Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 11th 2015 Contents A24
letters on sunday
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt October 11, 2015
Massy showgirls display pamphlets for the new 2016 Hyundai Tucson in San Fernando, on Friday. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
One of the positive news stories that stood out
for me over the past week apart from Clico has
over $22 billion in fund' was Labour rejects $15
million allocation.' In respect of the latter, I believe
that kudos is in order for the principled and exem-
plary stance taken by Comrade Ancel Roget and
the Joint Trade Union Movement (JTUM) with
regard to this now controversial $15 million allocation
to the Labour Movement in the 2016 national budg-
et.It takes a special kind of moral fortitude and self-
lessness, the type that is sorely lacking in the society
today, to resist such a generous offer, particularly
in light of the significant benefits that would have
accrued to the organisation and its officers in terms
of technical training and HR development, capacity
building and institutional strengthening etc.
But my sense of history tells me that this is a
small price to pay for ensuring that the good inten-
tions of others do not inadvertently leave the door
ajar for the independence and integrity of an impor-
tant civil society organisation like JTUM and its
respective member trade unions to come into ques-
tion or in any way appear to be compromised.
And whilst it could be successfully argued that
there is nothing inherently sinister or wrong with
this gesture on the part of the new Government,
in the same way that there was nothing inherently
sinister or unholy about the $55 million "ecclesiastical
grant" allocated to religious organisations in the
2015 budget by the former government, the truth
be told it all boils down to one's own moral and
ethical judgment, the perennial question of "how
it go look" and that timeless retort of "perception
Roget, JTUM Are you aware we are observing Calypso
The theme is Kaiso---The Global Expe-
rience. We will celebrate and focus on the
role calypso has played in the social and
political development of our country.
It is alleged calypso has a healing power.
Let us take calypso to all the schools; from
the convents come back. Calypso is a uni-
fying force. Everything major that has
occurred in the country has been captured
in calypso. Calypso is the voice of our peo-
ple.How about a building dedicated to calyp-
so?Calypso must never be in danger. Let us
be made aware of the greats---Roaring Lion,
Growling Tiger and Atilla the Hun.
Do you remember in 1969, Duke's Black
is Beautiful, Kitchener handing The Will to
Scrunter in 1982, or the glow of cigarette
lighters in the stands when Black Stalin sang
Bun Dem in 1985? What about the toilet
paper bearing crowds at Skinner Park, San
Let us treasure what we have. Trinidad
is our land and of it we are proud and glad.
A V Rampersad
Treasure the voice of our people
A recent writer to the editor lamented
the apparent lack of care for the preservation
of calypso in this country. He also reiterated
the value of calypso as a recorder of history
and a great contributor to the social and
political life of the nation.
I am not saying his concerns have no
merit, and thank him for his contribution,
but as far as I am aware, the history of
calypso is well documented, well appreciated,
and in good hands.
I am saying this because there are many
schools all over the country in which stu-
dents take part in many competitions leading
to Junior Monarch. So as far as a performing
art, calypso is in good hands. I am not even
referring to the many tents and professionals
who sing calypso.
One of the greatest problems is preserving
calypso in its genuine form, without crossing
over too much to other genres of the art
form. As far as the preservation of the history
of calypso is concerned, it is the Government
that has to get serious.
My good friend George Maharaj, who has
written two books on calypso, has been
asking successive governments of this coun-
try to establish a museum using his vast
collection, which can be the largest in the
world. He has not been successful thus far.
There are also many other collectors both
locally and internationally.
I am aware of a network established by
Mr Maharaj on Facebook, where a large fra-
ternity of calypso lovers support each other
by exchanging information on a regular
basis. Many prominent people in all walks
of life are part of this, including university
professors. Granted, Mr Maharaj lives in
Canada, he is one of the most patriotic peo-
ple I know, promoting our culture, even
local and West Indian cricket, in that coun-
try.I would like to add my voice to the call
for a calypso museum, using Mr Maharaj's
collection and others who wish to donate
their collections or parts thereof, and urge
this Government to consider same.
Govt needs to preserve history of calypso
It is with such shock and sadness that
we all learnt of Derek Hooker's death.
I know I speak on behalf of many com-
munity helpers and homeowners when I
say he will be truly missed.
He was such a good man. He was willing
to help at any time---day or night---if needed.
It took one call to Mr Hooker and you knew
that he would do everything in his power
to help with whatever WASA problem you
were dealing with.
On behalf of all the residents of Victoria
Gardens, Diego Martin, we send our deepest
condolences to his family.
May he rest in peace.
Sincere condolences to the Hooker family
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