Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00072147/00041
 Material Information
Title: Tapia
Physical Description: no. : illus. ; 43 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: Tapia House Pub. Co.
Place of Publication: Tunapuna
Creation Date: December 17, 1972
Frequency: completely irregular
Subjects / Keywords: Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago   ( lcsh )
Genre: periodical   ( marcgt )
serial   ( sobekcm )
Dates or Sequential Designation: no. 1- Sept. 28, 1969-
General Note: Includes supplements.
 Record Information
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 000329131
oclc - 03123637
notis - ABV8695
System ID: UF00072147:00041

Full Text

VOL. 2 NO. 11



19EW 1, m. Y.

WE HAVE come to yet another
Christmas with a stocking-full of
anxious questions. At bottom is
the basic issue: Can a viable alter-
native be found?
In 1968, when the February Re-
volution was only just warming up over
the New World dispute and the Rodney
Demonstration, this question was being
put in terms of where the New World
Group was going? In 1969, when the
mirage of a new Doctor Party could
still be seen somewhere on the horizon,
we were asking why does Millette not
declare the thing?
And then 1970 shattered old il-
lusions and made the choices wider if
not clearer. Conventional politics or
revolution? -asked the pamphlet. Would
the ACDC/DLP carry the public or
would a resurrected NJAC emerge to
lead a final triumphant confrontation?
Life or death in 1971. A plague of
permanent emergency; an epidemic of
draconian law. How long will the
wicked reign over our people?
Today the question which citizens
are asking;is: whether NJAC is "stronger
than ever" as Chairman Granger every-
where insists? If so, will there be a solid
political organisation capable of crossing
racial and cultural boundaries and of
providing constructive feasible plans?
Or will they simply be a splintering of
: o old PNM potential?

meant of the old PNM and DLP? Is it in
ment of the old PNM and DLP? Is it in





* See Centre Pages


* Back Page





fact organised in the country areas as
UNIP once claimed successfully to have
accomplished? Or is the DLP, recon-
structed under Lequay to embrace the
Liberals, WFP and UNIP, the realhope
for a serious political party? Was Jama-
dar removed to clear the way for another
ACDC/DLP? Is race still a major factor
on the scene?
These are in fact old questions,
all of them, raising no issues that we
have not already had to face. The new
question of this year is the one that
holds the headlines at the moment:
What is Tapia doing down in the sugar?
Our answer can be straight and
clean and clear. We are doing exactly
wh=r we'lrave' e'fibe'ejayiig: encouraging
initiatives in the local areas. And we are

doing that in every part of Trinidad and
Tobago we visit.
"... .in the country and in the
town, in oil and sugar, in indus-
try andagriculture, amongst young
and old and middle-aged alike."
TAPIA November 12, 1972.
We are up and down across ther
length and breadth of the country, in
Matelot and Guayaguayare, in Navet
and Mayaro, in Balmain and Barrack-
pore. That is the hardwuk which re-
mains the only cause of our existence.
The dispute in the New World
Group in 1968 in the end produced
three strategies and three groups. James
Millette whofelt that conventional party
politicswas valid still,- iiWh- ho had
been negotiating since April 1968 with



The folk in



P 0 E M S ]

Review of

Lam ngs



Guyana moves

REYNOLDS Guyana Mines
Ltd., subsidiary of the Ameri-
can Bauxite company, Rey-
nolds Metals, has said it is
willing to open negotiations
with the Guyana government
on the question of majority
participation of the company's
holdings in Guyana.
This follows a recent state-
ment by Prime Minister Burn-
ham that his government
would move for majority

latest novel
* See Page 15

on Reynolds

control of the company whose
assets in Guyana are report-
edly worth about $50 million
Reynolds which managed by
a secret deal with Burnham's
government in 1965 to obtain
right of exclusive exploration
of 1.2 million acres of bauxite
rich Guyanese land, now pro-
duces some 850,000 tons of
bauxite annually.
But the firm has just com-

menced a programme of re-
trenchment which its General
Manager said was due to the
depressed international market
Since the 1971 nationalisa-
tion of the Canadian-owned
Demerara Bauxite Company.
the Opposition People's Pro-
gressive Party has been calling
on the Guyanese government
to nationalise Revnolds.
(From a PPP Bulletin).

Mansa Musa


on wax
A NEW LP record featuring
Andre Tanker and the Mansa
Musa drummers led by Rudolph
Lord will have its world wide
release early next year.
The album of "p e o p 1 e
music" is the result of re-
searches and experimentation
conducted by Andre and the
Mansa Musa team over the last
few months in developing a
new "Third World sound".
For the full story read the
next issue of TAPIA in which
Lennox Grant interviews the
new Andre Tanker who has
featured recently in NJAC cul-
tural rallies.
Among other disclosures by
Andre in a wide-ranging inter-
view dealing with the evolution
of local music, the develop-
ment of a revolutionary cul-
ture and the career of local
Former Cassanovas leader
Monty Williams has just com-
pleted a tour of the US with
Harry Belafonte;
Monty's brother Happy
Williams has been the bass-
playing accompanist of blues
singer Roberta Flack;
*Michael "Toby" Tobas
former Ron Berridge drummer,
is now much in demand in
the US as are many Trinidad
drummers whose feel for the
beat has been recognized as
For more, read next TAPIA.


ladar over a possible takeover pf the
P, went off with MOKO to found
UnitedNational Independence Party.
Dave Darbeau, Dave Murray, Al-
Fraser, Langston Roach and a num-
of the young New World activists, in-
ir early twenties and impatient of the
ger-term strategies of Syl Lowhar,
yd Best and other New World lead-
in their thirties,finally went off with
nger into NJAC.
At that time, Tapia's position was
conventional and therefore particular-
ibscure. Like Pivot and NJAC we saw
merit in merely organising an instant
ty in the hope of winning a snap
:tion. But unlike the NJAC, we did
see any value in simply attempting
mock the old order out with one big
Instead, Tapia's rallying-
call came out of a statement
made to the decisive New World
meeting in November 1968.
"The innovation we can
make is to encourage more
local and private initiatives
We must induce our
neighbours to reject Doc-
tor Politics and to assume
the fullest responsibility
In this way, the con-
fidence and the commit-
ment which have been lack-
ing will soon begin to show
themselves. There will be a
movement among the
people. Out of this, new
politics and a new party
will in due course arise."
New World, What next?
November 17th, 1968
That isexactly what we are
doing in sugar encouraging
the local initiatives which we are
certain will produce the party
that the country needs. Without
those initiatives none of the pro-
posals which Tapia has been mak-
ing for Local Government, for a
Conference of Citizens to replace
the Senate, and for sweeping lo-
cilization of the economy, can
hope to work.
The anxiety arhorig thd
pundits in the papers tells you
about the response they fear we
are getting now. Our activities
are not by any means a inew
development. When we made our
rounds last year in Chaguanas.
Princes Town, and Couva we
insisted that a radical programme
must include
"An abandonment of gang-

I _








WE arrived to find villagers
already securing their ring-
side seats. Since the PNM
Government has had the
audacity to decide all
on its own where the
AMOCO plant should go,
the February Revolution
has come to Guayaguay-
are with a vengeance.
Everybody knows now that
vigilance is the price of free-
dom; you cannot leave your
politics until the professionals
are in need of some votes. To
protect your interests, you
cannot rely on the Red House
or on Whitehall, you have to
stand up and fight in season
and out of season.
Ivan Laughlin explained to
the meeting that government
is not politics. Guayaguayare


and Mayaro, Erin and Matelot
have all become important
lately because politics was
coming into its own. The citi-
zens were speaking with a
voice different from that of
the government.


What the people in the
towns had started in 1970
was being continued in 1972
by the people in the country.
The Village Councils were not
working, the County Councils
were not working and Parlia-
ment did not represent any-
body in any serious way.
People did not know where
to turn. You had to have un-


politics which

would lead to economic re-
organisation and constitutional
reform so that people could
win their right to make their
voices heard.
Following on Laughlin's
well-received address, Jerry
Pierre made his first ever
speech to a public meeting.
He told the crowd that the
colonial industrial policy of
the government had resulted
in only 10,000 jobs being
created while 100,000 new
people were looking for
work "And the young
people", concluded Pierre
with great feeling, "were tak-
ing most of the pressure by
Lloyd Best said that Guay-
aguayare had become ex-
tremely important to the

government and the country
since 1966. When the eco-
nomy was stagnating from
1962-1966, Texaco had to fall
back on the Guayaguayare
fields in time to save the
PNM Government in the
elections. "What did Nariva-
Mayaro have to show?"
"What would they have to
show out of the $150m a year
which we should earn from
the new finds on the East and
South Coast? Could we trust
the Central Government under
the PNM to ensure a just
division of the national cake?"
The only guarantee, The
Tapia Secretary put to a
keenly interested audience,
was to move the government
and change the system as well.

