The Queen’s Park Savannah is currently adorned with several pennants bearing the faces of some of this country’s cultural icons and ambassadors—an initiative by House of Angostura.
The company’s acting CEO Ian Forbes told Guardian Media it was the corporate, entity’s way of showing its appreciation for all those, alive and passed on, who have contributed to T&T’s cultural art form.
But more than that, he said it was a matter of importance to do so in an unprecedented era when T&T was experiencing a nostalgia of its culture.
Forbes spoke yesterday during Angostura House’s hand over of the cultural pennants to Port-of-Spain Mayor Joel Martinez at the Queen’s Park Savannah.
Stating the country was still in Carnival week, Forbes said: “Given the fact that we could not have had Carnival celebrated in this wonderful place, we have found an innovative way to recognise and pay tribute to their contribution to Trinidad and Tobago culture…to our the art form…to who we are as a people. And in this way, we felt by mounting the pennants and choosing some of our cultural ambassadors to honour in this way, that it will serve to remind us of their contribution.”
Of the 30 cultural pennants erected, inclusive of “Leroy “Black Stalin” Calliste, the late Ken “Professor” Philmore and Roy Cape, Forbes explained there was no particular process in selecting the icons one will see hung on posts for one month around the Queen’s Park Savannah.
“The selection was random, with perhaps the exception of Singing Sandra who passed away recently, and we want to honour her in this way and certainly Stalin who is still ailing, Sparrow…Kitchener who are obviously the mega ambassadors over so many years. But with those few exceptions, it is largely a random selection,” Forbes reiterated.
Responding to Guardian Media’s question on whether such an intake would continue beyond 2021, Forbes said, it was certainly something to consider as the feedback from cultural stakeholders was overwhelming.
“It is in fact something we can look at, based on that feedback as something as a more long-term venture.”
Representing the calypso fraternity at yesterday’s event was the Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Organisation (TUCO) President Lutalo “Brother Resistance” Masimba.
The TUCO boss who is one of the cultural ambassadors displayed on a pennant believes the initiative came at the right time.
“This project could not come at a better time, especially coming out of the Carnival situation, where they say that Carnival is canceled, when really and truly the cultural arts and the Carnival arts are always there within us,” Masimba said.”
Before Martinez accepted the hand over of the pennants, he argued there was currently no real symbolism or monument in the capital city that conveyed, it was the city of festivals or T&T was the country of Carnival and this was so, simply by neglect.
“Everyone knows, Trinidad is the land of Carnival. We are known all over the world for it. Show me a monument in Port-of-Spain that depicts that we are the land of Carnival? We are the city of festivals? There is none because we just didn’t,” said Martinez.
Reiterating plans for a cultural walk of fame, disclosed at the Government’s Spotlight on Urban Development and other endeavours to celebrate local icons and ambassadors, Martinez said he was now working on getting one of the country’s greatest Mas creations—a King and Queen to embellish and welcome all to the city of Port-of-Spain.
“I am now penning a letter to Peter Minshall to ask him if he can assist us in giving me the opportunity to put in bronze, Saga Boy and Tan Tan and have that as an arch or something as you enter the city of Port-of-Spain,” Martinez added.