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San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello and Deputy Mayor Dr. Ferri Hosein pose for a photograph with winners of the Junior Calypso Competition at City Hall Auditorium on Harris Promenade in San Fernando yesterday. Winners, from left, Jeremiah Patrovanie of St. Paul’s Anglican School fourth place, Melody Nicholas of St. Gabriel’s Girls RC 1st place, Giana Mohammed of Trinidad Renaissance School second place and Keshawn Gomez, of San Fernando Boys’ R.C School third place.

KEVON.FELMINE

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Despite Carnival 2021 being devoid of revelry, San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello says the tabanca felt now may make the 2022 season exceptionally bigger than previous years.

Regrello spoke to reporters during the San Fernando City Corporation Statutory meeting yesterday.

The meeting allowed the San Fernando Carnival Committee to distribute prizes to the winners of the Junior Calypso Monarch Competition, which it held on February 11.

“COVID may be able to break our hearts, but it cannot break our spirits. Maybe we will have a Carnival next year,” Regrello said.

It was just as the reigning Junior Calypso queen, Melody Nicholas, sang before collecting her prize at the City Hall Auditorium, “COVID Ain’t easy.”

Recalling the poliomyelitis era between 1940 and 1972, Regrello said it led to the Government cancelling Carnival celebrations in 1972.

With an almost 20-month hiatus, he said the quality of calypsos, mas and shows in 1973 was extraordinary. Now that the Government is rolling out its vaccination programme against COVID-19, he believes that once the world breaks free from the pandemic, there will be a bumper Carnival 2022 “I mean, you had the Rainorama; Lord Kitchener’s mega-hit. We had enough time to go into our thought processes. And as you say, the cultural tabanca, you will go deep in a very profound way and present something, or you could have, basically, 24 months to present as opposed to 12 months or less. I expect a bumper Carnival providing we can strangle this pandemic; get to the root of it.”

On Carnival Monday, Regrello went to his office, dressed in a traditional Indian costume despite the ban on street mas. He said it was about his Trinidadian spirit making a statement.

As the young calypsonians collected their prizes, Regrello said the 2021 competition showed spirit and creativity.

Each contestant had to sing on the theme COVID-19 and showed variety in expressing how the pandemic changed life as we know it.

Melody Nicholas, seven of St Gabriel’s Girls RC School won the competition. Gianna Mohammed, nine, of Trinidad Renaissance School placed second with The COVID Conundrum.

Keshawn Gomez, of San Fernando Boys’ RC finished third with Count Your Blessings and Jeremiah Patrovanie of St Paul’s Boys Anglican with Mr COVID-19, Go Away rounded off the winners.