"More and more groups in the
country were seeing that and
we have reached a stage where

Denis Solomon

"WHILE parties are marrying,
divorcing and having children,
Tapia is holding regular meet-
ings throughout the country."
Denis Solomon pointed this
out when the Tapia train rolled
into Mayaro last'Friday to hold
a meeting opposite the Mayaro
Solomon said that the prob-
lem of fishermen in Mayaro or
sugar workers in Caroni cannot
be solved by one solution but by
a complex of solutions.
For any successful plan it is
necessary that the people have
confidence in the institutions
which are in the position to
solve these problems.
That is, a government which
communicates with the people
and listens to the people and in
which there is joint confidence.


a new world is at hand."
The best part of the meeting
was the discussion at the end.

Jerry Pierre

Solomon added that the
country cannot advance without
Constitution Reform, meaning
not just changes on paper but
political participation, local go-
vernment, De-Centralisation of
Executive power and Economic
Syl Lowhar, Tapia Chairman,
said that Tapia was covering the
length and breadth of the coun-
try, preaching a simple message:
"Development must begin from
the crude, the basic, the grass-


Lowhar mentioned some of
the problems facing Mayaro. In
fishing, cold storage facilities
are not adequate, the poor
Health Services and public con-
veniences provided for the area.
He pointed out that a politi-
cal organisation which is serious
should be coming before the
people frequently to let them
know what is going on.
The question of the gas finds
off Guayaguayare also affects
the people of Mayaro. Yet the
parliamentary representative for
the area has not said one word
to the people on the issue, not


which was cut short because
the Tapia visitors had to leave
for another engagement.

to mention the resounding si-
lence of the Central Govern-
Turning to the current poli-
tical scene of mergers and splits,
the Tapia Chairman said that the
Group once suffered as a result
of the New World split.
People felt that New World
was the alternative to the PNM
another Doctor Party.
The "split" between Lloyd
Best and others on the one hand,
and James Millette on the other
hand led to the formation of
Tapia and UNIP, which has al-
ready suffered a split.


The Tapia element in New
World felt that it was necessary
to let the public know what were
the views being expressed on
party politics and political parti-
Tapia started Unconventional
Politics, allowing people to judge
men on the merits of their
Chairman of the Mayaro
meeting was Ernest Messiah who
outlined proposals on Local Go-
vernment. Dennis Pantin said
that the dislike which Mayaro
people sometimes felt towards
"town" people is an example of
the feeling of helplessness which
small communities experience
when faced with the Central
Mayaro was as important as
Port-of-Spain. The only people
who can fully understand the
problems of Mayaro and help
solve them are the people of the
It is therefore necessary for
Local Government bodies to be
organised with real power and
with popular participation.


The new subscription rate is $9 TT for 52
issues. Below are the postage paid subscriptions,
all overseas deliveries being air-mail.


$12.00 TT
$18.00 WI
$12.50 05
$15.00 US
L8 Sterling
10 Sterling
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U15.5,0 Sterling
115.50 Sterling

91, Tunapuna Road, Tunapuna,
Trinidad & Tobago.







3 EP@

HOW IS it possible for a club to survive in the midst of all
the dislocation and unrest that affect the long line of
youths stretching from Port-of-Spain to -Sangre Grande,
and from Matelot to Guayaguayare?
Survival, however, has been the story of Blackpool
Sports and Cultural club affectionately called the "Boys
on the hill", a reference to the slight rise between the East-
ern Main Road and Upper Tunapuna Road. The explana-
tion for their survival emerges from an examination
into the founding of the group.
It was during 1955, when
the P.N.M. was emerging as a
popular force, riding the crest
a Nationalist wave, that Black-
pool began. It seems that there
was a number of youths on
the block who, moved by the
spirit of the times, began to o n
organise themselves for sport.
A sports club was formed, 0
football during the week and
on Sunday mornings on the
old Honeymoon Grounds,
upper El Dorado Road. the hi
the hi!

y a' --4 I^._K^--H-
Some Blackpool stalwarts from left: EddieBFones'Ackal, Carlton Monroe, Rudolph 'Baldhead'
Wilkinson, 'Red Cock' George 'Tusty'Farrell, and Ian 'Kid Coolie' Lambert.

I' become men of the


Football, however, occupied
only a portion of the year,
and this was so until early
1959 when Cricket and Tennis
were introduced, run by an
interim committee comprising
Captains of the various teams.
Some of the members w\ho
were instrumental in Black-
pool's development were
"boys" like Frank St. Louis.
Kenneth Dasent. Hubert
Pierre, Fitzro\ eates. Vernon
Ashby, Winston Thomas.
Clyde Winn, Albert Edwards:
the list is apparent!' indle ._
as the Brothers sit and re-
minisce of those da\ s.
The sixties, however, found
the club with very little
activity; many of the older
members became more in-
volved in bread and butter
issues and the membership
dwindled to a mere 25.
A minor league continued
however on a Sunday morn-
ing on the old grounds up El
Dorado Road, and the situa-
tion remained much the same
up to 1967 when through
discussion it was found that a
lack of sports equipment,
meeting place and Grounds
were some of the reasons for
low participation.


The existing Committee of
five members spurred into
action by other members and
with the help of fund-raising
activities, rectified the situa-
Morale picked up and suc-
cess came in 1968 when Black-
pool entered for the first time
the Central St. George Foot-
ball League and walked away
with the Bleasdell Trophy,
However, the financial re-
sources of the group were
still very limited, with sport
equipment at a minimum.
Sponsorship was very difficult
to come by, and Tapia volun-
teered to assist in June 1969
by allowing the Tapia house
to serve as the community
centre for the fund raising
drive that was planned.
The widely used proverb
"Birds of a feather flock
together" is very significant
when recounting the year
1969, for it was with the
formation of the Vigilantes
in Laventille that other com-

New Movement


And the girls... dancers and singers posing with the boys after their concert at Tapia House
last year Christmas.

munity groups were asked to
participate in the Clean-up
campaign which Laventille so
desperately needed.
This was a welcome move in
the direction of greater com-
munity participation and
greater emphasis on SELF
RELIANCE. In this regard
TAPIA was also instrumental.
Members, of Blackpool be-
came involved themselves in
the regular Thursday night
discussions at the Tapia House.
Like all other communities

in Trinidad and Tobago
Tunapuna was feeling the
crisis that was later to explode
in the 1970 Revolution that
enveloped the entire nation.
Galvanised by the call for
unity and togetherness, a new
dimension was added to the
already existing Sports club
for which Cultural activities
were proposed.
As more discussion followed
this proposition, members saw
the need for communicating
this to all members of the


.gift items
.Furniture&appliances SEE

St. Vincent St. & Eastern Main Road, Tunapuna.



Andrew Salkey
A book for all Republicans $3:95
111 Frederick Street & Campus St. Augustine

community. It was therefore
agreed that circulars be sent
out to all parties with these
two aims:
(1) Enlisting new member-
ship; and
(2) Receiving support from
all age groups

A short extract from this cir-
cular reads: "It is a common
statement made not only by
the people close to the North
of Tunapuna Road, but also
by those who live in the area,
that nothing good cometh
from the hill. By the hill we
mean the upper part of
Tunapuna Rd.


Recently, however, a com-
bined effort by the youths of
the district to make a change
has started, a change to create
a new name, and a great-one-
at that. So far we have seen
progress staring us in our faces.
It is for us now to go for-
ward to meet the challenge
which we know will be a
stiff one. We have a talented
block in that footballers
cricketers, and athletes of high
repute have originated from
the hill.
We think it very important
that we meet the older heads
or should we say older folks
of the district, so we can get
together to form one body. We
are trying and with your ex-
perience, we can show the
people that there is improve-
Continued on Page 18



to a/ll





.. .

