Black Immigrant Daily News
Rosalind Gabriel –
FORMER TT Carnival Bands Association (TTCBA) president Rosalind Gabriel vows to strongly oppose all attempts to displace the Junior Parade of the Bands from the Queen’s Park Savannah (QPS), in Port of Spain, on Carnival Saturday.
The move of the parade was proposed by Pan Trinbago president Beverley Ramsey-Moore in her opening remarks at the late start of the Panorama finals on Saturday night.
Both events are traditionally hosted at the QPS on the same day. The parade of the bands usually ends at 3 pm to make way for the start of the panorama competition at 7 pm.
Last Saturday, a security sweep after the junior parade delayed the start of the National Panorama competition.
A member of Fun Time Mas Production during their presentation Sweet Trinbago, Carnival while crossing the stage during the Junior Parade of Bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
Newsday understands the security sweep finished minutes before the start of the show. Spectators, gathered on the outside, were allowed inside just as the sweep had been completed.
But the show started at 7.55 pm, leaving the audience disgruntled.
In her remarks, Ramsey-Moore said, “I apologise to those that I know feel disgruntled, especially about the timing. I want to say I am sorry. I’m going to take the blows across my back.”
She promised the audience, “This is going to be the last year there are going to be two major events happening here at this space. As a commissioner on the board of National Carnival Commission (NCC), forcefully, I will let them know that we cannot do a (security) sweep for an event that is to start at 7 pm at 5 pm. We are to open our gates at 5 pm.”
On Sunday, Ramsey-Moore told Newsday the junior parade ended later than usual, delayed the security sweep and subsequently pushed back the start of the competition the day before.
“We had people lined up at the gate from as early as 4 pm waiting,”
She added, “I am going to recommend to the NCC board that we find a way to treat with the clashing of these two major events on the same day because it was really bad. People were anxious to hear the pan so there was some anxiety but, eventually, I apologised and I promised that we are going to ensure that we don’t have a clash.”
Contacted for a response on Sunday, NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said Ramsey-Moore’s proposal to relocate the Junior Carnival would be considered.
“I most certainly will (consider it), well, I mean, if it is something that is inconvenient. It is tradition and, at the end of the day, people make traditions, people break them. They can change tradition.
“If it is something that is for the better good of everybody and everything that takes place as a chairman, I’m willing to bring it forward and see what we can do about it.”
Masqueraders from the band Prosper Us Kids during their presentation Tic Tok Angels while crossing the stage during the Junior Parade of Bands at the Queen’s Park Savannah, Port of Spain on Saturday. Photo by Ayanna Kinsale
Peters assured all stakeholders that the NCC would not make any decision without proper consultation.
“That’s why I said we’re gonna see what we gonna do about it. But it’s something to look at, it is not an unreasonable ask. If it is inconvenient for one of the biggest shows that we have, I have no problem with that at all. We will have the consultations and see where it goes.”
In a telephone interview on Sunday, Gabriel responded to Peters’s commitment with dismay that such a proposal could even be considered.
She felt, if the proposal was successful, that would cause the junior parade to be cancelled.
Even after Newsday explained that the parade might be relocated from savannah in 2024 instead, she said, “That is also very dismaying to think that the juniors can’t cross the big stage.
“So you’re still not giving me any comfort at all by telling me that the junior carnival will not cross the big stage at the QPS. So I am still very appalled at that thought.
She recalled that, in years past, the Savannah had been organised for Panorama between 3 pm – the scheduled end of the junior parade – and the pan competitions’s start.
“The juniors need their time just like everybody else. We always had to be off the stage by 3 pm to allow preparation for Panorama in the night. So the parade actually got underway. I would say about 8.30 in the morning. And finished by 3 pm.”
She said the children are usually off the stage by 2.30.
“I am rooting for the juniors. And, quite frankly, the junior parade has always passed through Queen’s Park Savannah. And I don’t know what they would do, but I know what I will do.
“I know that I will protest this and I am very appalled even at the thought.”
On Saturday over 80 junior bands crossed the stage.