Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 7th 2014 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Friday, March 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 06th MARCH, 2014
Port-of-Spain Mayor Raymond Tim Kee last
night promised to launch a probe into the NCBA s
judging criteria for this year s Parade of the Bands
competition, after several bands complained that
they lost points because they started in downtown
Port-of-Spain instead of at the first judging point
Speaking specifically to a complaint from Rosalind
Gabriel, Tim Kee said it seemed NCBA president
David Lopez was once again making far reaching
decisions which could bring the competition into
"It is absolutely ridiculous. Contrary to what he
believes, that man (Lopez) is not God. He feels he
has the most power and could just do anything and
get away with it, but I will be thoroughly investigating
In an earlier interview, Tim Kee had said he had
no problem with bands requesting their scoresheets
if there were issues with the judging.
"If fact, it would only serve to add to the issue
of transparency and accountability," he said.
Also contacted last night after the T&T Guardian
realised there was widespread discontent with the
results, NCBA chairman David Lopez initially said
he had no answers.
Pressed for a comment, however, he said, "You
feel you go just look at somebody and disqualify
them? I don t know what you expect me to say.
"People get disqualified and you calling me on
that? You cannot expect me to make a comment
on that, so I have nothing to say."
But earlier in the day when told of a query from
Trini Revellers bandleader David Cameron, Lopez
had said Cameron, like everyone else, was within
his right to challenge any decision.
Lopez said the All Stars s victory came 51 years
after the last steelband copped a large band title.
He said in 1963 Silver Stars won the title, the first
and only time a steelband had won this premier
Silver Stars portrayed Gulliver s Travels, designed
by Russell Charter, back then. The Newtown-based
steel orchestra also ran away with the 1963 People s
Trinidad All Stars manager Beresford Hunt, who
was on his way to the airport when the T&T
Guardian contacted him after the results were
announced yesterday, said he had seen victory com-
"I am quite elated," Hunt said.
"We came third last year so we were basically
knocking at the door. Normally we do two portray-
als---one Monday and one Tuesday. This year we
merged both and mixed everything."
He said this year there was a committee who
designed the costumes and this paid off.
Also happy about the All Stars victory was Pan
Trinbago president Keith Diaz, who said it was a
win for all steelbands.
"Trinidad All Stars has been one of the bands
which has been very committed to the mas in Car-
nival," Diaz said.
"I would like to celebrate this not just for All Stars
but as one for the steelband movement on the whole.
To see that we have won the mas category for band
of the year, this is very rewarding for the band."
Tim Kee to probe
A decision by the National
Carnival Bands Association s
(NCBA) judges to deduct points
from a reported 25 large bands
for failing to start at their first
judging point in Woodbrook,
is threatening to cast a shadow
over Neal and Massy Trinidad
All Stars Band of the Year vic-
In fact, the decision may have
to be rescinded, as several affect-
ed bands yesterday signalled
their intention to take the matter
to court if the NCBA does not
provide them with their score-
sheets, nullify the decision and
recount the scores.
Trinidad All Stars was yes-
terday named the NCBA s Band
of the Year winner for its pres-
entation of Sailors on Shore
Leave at a Tropical Fiesta. The
band, which lost this year s
National Panorama final by one
point to Phase II Pan Groove,
scored 2,365 points, beating
Paparrazi Carnival s Centerstage
(2,048) and Legacy s Nature s
Touch (1,976) into second and
third respectively. The result also
marked the first time in decades
a traditional steelband had won
the large band mas category.
However, Trini Revellers
bandleader Dave Cameron was
among the first to query the
results after learning their por-
trayal of The Sultan s Palace
(1,585) had placed fourth. While
congratulating Trinidad All Stars
on the win, Cameron said he
sent a letter to the chief judge
asking for his scoresheet, as he
believed there were discrepan-
cies in the judging, and would
decided his next move there-
"I can t understand how the
conventional bands could be so
far back, especially when
Trinidad All Stars Steel Orches-
tra have been coming out with
the same thing every year. But
I can t do anything but congrat-
ulate All Stars because they
won," Cameron said.
"I in this business long time.
I believed I may have lost some
marks, but the NCBA don t
come out and tell you anything.
They just say, Take that, and I
am not taking that."
However, the T&T Guardian
subsequently learned that several
bands had been deducted as
much as 50 points for not start-
ing at Adam Smith Square,
Woodbrook, which the NCBA
designated as the first judging
point along a new route this year.
25 bands affected
Contacted yesterday, band-
leader Rosalind Gabriel con-
firmed her band was among 25
which started in downtown PoS.
She said Dune Ali s Carnival
Players Stephen Derick s D
Midas T&T and Vanessa Forde s
Classix Productions were also
deducted points for starting
downtown. She said she would
have a clearer idea today of the
exact number of bands affected.
Gabriel admitted she did not
follow the NCBA s designated
route, which started in Wood-
brook and ended at the Queen s
Park Savannah. Instead, she
opted to use the route prescribed
by Port-of-Spain mayor Ray-
mond Tim Kee, which started
downtown and ended at the
"If you disobey the route you
lose 50 points. I am not in the
results anywhere from one to
five or even one to six. Every
year I win a title, so for me not
placing at all is impossible. I am
not the only one who suffered
this fate," Gabriel said.
She said her decision to start
downtown was based on a num-
ber of issues, including mas-
queraders having to travel to
Woodbrook upon reaching Port-
"We have bands coming from
as far as Mayaro and it is unfair
for them when they reach City
Gate to leave downtown to travel
with their costumes and what
have you to Woodbrook.
"The wind factor was another
issue, traffic congestion and
Woodbrook residents having to
undergo another day of Carni-
val," Gabriel added.
She said she retained attorney
Michael Quamina and intends
to obtain a copy of her score-
sheet before considering her
Also contacted last evening,
president of the T&T Carnival
Bands Association Gerard
Weekes confirmed several of his
members were affected by the
decision. He said while his band
was not affected, as he followed
the prescribed route, it should
not matter how bands like
Gabriel s got to the Savannah
once they passed all the judging
"It doesn t matter whether
she (Gabriel) started in down-
town or at Woodbrook. Once
she got to the savannah she
should have been equally judged
and she has a right to request
her scoresheet," Weekes said.
"For Trini Revellers it s a dif-
ferent case. They are requesting
their scoresheet to determine
where they lost points and why."
He added, "Someone needs
to say who are the judges and
what criteria they used. ...The
NCBA must be held account-
He said while he had nothing
against All Stars winning, he
wondered how they could
emerge on top in the creativity
"What they did certainly was
by no means creative. Buying a
sailor hat and putting two apples
in it is not creative. That says a
lot, especially to us who have
spent many tireless hours pro-
ducing," Weekes said.
NCBA under fire
as All Stars win
Bands lose points for starting downtown
Members from Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars's portrayal of Sailors on Shore Leave at A Tropical
Fiesta in all their glory crossing the Queen's Park Savannah, Port-of-Spain stage on Carnival Tuesday.
PHOTO: EDISON BOODOOSINGH
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