I Cmmunit

Ramcharan meets

Winnipeg students

OUT HERE in Prairie country
where the natives pride them-
selves in their ability to with-
stand winter temperatures of
40 degrees below zero, we
students from Trinidad and
Tobago do often have to re-
mind ourselves of our obliga-
tions at home, so caught up
are we with survival.
It was, therefore, a welcome
change to have the High Com-
missioner to Ottawa, Matthew
Ramcharan, pay us a visit.
You see, in his more than
three years in Canada, Ram-
charan had not found time to
visit students and other na-
tionals here to discuss issues of
concern to all of us.


But, since he was going to
be here anyway, as guest of the
International Student Organi-
sation, our High Commissioner
after some delay, agreed to
meet with students. And what
a treat it was.
His visit was important not
of itself but because it demon-
strated a peculiar willingness
to discuss issues a willing-
ness unheard of among govern-
ment ministers in Trinidad and
But, if dear Matthew ( a fin,
man) thought that this was
going to be just another social
gathering, he was surely mis-
taken. For almost two hours,
Ramcharan was called upon to
explain government action on
many fronts.


But Matthew's little gesture
of participatory democracy
was just that a gesture. His
was an endless exercise in cir-
cumlocution and blatant eva-
sion of the issue, causing total
disgust and frustration.
To a question concerning his
own position vis-a-vis the fact
that the government is widely
discredited in Trinidad and
Tobago, Ramcharan argued in
reply that there was no reason
to justify his own position
since the government had been
"legally" elected.
He not-so-skilfully avoided
the question of the moral
authority of the government.
As far as he was concerned,
politics was power power at
any price.


Ramcharan denied that there
was any political suppression
in the country, that people
were more and more becoming
victims of a "de facto" police
He argued quite strongly
that since 1970, the country
"had become extremely
stable". Mussolini's Italy and
Hitler's Germany were also
stable countries and so today
are Smith's Rhodesia and for
that matter Williams' Trinidad
and Tobago.
Rather, he argued, Williams
has been able to provide law
and order. Notably, the other
of the trinity of political
virtues, justice, was excluded.
Indeed, it is this same stable
society that has found it in the

interests not of stability but of
the regime's dastardly attempt
at self-preservation to expel
Bill Riviere, to rape the Con-
stitution, to sell out to the
Texacos and to the Amocos
and to deprive the large mass
of the population of a decent,
constructive and meaningful
Students were particularly
concerned with the question of
farm labour in Southern On-
tario. The fact is that Canadian
farmers find it more profitable
to exploit West Indian labour
because Canadians themselves
refuse to do harvesting at the
wages offered.
Ramcharan saw this in terms
of creating employment oppor-
tunities and not in terms of the
fact that our domestic econo-
mic policies have been such a

catastrophic failure that our
workers must prostitute thenm-
selves to the Canadian farmer
if they are to survive.
But, no, unemployment,
according to him, has fallen by
two percent. The problem is
now viewed in statistical and
not human terms. Where is the
humanity in politics?
By this time, the message
was clear. The High Commis-
sioner was able to understand
neither the philosophical bases
of our grievances on national
issues nor the tremendous
desire to serve our country
despite the odds.
In the meantime, Matthew
Ramcharan has come and gone
and we in turn rededicate our-
selves to the principle of ser-
vice to Trinidad and Tobago.
Anselm London
University of Manitoba


Clico, a company of West Indians formed

for the economic upliftment for the people
for the economic fromhumble
of the region. C1ico has grown frm humble
S.,, nn of the largestfinancial

beglnn ing U1 --'
institutions in the Southern Caribbean
. ....vnOIUR TRUST


holUg11 1- l ver$5 0, .
O ssets or tahe security o policy

holders total over $54,000.000.00

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29 St. Vincent St.,. Port-of-Spain. Tel: 31421 7 Branch Offices and Friendly Security
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30 Cipero St. San Fernando
Tel: 65-78927.







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4,t *
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x ^-


I WOULD like as a point of departure to begin
with a quotation from George Lamming's "The
Pleasures of Exile". In trying in 1960 to make an
appraisal of the meaning and implications of
the new West Indian writing which had blos-
somed in the fifties, Lamming wrote:
The West Indian novel, by which I mean the novel written
by the West Indian about the West Indian reality, is hardly
twenty years old. And here is the fascination of the situa-
tion. The education of all these writers is more or less
middle-class Western culture, and particularly English cul-
ture. But the substanceof their books, the general motives
and directions, are peasant. One of the most popular com-
plaints made by West Indians against their novelists is the
absence of novels about the West Indian middle class.
Why is it that Reid, Mittelholzer in his early work, Selvon
Neville Dawes, Roger Mais, Andrew Salkey, Jan Carew -
why is it that their work is shot through with the urgency
of peasant life? ........
He then continues to say that:
Unlike the previous governments and departments of edu-
cators, unlike the businessmen importing commodities, the
West Indian novelist did not look across the sea to another
source. He looked in and down at what had traditionally
been ignored. For the first time the West Indian peasant
became other than acheap source of labour. He became
through the novelist's eye, a living existence, living in
silence and joy and fear, involved in riot and carnival. It is
the West Indian novel that has restored the West Indian
peasant to his true and original status of personality. (1)
Here, Lamming recognized three kinds of people.
There were the educated middle-class colonials, whom
he later described as having apparently been educated
"for the specific purpose of sneering at anything
which grew, or was made on native soil." (2) Then
there were the lower classes, whom he later described
as "a mass of people who were either illiterate, or if
not had no connection whatever to literature since
they were too poor or too tired to read." (3) The third
set of people were the new novelists, who, middle-class
in education and sometimes in background, chose to
write, not about their group, but about the broad
masses of the poor and untutored, whom Lamming
termed the "peasants."
Later on, Lamming described writers like Samuel
Selvon and Vic Reid as "essentially peasant": "they
never really left the land." (4) They wrote about and
related to a people, a definable community, authenti-
cating their fiction with the rhythms of peasant
speech. In this respect they were worlds apart from
the contemporary metropolitan writer, who generally
had no people to relate to or speak about; "only
large numbers of dwellers, vagrant or settled vaguely
some where."This was the beginning in West Indian
literary criticism of a theory about the "folk": and
about the relation of West Indian writers to their roots.
Like all beginnings the statement was too absolute
and too limiting, especially in the light of the complex
little worlds which West Indian societies are. There are
hints that Lamming himself sensed this. Late in the
same work, for example, he made distinctions between
the Barbadian, the Trinidadian and the Jamaican:


I would say that the Barbadian has much the
to Barbados which the Englishman has to I
both have an inordinate pride in the look an
land they call theirs. In the case of the Barb,
know the reason. The size of the islandand t
density of the population has created his r
soil. To a Barbadian every square inch of 1;
planted up. (6) This contact with the land
life from day to day is not evident in the
Trinidadians don't have that kind of land pri
Jamaicans have it, but in a different'way fro:
ians. (7)
The implication of these two statements
simplifies when one speaks of a "peasant"
The different nature of the settlement of
West Indian Islands has led to differences
ment, and in response to the various aspe
Indian reality, including the question of rel
It is possible, for example, that the
rate of immigration in nineteenth and earl
century Trinidad, and the recurring prol
that country faced of assimilating thousand
of different ethnic backgrounds and lang

character as if the entire group were a single person.
This accounts for the fragmentation of form in The
Hills Were Joyful Together and for the way Mais
contrives to blend the disparate voices and modes
into a single weighty philosophising voice.
Edward Brathwaite in "Jazz and the West Indian
Novel" makes the same point about Mais' Brother
Man, comparing Mais' constant alternation between
individuals or couples and the greater chorus of the
group, with twenties and thirties. (8).
Brathwaite sees the West Indies as caught in the
same transitional stage between rural andurban exis-
tences, which produced the jazzmen of New Orleans
in the twenties, and is trying to see whether West
Indian writers in their quest for form, have succeeded
in creating the equivalent in verbal organisation to
Black American Jazz. Not everyone will be able to
accept his approach, but it does suggest possible
approaches to form and architecture in the West Indian
novel, and in the poetry of Edward Brathwaithe. Also,
it does make it quite clear that the problem in West
Indian literature is one of understanding and expres-
sing the flow between rural "folk" sensibility and
experiences or semi-or total urbanisation.

