline required for more drum corps and theatre
groups in schools, mounting performances allied to the literature
syllabuses, as well as more and better training for the teachers
of dance and physical education precision drills, with mandatory
application of those courses in all levels of the school system?
Just a thought.
After having sat through rehearsals of the opening ceremony and
prayed silently for them as I watched, amazed at the patience and
determination to succeed of Bert Rose, Antoinette Stines and Lawrence,
one will understand how totally enchanted I was to see the finished
product when sound, colour and precision blended before the eyes
of the world.
Only one omission bothered me. Where was the steelband?
The steel pan is the only new musical instrument to emerge from
the 20th century. Its a fascinating thing. It is Trinidads
signature emblem. We have a steelband at the Mona campus of the
UWI and Im sure they would have been willing to appear if
asked. So where was the steelband? Where were the pans?
For all that, the moment at Greenfield was a time of a lifetime.
I feel happy and honoured to have been there. Congratulations to
all and any who in large or small ways contributed. Congrats! Well
done! I big you all up!
La Brea shows it wants smelter
leaders of the anti-smelter movement have been insisting that a
majority of people in the La Brea area are against the construction
of the Alutrint smelter in their community.
Although the evidence seems to suggest the opposite, they maintain
that they have walked through the area and received good support.
They have also accused Alutrint of distorting the figures and giving
a false impression of support.
It was against this background that I travelled to La Brea to see
for myself the response to the anti-smelter rally at Union Village.
The event was advertised in the newspapers and they even enticed
residents with a promise that refreshments would be available. I
therefore expected a massive crowd at the venue.
To my surprise there were less than 50 people at the event and many
were those who travelled to La Brea from other parts of the country.
The rally must be a major embarrassment for the anti-smelter group
because it demonstrated quite clearly that it has little support
in La Brea and environs.
One speaker ranted and raved in front of the small audience, accusing
Alutrint of using public relations to fool the people
of La Brea.
He appeared to be so stunned by the poor crowd that he started screaming
at the top his voice, as if he wanted to get the attention of the
residents who were relaxing comfortably in their homes.
He said he had written to the Environmental Management Authority
(EMA) asking it to stop the smelter. If this is true then the rally
did him a great disservice because it could only prove to the EMA
that he is not taken seriously by anybody in La Brea.
What it did prove, however, was that the people in La Brea have
no problems with the construction of the Alutrint smelter.
Three strikes and out for PNM
me publicly state that Patrick Manning and the PNM will never get
my vote again! I have given them three strikes before coming to
this decision and believe me they have finally given me that satisfaction.
Strike 1: The Governments repeated failure to address the
issue of escalating crime which is compounded by its insult to citizens
by pretending it does not exist.
Strike 2: The Prime Ministers high-handed manner in imposing
smelters on the people. To top it off, the people who have raised
their voices in opposition are now being attacked with accusations
of being influenced by drug smugglers.
Strike 3: The shame and scandal this country now faces with the
bacchanal surrounding the Chief Justice/Chief Magistrate issue.
There had to be interference in the legal system by the political
directoratethe PNM. And no one should be allowed to damage
the reputation of this country and be left unscathed.
Simone De Norbriga
Gutter creates health hazard
returned to Trinidad for vacation, staying at my mothers home
on Stone Street, Port-of-Spain. I could not help but notice the
continued deterioration of the gutter in front of the house.
I was home in July 1999 and the gutter showed signs of some damage
that seemed to be aggravated by the flow of waste water from a manufacturing
company nearby. On my visit in 2005, the problem was worse in that
the mortar in the gutter had started to erode. Now this year the
situation is untenable.
The gutter is now badly broken, causing a crater to form that stops
the free flow of water. Garbage accumulates in the water because
the gutter is not cleared by city workers. The resulting stench
does not reflect the sort of image Port-of-Spain is trying to achieve.
On the two previous occasions I visited Trinidad, my family made
numerous complaints to the city council and was promised that the
situation would be attended to.
So far that has not been done and family members have given up the
attempt to get the city to pay attention.
My greatest concern is that the company continues to manufacture
its products and with the councils disregard for city cleanliness
a health hazard is created for my elderly parent.
Mary L Gill
Rescued by security guard
March 17, two girlfriends and myself were standing at the corner
of Penitence and High Streets, San Fernando, around 7.45 pm, when
two drunk men approached and were attempting to touch us.
A Pegasus security officer came to our rescue and sent the two men
away. Both men were bigger than the officer yet he stood up to them.
On behalf of my friends and myself, I say thanks a million, sir.
His name is Chanka. You are truly an asset to your company.
Shed light on this, Mr Speaker
after looking at the news on March 9, I became rather non-plussed,
confused and indeed I thought all the money spent by my parents
on my education had been in vain.
I make specific reference as to what really constitutes a matter
of urgent, public importance so as to influence the House
Speaker to allow it it be debated in the Parliament?
Can the Speaker give us the criteria which allows a matter to be
so qualified? Is it left up to the mood, whims, fancies or, indeed,
political affiliation of a Speaker?
Additionally, does a Speaker really act independently in his deliberations
in the House? Or does he take private instructions from the Cabinet
and the Prime Minister?
On that same evening, Opposition MP Subhas Panday moved that the
issue involving the Chief Justice, the Chief Magistrate, the Prime
Minister, the Attorney General and the Director of Public Prosecutions
was a matter of urgent public importance and he moved for it to
be debated for the benefit of the country. But the Speaker calmly
dismissed it as not being qualified.
This is the most contentious issue in our country at the moment,
so how can this not be of urgent public importance?
Please tell me, Mr Speaker, what qualifies a matter as being of
urgent, public importance? A UFO landing on the Red House?
via post should be sent to the
St Vincent Street,
Trinidad Publishing Company Limited
Designed by: Randall
Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Nicholas