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Trinity Cross recipient, Brian Lara

Trinity Cross recipient, Brian Lara

The sporting arena has been an integral aspect of the identity of Trinbagonians. Along with this we have seen the growth of the popularity of our sports men and women. One such example is Brian Lara. With decades of cricket success, Brian Lara has made and broken numerous world records in test cricket history, placing not only the West Indies Cricket team on the map but also Trinidad and Tobago for being the home of one of the best batsmen ever known.

Source: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGDjRuf0VD4&NR=1&feature=fvwp#watch-main-area


Pat Bishop’s Works: The Lydians

Pat Bishop contributed emence creative direction to The Lydians

Pat Bishop contributed immense creative direction to The Lydians

In 1987  Pat Bishop has been musical director of The Lydians from then to the present time. She has not only led the choir, but has also fused the singers with her other love, the steelband. At first, the choir was accompanied by various steelbands, Witco Desperadoes, Amoco Renegades, but eventually, miss Bishop, along with Mr. Ben Jackson and Miss Loraine Granderson, nurtured the Lydian Steel, a group of very capable youngsters who are music literate and who are making waves and raves here and abroad. She has also introduced African and Tassa drummers, and dancers from folk and Ballet disciplines.

More: thelydians.com


Pat Bishop: A Woman in Pan


“I suppose that my presence in so many pan yards over the years must have rustled some masculine feathers but they have kept that a deep, dark secret from me- which is just as well since I dont’t suppose that I would have taken any notice.”

Pat Bishop is not only a pioneer of the arts but she is also a pioneer of the Caribbean woman. Her strids in the steel pan arena, thought to be a male dominated industry, is a remarkable example of the strength and perseverance of the caribbean woman.

More on Pat Bishop: www.panonthenet.com

Pat Bishop: Pioneer of the Arts

005_5 Pat Bishop

Trinity Cross recipient, Pat Bishop

Pat Bishop is currently one of the most versatile Caribbean women of our day. A citizen of Trinidad and Tobago by birth, she was a National Scholarship winner from the Bishop Anstey High School. She proceeded to King’s College, Durham University where she studied Art. Upon completion of this degree, Miss Bishop returned to Trinidad where she taught Art at her Alma Mater for a few years. However, her restless spirit led her to U.W.l. Mona where she subsequently received her MA in West Indian History, her thesis being “Runaway Slaves in Jamaica, 1807 to 1823”. Bishop lectured history at U.W.l. at both the Mona and St. Augustine campuses for some eight years. She was also a lecturer in the History of Art and Design at the Jamaica School of Art 1970 to 1972.

It was this combination of study in both the Arts and History of the Caribbean that later blossomed into her deep interest in, and pioneering work with the steel band movement in Trinidad. She focused this interest with the WITCO Desperadoes Steel Orchestra and as its conductor took the band on eight major USA tours including two major concerts at Carnegie Music Hall. She was the first to conduct a combined steel band and symphony orchestra, this being the Desperadoes and the New York Pops Symphony in mid 1980’s.

Extract from:thelydianstt.com

Ties that Bind: Walcott on African Heritage

007_7 D Walcott

Derek Walcott is known for his illustration of identity and heritage through his poetry and plays. One such poem is ” A Far Cry From Africa”, which speaks of  African identity, full of imagery and symbolism, this poem illustrates ties to African heritage and a colonial past.

A Far Cry from Africa

Derek Walcott

A wind is ruffling the tawny pelt
Of Africa. Kikuyu, quick as flies,
Batten upon the bloodstreams of the veldt.
Corpses are scattered through a paradise.
Only the worm, colonel of carrion, cries:
“Waste no compassion on these separate dead!”
Statistics justify and scholars seize
The salients of colonial policy.
What is that to the white child hacked in bed?
To savages, expendable as Jews?
Threshed out by beaters, the long rushes break
In a white dust of ibises whose cries
Have wheeled since civilization’s dawn
From the parched river or beast-teeming plain.
The violence of beast on beast is read
As natural law, but upright man
Seeks his divinity by inflicting pain.
Delirious as these worried beasts, his wars
Dance to the tightened carcass of a drum,
While he calls courage still that native dread
Of the white peace contracted by the dead.
Again brutish necessity wipes its hands
Upon the napkin of a dirty cause, again
A waste of our compassion, as with Spain,
The gorilla wrestles with the superman.
I who am poisoned with the blood of both,
Where shall I turn, divided to the vein?
I who have cursed
The drunken officer of British rule, how choose
Between this Africa and the English tongue I love?
Betray them both, or give back what they give?
How can I face such slaughter and be cool?
How can I turn from Africa and live?

A Life in Writing: Derek Walcott

Trinity Cross recipient and Nobel Laureate

Trinity Cross recipient and Nobel Laureate

Derek Walcott was born in 1930 and raised in St. Lucia. Born of mixed heritage, Walcott’s works address many themes of the Caribbean identity and Post Colonial issues. No stranger to Trinidad, Walcott established the Trinidad Theatre  Workshop where many of his plays and poems have been featured.

When asked asked about poetry and poems Walcott can be quoted as saying, ‘I always cite something that Pasternak said: ‘Great poets have no time to be original.'” Imitation, he believes, “is not only a form of flattery, but is in a way creation. No two things are going to be alike. Whatever you bring to the craft is going to be individualistic.”

His take on the Caribbean identity can be interpreted in this excerpt from his poem ‘The Schooner Flight’, taken from the StarApple Kingdom Collection:

Christ have mercy on all sleeping things!
From that dog rotting down Wrightson Road
to when I was a dog on these streets;
if loving these islands must be my load.
out of corruption my soul takes wings,
But they had started to poison my soul
with their big house, big car, big time bohbohl,
coolie, nigger, Syrian and French Creole,
so I leave it for them and their carnival -
I taking a sea bath, I gone down the road.
I know these islands from Monos to Nassau,
a rusty head sailor with sea-green eyes
that they nickname Shabine, the patois for
any red nigger, and I, Shabine, saw
when these slums of empire was paradise.
I'm just a red nigger who love the sea,
I had a sound colonial education,
I have Dutch, nigger, and English in me,
and either I'm nobody, or I'm a nation,

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Minshall’s Hallelujah

Peter Minshall, a pioneer of Trinidad and Tobago carnival.

Peter Minshall, a pioneer of Trinidad and Tobago carnival.

Minshall speaks of overcoming identity barriers through the art of mas. Celebrating a Caribbean identity through his 1995 band, “Hallelujah”, Minshall insists that:

there is a barrier that all small islanders inherit…it became a kind of job and mission to help share that shedding.”