Thus while one may disagree with Brathwaite in
terming Mais Brother Man a jazz novel, it is beyond
dispute that that novel, like The Hills Were Joyful
*.r" '- Together, suggests in its formal organisation the
dichotomy of fragmentation and communion, of indi-
vidual and group, solo and ensemble, which is part of
S the process of urbanisation in Jamaica. The tightly-
Sknit and unlettered folk-communities of the hills and
mi gullies, break and remake themselves in the towns'pr
cities, create new songs, new sounds, new words,
which they blend with the traditional rhythms of
"folk" society. Mais the novelist, tries to capture this
process in terms of form.
Lamming's notion of West Indian writers as -pre-
occupied with "peasant" societies needs to be modi-
fied. A more pliable theory is required, one which can
accommodate the interplay between country, town
and big city, between peasant, artisan and city-
PHOTO slicker or factory worker, and between the ill-defined
same relation classes of the West Indies. Also necessary, especially in
England. They a complex society such as Trinidad, is a language for
md feel of the
adian I think I describing the really bewildering web of relations ina
:he incredible semi-plural,multi-racial world, and a way of examining
elation to the the process of creolisation there,which goes beyond
and should be the despairing sense of violation and loss, or the
as a source of sentimental notion of the society as one big happy
de at all. The melting-pot which can teach the world how to cele-
m the Barbad- brate life.
Perhaps Rodfield's theory which sees societies as
is that one being in a process of movement somewhere along a
sensibility, continuum which extends from the theoretically
the various "folk" to the theoretically "urban" can be applied
in tempera- here (9). It will not cover all the situations possible
ects of West in the West Indies,, but does provide a more flexible
ationship to theory of society than one which seems to be dividing
it into "peasant", "middle-class", "metropolitan", or
phenomenal more broadly still, into "coloniser" and "colonised",
y twentieth "Prospero" and "Caliban."
blem which Also in need of qualification is Lamming's notion
ds of people that the West Indian 'writers provided a way of seeing
;uages, have the peasant, which for "the first time" projected


led to what appears to be a general instability and lack
of rooted dedication to the land in the Trinidadian.
Yet this statement would have to be qualified in view
of the fact that there is a large Indian peasantry in
Trinidad, who manifest the same pride in and hunger
for land which Lamming mentions as a feature of the
Barbadian and Jamaican peasantries.
There exists, in other words, a difference in outlook
between the town people and the rural dwellers. This
is true in varying degrees for the rest of the West Indies
and the wide range of experiences treated in West
Indian novels makes it clear that the writers are aware
of this.
Samuel Selvon writes not only of the Indian pea-
santry in Trinidad, but of the rootless drifters, "smart-
men" and "saga boys" of Port-of-Spain and of people
caught somewhere between the twoquite different
ways of life. It is a simplification, therefore, to see
him as essentially "peasant", or as one who "never
really left the land."
Similarly, the people of Roger Mais are more nor-
mally the dispossessed of the towns than peasants
attached to the land. Sandwiched intheir barrack-
houses between the lane and the gully, they have no
land. They are, however, ableto reconstruct a com-
munity in spite of the harshness of their milieu and
to knit the fragments of communal experience into a
single perception of tragedy,character flowing into

him as something "other than acheap source of
labour." The supposedly new way of seeing the
peasant was, in fact, one of the traditional ways of
seeing him, which had been gaining currency since the
nineteenth century.
Those who supported the idea of emancipation -
and there were a few historians and commentators
who did wrote of the progress towards a real
independence of the former slave. Those who apolo-
gised for the plantation system and the planter class,
propagated mythsof the incredible laziness, stupidity,
cowardice, and animality of the Negro in the West
Hence the variety of views expressed by commenta-
tors such as Sewell, Underhill, Trollope, Froude,
Marlin, Kingsley and J.J. Thomas (10), bore witness to
the growing visibility of the peasant as a potential
citizen of the West Indies. This visibility was to con-
tinue, along with the growing debate, most of which
centred on problems of education,health, malnutri-
tion and employment.
Thus Sewell, writing in the mid-nineteenth century,
was able to depict the peasants as people who were
struggling successfully to maintain the spirit of eman-
cipation, and to establish certain independence from
the plantation system.
Continued on Page 8





From Page 7
Those who are not afraid of the confession will admit that
the West Indian Creole has made a good fight. The act of
emancipation virtually did no more than place libertyy
within his reach. Actual independence he had to achieve
for himself. All untutored and unqualified as he was, he
had to contend against social prejudice, political power,
and a gigantic interest, before he could enjoy the boon
that the act nominally conferred upon him. (11)
Long before the advent of the West Indian novelist,
the peasant was visibly working against tremendous
odds towards an essential independence. The presence
and "living existence" of the peasant found its earliest
incarnation not in literature, as Lamming claims, but
in what the peasant himself had, without benefit of
middle-class intellect, been able to build for himself.
As the West Indian historian, Woodville Marshall, puts

Peasant activity modified the character of the original
pure plantation economy and society. The peasants were
the innovators in the economic life of the community.
Besides producing a greater quality and variety of subsis-
tence food and livestock they introduced new crops and/
or reintroduced old ones. This diversified the basically
monocultural pattern...
The peasants initiated the conversion of those plantation
territories into modern societies. In a variety of ways they
attempted to build local self-generating communities. They
founded villages and markets; they built churches and
schools; they clamoured for extension of educational facili-
ties, for improvements in communication and markets;
they started the local co-operative movement. (12)
Marshall concludes that "peasant development was
emancipation in action." As we have seen, Sewell was
saying the same thing in 1861. As urbanisation in-
creased,the struggle of the peasants against the planter
class broadened out into a struggle against whoever
were the rulers of the society. This was the reason for
the intense political development throughout the West
Indies in the years between the two World Wars,which
extended into the seininal Guyanese situations of 1952
It was, therefore, not simply the isolated efforts of
the novelists which, in Lamming's words, "restored
the West Indian peasant to his true and original status
of personality." It was the efforts of the West Indian
peoples as a whole which provided a dynamic power-
ful enough to charge the writers of the fifties. These
writers reflected an awareness which had been there
for some time; they could neither create nor restore
what was already present in the creative struggle,
rebellion and movement of the West Indian people.
Lamming the novelist treats of a much more fluid
situation than Lamming the essayist has been able to
describe. In the Castle of My Skin would be
very inadequately interpreted indeed, were it to be
seen as Lamming's treatment of the Barbadian pea-
santry andnothing more. The book is about "the
uncertain light one feels in the passage from sleep to
conscious waking." Both the narrator and the society
are part of this process.


Paradoxically, the narrator's growth in consciousness,
in addition to his colonial education results in a steady
movement away from the land. Apart from naming his
world, or capturing the stasis and continuity of an
essentially "peasant" society, Lamming explored the
problems of alienation and commitment, and of the
exile of the intellectual from his remembered roots,
which are central to West Indian literature.
As with Mais, Lamming's exploration of this dicho-
tomy resulted on the one hand in formal fragmenta-
tion, and in choric integrative passages on the other.
This fluidity of form, one feels, reflects something of
the fluid variety of the West Indian personality.
Consider some of the varieties of narrative method
There is semi-autobiographical first-person narration,
which provided a skein of chromological narrative
around which the rest of the book is constructed.
There is an omniscient narrator, whose function is
partly to name a society which has not been named
before, by constantly describing the village, its people
and customs, or analysing the social structure of his
impoverished colonial world. Despite a tendency to
overstate, Lamming does most of these things well.
There is anecdote, especially in chapter six, where
Lamming reveals his understanding of that oral tradi-
tion which still exists throughout the West Indies.
Then there are passages of choric writing, as in
chapter four, where the Old Man and the Old Woman,
examples of both continuity and a dying past, last
survivors and ancestral voices, give the book an almost
mythic dimension.
In chapter ten, the separate voices merge into the
single ancestral voice of the Old Man, who speaks in a

dream and summarises the entire historical process
which Lamming has been treating in the book. Here,
the Old Man seems to be a persona for the author him-
self, who is delving back to roots which lie within and
beyond the village, while he warns the coming genera-
tion against sentimental self-identification with the
African past.


The total effect of In the Castle of My Skin
is one of growth and motion within a context of
timelessness. The villagers seem to remain in a sleep
which symbolises the stasis of colonialism, arrested
history, arrested growth The theme of sleep which
pervades the book is important. As in a dream, all the
characters are fragments of a single consciousness so
that character eventually flows into character, voice
into voice, and all voices, natives of the author's
person, meet and melt into the single voice
of history which speaks in chapter ten, outlining the
past and warning against the future. Yet the village
and the main narrator have both moved in spite of all
the stasis, and the word has been spoken, the silence,
symbol of colonial unconsciousness, has been shattered
There are all kinds of flaws in the work, mainly those
of vagueness,heaviness, and a frequent insistence; but
Lamming, like Mais, seems to have understood theneed
for an elaborate architecture, various enough to ex-
press that fluidity of personality which we have indi-
cated is the product of a society in the continuum of
movement between the "folk" and the "urban" poles.


