Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 28th 2014 Contents A5
Friday, February 28, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Port-of-Spain mayor Raymond
Tim Kee says tomorrow s Junior
Parade of the Bands will begin at
the downtown judging point at
South Quay, despite statements
otherwise from the National Car-
nival Bands Association (NCBA).
Last week, Woodbrook residents
had circulated a petition opposing
the NCBA s decision to begin the
route for tomorrow s Junior Parade
of the Bands competition at Adam
Smith Square, Ariapita Avenue.
The residents argued that
changing the starting point of the
route from Port-of-Spain to
Woodbrook would be unfair to
children travelling from outside
Yesterday at the corporation s
monthly statutory meeting, Tim
Kee made it clear they were not
in agreement with the NCBA s
route change, adding that the rea-
sons given were inadequate. He
described the NCBA s decision as
"personal and pregnant with ego."
Tim Kee said he believed the
decision was taken due to a dis-
agreement last year between the
NCBA and the Port-of-Spain cor-
poration regarding the space allo-
cated for each entities judges.
"The situation was easy to fix.
The NCBA wanted to share the
facilities for judging and I conceded
that this should be done for this
year s event."
He said despite his decision to
concede to the NCBA s wishes, the
organisation still made the decision
to remove children s carnival from
"I understand that last year a
representative of the NCBA threat-
ened to remove Carnival from
Downtown," he said.
Tim Kee said he had discussions
with bandleaders and 75 per cent
of them agreed to begin their
parade route in downtown Port-
"We have agreements with the
police to man Frederick Street and
after discussions with police we
have adjusted the route so that the
parade does not have to go to
Charlotte Street but can continue
to the top of Frederick Street before
turning to go toward the Savan-
nah," Tim Kee said.
He said that would provide a
free flow of bands on the route.
He said NCBA could not force
bands to begin at Adam Smith
"You (the NCBA) are there to
facilitate mas, our carnival, our
culture. You are not the owner."
Tim Kee s comment came a day
after his deputy, Kerron Valentine
also expressed his anger at a deci-
sion by the National Carnival
Commission (NCC) to move
today s annual regional children s
traditional mas parade from a
downtown starting point to around
the Queen s Park Savannah.
Valentine said he believed the
move was intentional and aimed
at keeping the mas out of down-
town Port-of-Spain but NCC chair
Allison Demas denied that.
The junior parade has started in
downtown Port-of-Spain for the
past 35 years.
Junior bandleader Rosalind
Gabriel said she was elated at the
mayor s announcement and said
her band would definitely start its
route at the downtown judging
"I was not in favour of starting
on the avenue for many reasons.
One was the wind factor and the
transport but also the disrespect
to Port-of-Spain," she said.
"Would you take Hoosay out of
St James or Divali out of the Nagar?
Then why would you remove Car-
nival from downtown Port-of-
Spain. It is interfering with the
geography of Carnival."
Gabriel said she had received a
lot of concerned queries from par-
ents of young masqueraders and
she was glad that their concerns
could be put to rest.
Tim Kee to junior bands: Forget NCBA route...
Play your mas downtown
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond
Tim Kee says he will support
Woodbrook residents if they decide
to take legal action against the
Tim Kee said that yesterday during
the Port-of-Spain Corporation s
monthly statutory meeting at City
He was responding to a petition
sent to him by residents of Wood-
brook demanding that the
Socadrome initiative be stopped.
The initiative will see five large
Carnival bands passing through the
area and using the Jean Pierre Com-
plex for a stage.
"This thing about anything goes
for Carnival cannot be accepted,"
said Tim Kee.
He added that the community of
Woodbrook should not be inconve-
nienced for the sake of masquer-
He said: "If people want to play
mas, let them endure whatever
inconveniences they need to endure.
Innocent people should not be
"The concept was ill-conceived.
They were looking to an alternative
to jamming up the route but instead
they are affecting an entire com-
munity who now have concerns
about security and access to emer-
Tim Kee said he had absolutely
nothing to do with approvals given
to the Socadrome.
"If Woodbrook residents decide
to take legal action, I will stand with
them. Whatever support I can offer,
I will," he added.
He said he suggested that on Ash
Wednesday, the relevant agencies
needed to meet to iron out the details
for Carnival 2015 so that there would
not be confusion next year.
"There should be one permanent
route so that next year we don t have
this situation. It s the only sensible
thing to do," he said.
The Socadrome initiative was
meant to alleviate congestion on the
parade route on Carnival Tuesday.
Its organisers, in an interview with
the T&T Guardian, said they were
trying to address the issues raised
by residents in Woodbrook.
In an interview earlier this week,
Tribe bandleader Dean Akin said the
bands involved would provide
increased security to ensure the
security of the route as well as the
Socadrome venue. (KC)
Mayor backing residents over Socadrome
A map depicting the route of the Junior Parade of the Bands taken from the NCBA Web site.
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