Edward Brathwaite in his early essays also probed
the relationship between the West Indian writer and
the "folk" At times, his usage of the term "folk" was
as inadequate as Lamming's usage of the term "pea-
sant". Indeed, sociologists and anthropologists seem
themselves to have been in the throes of a debate as to
the viability of the concepts of "folk" and "urban",
and as to whether they were at all useful for the
analysis of social change. In an early article
published in Bim, Sir Galahad and the Islands
Brathwaite indicates a broad contrast between the
"folk" and the "middle-classes"; but finer distinctions
are made in a paragraph contrasting the responses of
Eric Roach and Derek Walcott.
He (Roach) is in possession of a fact, a feeling that aligns
him with "folk", with peasant tradition. This is the point of
difference,too, between Roach and the 'Emigrants' while
Lamming's and Selvon's folk-sources are the city and the
urban village, Roach's values are peasant values: acceptance,
a sense of tradition. (14)
Brathwaite is at this point looking at Walcott's des-
pair and terror at the poverty and barrenness of lower
class life on his island, and his sense of bittejhelpless-
ness in the face of this fact. Roach, who goes beyond
despair, is able to do so because of his peasant roots.
(Roach grew up on a Tobago homestead). One won-
ders, though, whether this is not too much of a simpli-
Walcott describes his boyhood poignantly (15) and
with an almost vehement intensity (16) as having been
that of one whose circumstances were hardly better
than those of the folk. Yet as a Methodist in a Catholic
country, coloured among a black people, and "middle-
class" among the poor, he was classed and felt himself
as an outsider. He fought hard,he said, to learn a love
for a people whose hardy independence and reticence
kept the stranger out.


So likeJoyce's Stephen Dedalus, oneofhis adoles-
cent heroes, Walcott wavered between despair at the
comprehensive penury of his world, courage to learn
love and create, and a desire to impose on colonial
squalor the remote mythology of the Greeks. His best
workexplores this schizophrenia, and his references to
the "folk", or the "people" have generally been ambi-
valent. It is possible that if Walcottfelt a greater sense
of belonging, he would be a less interesting or corrosive
poet. He would lose his wound, his despair, and his
Brathwaite, while he identifies the "folk" as the
peasants, also speaks of Selvon's "folk-sources" as "the
urban village. Here are three concepts: folk, city, and
strangest of all, urban village.
Yet it is not a simple matter of confusion, because
in the West Indies, all possible categories intersect, so
that in the midst of a harsh experience in Jamaica,
religious cultism flourishes, and identifiably folk genres
fertilise the mainstream of urban music. West Indian
society is in fluid motion, and often, oscillation,
between the two extreme poles of the folk-urban conti-
nuum, makes it difficult to define one's terms.

In his 1960 article, "The New West Indian Novel-
ists, (17) Brathwaite seems better to have grasped the
complexity of the situation. There he notes Selvon's
versatility, and senses the limitation of the term
"folk" as a category in which Selvon's people can be
placed. Selvon, he now sees, was writing about at least
three different kinds of people. First there were "the
folk, the East Indian peasantry in Trinidad," who ap-
pear in A Brighter Sun, Turn Again Tiger, a short
story such as "Cane is Bitter", and the recent novel
The Plains of Caroni.
Secondly, there are stories whose achievement is the
"racy, humorous celebration of Trinidad's city-slickers
found now both in Port-of-Spain and on the Portobello
Road." Stories such as Down The Main, Wartime Acti-
vities, Calypsonian, and a novel such as The Lonely
Londoners or The Housing Lark, fall into this
Thirdly, there is "the soul-searching of An Island
is a World, b est seen, perhaps, in that novel, and in
the story My Girl and the City. To this may be added
Little Drops of Water, a short but very significant
piece which appeared in BIM, 1967. There Selvon con-
fesses toanexhaustionofcreative talent, and at the same
time attempts to articulate the meagre alternatives open
to a writer whose world is withering into emptiness.

Man Dead


Man Aead today

cross my path
that's yuh last journey,
Damballa will damn de man who touches me.
make yuh play
reach if yuh reaching.

Q, he dead
he dead already
Q, he dead
he dead already

Gall is my rum
violence my chaser.
I was the goat
which spawned the first drum

I am that man
who killed Cain
given half a chance
I'll kill you again.

Q, he dead
he dead already
Q, he dead
he dead already

No bois man
don't fraid no

son of Shakespeare
tutor of Webster
guide to Chaka
Sponsor of Corfy
Daaga's real fadder
Satan's only horn child
by his sister

I man who
Town's Tan


n you.



IT WAS almost at the time given by Garcia Lorca in his
famous poem "at five o'clock in the afternoon" ... "but a
little before" that a Chilean poet discovered poetry.
"Infact it was on September 15 1960 said Hernan
Lavin Cerda-that I was sitting there in front of a blank
sheet of paper and started jotting down some ideas I had
of a rather metaphysical kind, or which were at any rate
extremely introspective. And I suddenly realized that what .
I had written was not a newspaper article ...but in fact a o
And from that time on I haven't been able to leave off writing
poems, although before I had been prejudiced against poetry writ-

ing considering it a kind of
feminine activity".
Hernan Lavin Cerda was
born in 1939. He studied
journalism in the University
of Chile and was reporter and
cultural editor of the evening
paper "Ultima Hora."
He is at present working at
the government-run publishing
house "Quimantu" as well as
on the staff of the magazine
"Punto Final."
His career as a poet started
off in 1962 with the book
"La altura desprendida" ("The
fallen height") which was
followed by "Poemas para
una casa en el cosmos" (1963)
("Poems for a house in the
cosmos"), "Nuestro mundo"
(1964) ("Our world"),
Neuropoemas" (1966),
"Cambiar la religion" (1967)
("Changing religions") "Ka en-
loquece en la tumba de oro y
el toqui esta envuelta en
llamas" (1968)("Ka goes mad
in the golden tomb and the
Indian chief is wrapped in
flames") and "La conspiracion"
(1971) ("The conspiracy").


Last year he also won fame
as a story teller with a book
of short stories published in
Mexico: "La crujidera de la
viuda" ("The rustling of the
widow") .
Lavin gets excited over
some of his poems but at
present has no particular pre-
ferences regarding them.
"Books always have their ups
and downs in the public's
estimation. My last book is I
think the best I've written so
far. It was published by the
university press in Santiago de
Chile, and is called La conspi-
"It's in this book that I
believe I've come to grips with
Chile's new political process.
The poems it contains are full
of anecdotes and characters
and are loaded with facts. In
my opinion I've gone further
than all conventional rhetoric
with its perpetual "larari

larara" and its wordy lack of
meaning", now on to write any
interesting poetry one must
fling oneself into Chile's pre-
sent reality which has abso-
lutely nothing in common
with the Chile of two or three
years back", is Lavin's answer
to my question as to what
ways remain open to the.
Chilean poet of today in the
political process his country
is undergoing.
And he went on to say:
"In my country poetry as an
occupation has always been
treated with respect. But now-
adays one can't restrict oneself
any more to traditional verse-
forms or to technique alone.
One must explore the contem-
porary Chilean scene. And this
is a terrific challenge for all
creative artists.
My way of looking at it is,
that the challenge is all around
us all the time. So that one has
to develop for oneself a kind
of multiple antennae with
which to pick up from all parts
of one's body elements of this
new reality."
"There's something we can
do straight away", said the
poet without a moment's hesi-
tation. "I believe that the
writers' job at this very
moment is to shake people's
He continued: "Lots of
writers have joined the ranks
of journalists who just now
are in an excellent position to
carry on the fight by pointing
out who the fundamental
enemy of the process is.
"It's for us to keep the
initiative so as to overcome
the forces of the oligarchy
and make sure the Chilean
process becomes irreversible.
"By accomplishing this we
shall be consolidating an
authentically popular anti-
imperialist and anti-oligarchic
Lavin Cerda admitted that
the struggle in this sense
would be a bitter, complex

and lone one. There are so
many things in need of change.
Among these is the bourgeoi-
sie's attitude to journalism
which is tainted by its way of
seeing the world and of giving
Referring to this Lavin said:
"So we are trying to create a
new kind of journalism which
will leave off trying to curry
favour with the public and
concentrate on storing up
significant material so as to
become an essentially revolu-
tionary medium."


"In other words," Lavin
added, "what we want to do-
without any feeling of patern-
alism about it-is to give the
people the ideological arms
with which to unmask the
wheresoever he may be."
The great number of literary
studies recently published
dealing with the present
Chilean reality Lavin des-
cribed as a "publishers' bom-
bardment" unprecedented in
South America.
'"This literary flowering is
expressed in high-flown essays,
in theoretical studies as well
as in testimony-reportages, all
of which aim at one thing: to
understand, and thus defeat
the opposition activities in
Chile at the present moment."
What is the position of
poetry in all this?
"Poetry", he said, "hasn't
expressed itself much so far.
There have only been a few
fragmentary glimpses of the
political scene. This is on the
whole understandable because

the esthetic phe
ways lags a little
historic one."
He added: "I a
however that ne
artists will emer
popular sectors,
the people who
workers through
"For all of the
is vitally import
lish a political c
can give the mass.
tunity to develop
of expression..."
It is Hernan's
whenever a Lati
intellectual happe
a revolutionary h
lose any opportu
for his ideals. A
Marti-the Cub
dence leader of 1
is, according to
example of a
actions and idea
"Whether he is
olive green shir
clothes", said th
Latin American
should keep on
not lose sight of
objective which
throw the enemy
of the globe an
way for the n
society .of the 21
As one of the j
most recent Casa
cas literary c
Cerda had to re
hundred works I
Latin American ai
Speaking about






nomenon al- ence of his he said: "What
e behind the struck me as I read these
works was that a regular ex-
m convinced plosion of poetry is taking
w poets and place in Latin America. And
ge from the an awful lot is being written
from among in an effort to comment on
are living as the problems existing in this
this process... continent."
;se reasons it On the panel with Lavin
int to estab- Cerda were Reynaldo Naranjo
culture which (Peru), Ruben Yacovski (Uru-
es the oppor- guay) and Luis Suardiaz
their means (Cuba) who all voted unani-
imously for the Bolivian Pedro
opinion that Shimose, author of "Quiero
in American escribir pero me sale espuma"
ns also to be ("I want to write but my
e should not mouth foams").
nity to fight
an indepen-
ast century- The judges' comment on this
Hernan, an work was: "This is a work of a
man whose high poetic standard which
as should be depicts profoundly the present
day Bolivian scene and which
s wearing an at the same time attains a
t or civilian universal significance."
e poet, "the Lavin Cerda's opinion about
intellectual the Casa de las Americas
fighting and award is that "from its very
the ultimate beginning it represented a
is to over- continental ideology. As.such
Sin all parts it forms part of the great
d thus make traditions of Marti and
ew liberated Bolivar."
1st century." He then added: "Its role
judges in the should continue to be making
de las Ameri- known the spirit of rebellion
contest Lavin rife in Latin America today,
ad over two and to tell the whole world
presented by about our fundamental pro-
uthors. blems, why we fight and for
this experi- what." (Prensa Latina).





"HOW DO you want your STEREO for Christmas?" ; Make this an
FM STEREO Christmas"; "The big gift STEREO for the big
sound"; "This Christmas give the magnificent sound of STEREO -
the sound of tomorrow".
Certainly, you couldn't help noticing these "messages" over the
last few weeks since the Christmas advertising began in earnest.






c 1, ..l~Q T...~

The daily newspapers have been
carrying massive ads from local firms
pushing different brands of sound repro-
duction equipment. All have been aimed
at making "stereo" a household word.
If it isn't one already.
Your household couldn't be com-
plete without a stereo one of the
breathtaking models produced by Am-
erican and Japanese manufacturers,front-
runners of modern technology. If you
feel that way then you're certainly get-
ting the "message".
It's a- message that an increasing
number of people have got. And they
have walked into the "ready-credit"
banking houses around town and
pledged themselves to pay for
expensive consumer goods over
the next couple years.
But as to whether the ex-
pectations of the advertisers will !-
be fulfilled by the rising expec- i
stations of consumers for luxury
goods remains to be seen.
For Hi-Fi equipment that 4
we are encouraged to buy is if
nothing else frighteningly expen- :
sive. Some idea of the scale of .
expenditure required if you want
to "make this an FM Stereo -.U
Christmas" can be had from a
current Sports & Games acd 9.
campaign in the Guardian.


"Hi-Fi .... without the
Hi-Finance" you are offered.
The fine print, however, informs
that "the most amazing system"
comprising a record player, a
stereo amplifierand two matched
loudspeakers is sensibly priced
at $450!
Another S&G ad offers
sets at $995 and $795 and urges
you to save $341 and $205 res-
pectively by taking up these in-
stead of competitive offers. "We
are at least $250 less expensive this? I
than our competitors. Check market
their prices." well-o
Most times the competitors sets a
don't, publish their prices. For
good reason. Soundmaster Elec- hefty
tronics, a fairly new, specialist duty
in Hi-Fi, claim they stock amp- mount
lifiers from $400 to $11,000. price.
In a sound proof studio
back of their Duke Street store tons
I was shown a McIntosh 300 income
watt amplifier with a $5,200 price have a
tag and a pair of speakers for or spc
$2,200. overall
In a sale of Hi-Fi equip- bill,an
ment at National Music Supply prices
last Friday were amplifiers rang- impor
ing from $165 to $895. Hart's such
Electronics on Park Street stock sustain
speakers at $125, $340, $1,799 ports
up to the lordly Altec Monaco, wide t
a squat sexagonal speaker box
$2,200 per pair. really



i a


Now who is buying all
Is there a sufficiently large
t of people sufficiently
ff to make thousand-dollar
realistic proposition?
Public revenue is getting a
cut. Purchase taxes and
on one of these items ,a-
t to 81% of the landed

And there are other ques-
too about the level of
es; whether people who
ire really saving their bread
ending it on luxuries; the
1 impact on the import
id the consequent effect on
here; and perhaps most
tant the extent to which
astes are being created to
n a thriving market for im-
with the economy open
o take the blows.
In other words, what is

Well, to some extent it has
happened already. Larger in-
comes have given people more
money to spend on other things
than necessities.
Serviced as we are by the
international mass media, the
wants generated by affluent so-
cieties and booming industrial
economies are becoming o u r
wants too.
Technology goes on nar-
rowing the margin of mechanical
imperfection albeit at a price,
but the siren song of advertising
can soothe away your least an-
All of these may be too pat
explanations, even myths. And
you may sense that Modern
sales techniques,given thechance,
could flatter away even your
sensitivity in the bargain.
As a would-be customer
you feel immediately on the de-

fensive in Hart's Electronics Park
Street store. Bright orange heavy
plush carpets join the w a 1 1 s
covered with designs of musical
Turntables, amplifiers,
speakers, tape and cassette and
cartridges recorders are set out
on reachable shelves or at dif-
ferent points on the carpet.
The superficial fandangle
of cheap gadgetry is nowherepre
sent. The atmosphere is one of
luxury, distinctive taste and sop-
histication in an ultra-modern
In Soundmaster the ap-
pliances on show are tuned by
means of discreetly tucked away
tangle of wires to a central con-
trol system with flashing red
In National Music Supply
the demonstration turntable
hangs suspended from the roof.

Lr 4A

No shake.
The magic word is stereo
It announces itself from all the
appliances, from all the record(
jackets these days. It is in the
taxis, and more and more in the
No longer are people satis-
ied with the tinny sound of
nonaural record players. The
mellow boom of ultra-realistic
reproduction is what everybody
is made to want in his drawing
room or in his car.
Sa Gomes is right now
pushing a Yamaha stereo set
which boasts of having con-
quered "Sound Pollution .
rumble, scratch, static, hum. ."


A recent electronic break-
through has been the Dolby
System which eliminates the hiss
that comes over even with the
best reproduction.
"I don't want furniture, I
want quality," one stereo shop-
per informed me. And it's ture.
The usual radiogram with the
glossy finish and the glass cabinet
is passe among the growing ranks
of the knowledgeable.
And the newspeakerboxes
make no claims to be good-look-
ing show-pieces. It's enough to
give a superb sound, but they're
not the kind of things whose ap-
pearance alone would prevent you
from resting your wet glass.
Dealers say that their best
customers are householders. But
it is doubtful, however, that the
technical nature of some of the
advertising is reaching non-
It may be either a case of
misguided advertising technique,
or in an age so impressed by
technology, a way to befuddle
people by trading on their ig-
The professional buyers, of
course, are the DJs who are
forced by their trade to develop
some expertise in sound repro-


MBER 16, 1972







duction. Competition too forces
them to be always on the look-
out for improved equipment to
get the extra something.
Ever since the days of
"record sessions" in the fifties
and sixties anyone with a "box"
could make some bread playing
for parties.
Amplifier building was a
popular skill acquired by many
in spare time study through
correspondence courses. And
there was a time when thelo-
cally assembled speaker boxes
were held at a premium and
valued over the imported pro-
But this cottage industry
kept on building amps wi t h
tubes and valves, a technology
that was fast being superseded
by transistors.
In the days when self-
taught electronic technicians
here were unable to handle the
transistors buying a transistori-
zed amp meant buying trouble.


But that was before the
advent of specialised firms like
Hart's and Soundmaster. Also
that was before the great de-
velopment of the transistor tech-
nology spurred on among other
things by the Apollo explora-
So that one effect of the
generally acknowledged boom
in the imported stereo business
has been the eclipse of the local
industry little backroom and
underhouses all about where self-
made experts tinkered with wires
and soldering irons each with
own clientele.
Another effect has been
the almost complete decline of
live band music. The capital in-
tensive DJ outfit has been able
to offer wider variety of music,
greater efficiency and lower cost.
The bands priced them-
selves out of a market that de-
manded more for less. The "Chix

Free" dances for example, are
a recognition of the very lean
resources that put limits on the
spending power of unemployed
young people.
But the implications are
more disturbing. The record
shops that service the musical
requirements of stereo owners
sustain an abiding taste for Am-
erican music. In fact, the hits
that are bought are in the main
those which reach the American
Top 100 in Cashbox and Bill-
board magazines.


So you can see, as it were,
a conspiracy between the Am-
erican corporations to create the
product, design the taste for it
and wait for the fall out trade in
the related fields.
The record business is cer-
tainly booming. Perhpas the most
telling example of the rise of
prominence of the recorder and
recording business is the Es-
quire Record House on Chacon
The appealing supermarket
type lay out of the stocks within
would not suggest to you that
the proprietor started business as
a prestigious tailor around town.
Or that he's a man well into
middle age.
Under the strategically
placed lighting is the glinting
cellophane of racks and racks of
Plexiglass signs hanging
from the roof divide the stock
LAR, and 45 r.p.m.
The smallest department at
the back of the store is STEEL-
BAND and CALYPSO. There is
one album "Famous Indian Film
Music" produced by EMI in Lon-
The proprietor Mr. Ahee
explains that the record business
developed as a sideline to the

tailoring. Then two things hap-
As we doffed jackets and
ties and suits, bespoke tailoring
suffered; then fewer boys were
willing to learn the trade so that
hands became scarcer and the
delivering of work on time more
So gradually records took
over from sewing and the last
pair of pants was delivered more
than a year ago.
"I had to make a change
gradually," Mr. Ahee says. And so
Esquire Fashion House became
Esquire Record House--a smooth
transition under the same
The management had to
develop or discover new entire
preneurial skills,however. And
from poring over fashion books
he now studies the weekly hit
charts of Billboards with Cash-

box with good-humoured equ-
He calls the magazines "the
Bible but like the Bible you
only follow them to a certain ex-
Now he has theories about
the newitrade."You have to keep
rolling the money. If you just
keep it in hand you dead. There's
always something new coming
up, andyouhave to keep reinvest-
ing. How you think all those
big firms grow?"
But it can be a very chancy.
bsuiness. It's a delicate entre-
preneurial guess to know how
many ofahit to order. For "when
rigour mortis steps in ."
The fastest selling section is
POPULAR. Groups like t h e
Black Sabbath, Three Dog Night,
Deep Purple. The Chi-Lites.
Does Ahee enjoy this mu-
sic himself? "The only time I en-
joy it is when I'm selling it," he
replies. He thinks a lot of the
soul and rock and funk that
people snap up is "crazy music".


But then there are a lot of
"crazy people" around.
But what does he think
about these "crazy people"?
"It takes a madman to run
the world, so if you think be-
cause amancrazy he stupid that's
the firstmistake you make." And
he quotes the pop song:
"Everybody plays the fool."
Despite going out to catch
the market of the young and
fickle, Mr. Ahee is able to re-
tain a certain character of ma-
turity and serenity. There is no
non-stop music as in other re-
cord shops. No speaker placed
outside to attract customers.
That would be bad for his
Chacon Street location, a n d
"personally I don'tlike it either".
Besides he also caters for "a cer-
tain discriminating clientele, the
kind of man who would come in
look around for an hour, and
spend $100 sayingnothingat all."



of the

Chagacabana Hotel

THE Industrial Development Corporation announces
the re-opening of the Chagacabana Hotel under new
management on December 15, 1972.

Serviced suites with or without air conditioning, ex-
cellent beach and bar facilities.

Air conditioned suites $100 per week, $300 per

Non air conditioned suites $85 per week, $250 per

Light meals and snacks by special arrangement.
Look out for opening of new restaurant on March 1,

Bookings Telephone: 37291 or 54067 (Mrs. M.
Khan) 51021 Ext. 615 (Mrs. Noel)


The Institute of

Social and Economic



of the West Indies

Owen Jefferson

Norman Girvan
JAMAICA 1944-62
Trevor Munroe

C. Y. Thomas

Maurice Odle

George Beckford
Gloria Cumper

Norman Girvan


I.S.E.R. Mona I.S.E.R. St. Augustine.


Complete list of Titles from I.S.E.R. Mona





JUNE 19, Butler Day
while hawking papers in
Independence Square I
pushed a Tapia in front of
a bloated, aging mulatto
woman who turned away.
Unperturbed I moved on
but was attracted by some-
one pointing in the direction
I came from. The person
whom I did not recognize
was Gene Miles, the once sexy,
glamorous affable civil ser-
vant whose public spiritedness
resulted in her downfall.
This encounter was shocking.
I could hardly believe my
eyes. Not so long ago Gene
appeared on television like
sparkling wine, singing Calypso
Rose's Fire, Fire! Her fire is
now smouldered in dust.
Her body was buried on
Wednesday mourned by
thousands including the press
which has contributed so
much to the euthanasia. Be-
cause her vanity which eventu-
ally died of starvation was fed
for years on newsprint.
Wherever she went the news
flash fell on her, her outfit
was always the object of
special mention. We got close-
ups of her fishnet stockings.
Her image, and her ego,

were blown up out of propor-
tion to her real self. After
she was knocked off her
pedestal the press continued
to magnify the wrinkles on her




face, the holes in her stock-
ings, the shears in her dress.
If she stumbled on the road-
side it brought laughter rather
than sympathy. This mockery
drained her pride of its blood
We must not allow ourselves
to confuse sentiment with
principle. Gene was a fallen
angel, a prodigal daughter of
the establishment who was not
given a chance to return to the

Who were her friends? In
what circle did she move?
At one stage she was the
feminine symbol of the PNM.
She was present at every
function, in every victory
She appeared on political
platforms both for O'Halloran
and Hudson-Phillips. She was
a civil servant then,but that
was considered no offence
since she belonged to the right
political clique.
It is only after she fell out of
favour that she began to harass
the ruling party. She might
have had a quarrel with
O'Halloran, the parliamentary
representative for Diego Martin
She therefore set out to
destroy him from the witness
stand of the Gas Station
Inquiry. We must remember
that until this break, the PNM
was the greatest as far as she
was concerned.
It is probable that the clues



news print

to much of the evidence that
she exposed were obtained
from confidences exchanged
between herself and O'Hallo-
ran, the then Minister of Indus-
try, Commerce, Petroleum and


John Humphrey is right
when he described Gene as a
"disobedient and rebellious
slave of the establishment."
For all her inconsistency we
must be grateful for the
heroic stands that she took in
bussing the gas station racket
in the same way that her father
had buss the Caura Dam


So convincing were her revela-
tions that it is really an
abomination hanging over the
heads of this regime.
The hate which Gene was to
feel for the PNM afterwards is
characteristic of a whole band
of rebels and dedicated citi-
zens who have fallen out of
favour and out of love.
It is remarkable how the
most venomous snipers at the
PNM turn out to be the
former lay serpents of the
Balisier. That is why so much
of their opposition is negative.
It is true that under a more
humane and less vindictive
Government Gene's crucifixion
would have been followed by
redemption. But we must not
lose our sense of proportion

1 ,

system. To them Gene's
tragedy will serve as a warning
as well as an inspiration.
,.(^. ,

Yet to focuusands unduly on and
women every year arey to the

propagandising of the mass
materially and to accpt the vologically
definistroyed by the exis barbaric
system. To them Gene's
tragedy will serve as a warning
as well as an inspiration.
Yet to focus unduly on her
would be to fall prey to the
propagandising of the mass
media, and to accept the value
definitions of the existing



LAST SUNDAY'S "Day of National
Brotherhood" at the UWI Students
Union wound up a series of three NJAC
cultural rallies.
The programme of Afro-Indo cultural
expression ran from 10 a.m. to midnight
when Geddes Granger closed it with a "rap"
after getting the audience to stand a minute in
silence to honour the late Gene Miles.
Through an avenue of red, green and
black flags, you were led to the arts and
crafts display. Ladies' handbags in the shape
of gun-sacks and Christmas cards without
snow and glitter. They read "Get Skilled

Brother, Not Stoned"; and others with the
Star of Bethlehem said "Peace On Earth", but
inside was the revolutionary message beneath
the gun: "At any Cost".
Amidst pencil drawings of Third World
figures posters screamed down from the walls
of the Union. Like Fire Bomb Use With
Intent"; "Liberty or the Cemetery"; "The
White Man Not only Owns, He Controls".
At the other end of the hall, the Wo-
men's Arm served local Indian and African
dishes ... and the pictures ofLeilaKhaled and
the gun-bearing women freedom fighters of
Africa looked down on them (in approval?)
Among those appearing
were: Chalkdust and new riding
partner Superior, Malik, Stalin,
Tiger, LaTropicale Dancers, Carl-
ton Francis Drummers and Dan-
cers, Mansa Musa Drummers, St.
James Village Drummers, Valen
into and Relator.
Predictably, Malik the
poet was outstanding. His "Af-
ricindia" recalled the plight of
both races and suggested thai
their commonhistory of pain and
exploitation was a firm enough
basis for unity.
". .. the donkey-cart of
the squatter's ass, shifting
on crown land."
In the clearing, ringed by a
forest of black faces, the La
Tropicale and Carlton Francis
dancers did- the calypso and a
realistic Shango ritual. There was
something in the atmosphere
that linked the bodies pressed
together on the floor and in-
spired a kind of sacred awe.
Valentino has a new song.
"Hark, the herald angels sing".
Heralded the birth of the "Jesus
Revolution". And Valentino's
"Hark, Hark, the dogs do bark"
records the stirring of a move-
ment so close to the earth that
it is picked up by the sensitive
ears of the dog.
The rally also saw the emer-
gence of the new Andre Tanker.
"Ah went away, ah leave
an ah come back home
Ah come back to stay
Ah must see mih way..."
It's a new song, and a new
sound too with the Mansa Musa
Drummers, asserting the unity
and brotherhood of the Carib-
bean peoples.




In A Brighter Sun Selvon examines the rapid semi
urbanisation of the village of Barataria, during the years
of the second World War, and the corresponding emer-
gence of the Indian peasant in a Creolised culture. This
he does by tracing a gradual expansion of the con-
sciousness of Tiger, the central figure of the novel, and
by understanding that the movement from a "folk" to
a "semi-urban" situation, is paralleled by subtle shifts
in language.
Ramral, an old Indian peasant, is one of the last
group of indentured labourers whose first language is
Hindi, and whose Creole is cryptic, and entirely func
tional.. Here, for example, he maps out Tiger's entire
destiny in three curt sentences:
You gottam house which side Barataria, gettam land, cow -
well, You go live dat side. Haveam plenty boy chile girl
chile no good, only bring trouble on yuh head. Yuh live dat
plantain garden, live good
Tiger's speech oscillates between an early syntax
pretty close to his father's, Ramlal's and Sookdeo's, to
the free-flowing articulacy in Trinidad dialect, charac-
teristic of the urban Creole, the linguistic continuum
parallelling thesocio- cultural one.(18) Early in the book
in one of his many statements about manhood, Tiger
"To my wife I man when I sleep with she. To bap I man if
drink rum. But to me I no man yet."

Offft _


Q, he dead
he dead already
Q, he dead
he dead already.

I time's accomplice,
the insulted princely
who squats on injury

who have killed every spider in the crack
now crack
open your spider-soft
Tajas of crematoriums
are all you will ever dance now.

Q, he dead
he dead already
Q, he dead
he dead already.

Not even the sulphureous stars will light
your way
the moon will be drunk
with revenge. The sun
with glee.
The horsemen shall ride
on your grave
the sky will refuse to rain.

Q, he dead
he dead already
Q, he dead
he dead already.

I who gave God
knowledge of Hell
I who can sweat my
ancestors' pain
at will

now watch douens walk
nine times
over your grave,
and hear your wife's womb
trapped in her own spasms
curse man's maddening

Q, man dead
man dead already.

This is not quite the syntax of the fully urbanised
Creole. Tiger senses that part of the problem of adjust-
ing to the changes in his society and status, and also of
his quest for significance, is one of creating a language
supple enough to deal with the growing complexities
which accompany his loss of rural innocence. He under-
stands this task in the traditional fashion of Creole
Trinidad. Painfully learning to read, he creates a langu-
age of polysyllabic words culled from a dictionary, by
means of whose impressive sound he seeks to assert the
manhood which he believes is eluding him all the time.
This make-shift language, analagous to the "signifying"
of American Negroes, has been ritualised by the Carni-
val masqueraders in Trinidad called the Midnight Rob-
bers (19).


Tiger senses, or is made to feel by the ridicule he oc-
casions, that"robber talk" is a false, or at least an inade-
quate language in which to conduct his quest for man-
hood, and one of the barriers towards self-liberation is
overcome, when he rejects his fabricated speech for one
which genuinely expresses how he feels. In a splendid
scene towards the end of the book, Tiger has occasion
to reprimand two doctors, a Negro and an Indian, both
of whom refused to come out on a rainy night to at-
tend to his wife.
"I is a Trinidadian like yourself, and it was a white man
who had to come to poor Tiger hut to see he wife, while
you and that other nasty coolie man who say he is a doctor
too didn't want to come."
The passage is interesting for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Tiger himself through his very West Indian be-
lief that manhood lies in beating his woman, has
brought on his wife's illness after a particularly brutal
and wrong-headed beating. He thus exposes himself to
the equally brutal callousness of the Trinidadian doc-
tors. Secondly, the phrase "nasty coolie man", a colon-
ial epithet which has its parallel in phrases such as
"black-and-ugly" or "stupid ole, nigger", shows the
keenness of Selvon's ear and the completeness of his
control. It is precisely the phrase which a Negro might
have used in abusing an Indian. Hence an ironic twist is
given to the phrase "I is a Trinidadian like yourself" It
means that the Creolisation process is partly an exer-
cise in colonial self-contempt, even when one is in the
act of claiming one's rights as a full citizen.


The complexities of the Creolisation process were
reflected in the insistent theme of race and racism, in
the calypsoes of the forties, the period which Selvon is
covering in A Brighter Sun. On the one hand, there
were a few people who viewed these calypsoes as a sign
of emerging nationhood. The politician Albert Gomes
was one of these. In one of several articles on the Calyp-
so, he wrote:
While so much of us are oblivious of the fact, the calypso
singer has begun to announce in his songs that our ethnic
"potpourrie" is a reality, and that its many pots have be-
gun to pour one into the other. The welding of our poly-
glot community is taking place before our eyes in the
"tents" and the weddings of our culture are being cele-
brated right there.
Indian and Chinese tunes are being woven into the fabric
of our calypso, and as though to give formalacceptance to
yet another fact that should be obvious, the jumping jive,
the samba, the conga and the rhumba are becoming part of
the music of the tent. (20-).
More recently, Albert Gomes, who has for many
years been residing in England, seems to have revised
this simplistic reduction of the Creolisation process
to a fairly pleasant melting-pot experience. He sees him-
self as having been defeated by the "maze of colour"
and racial prejudice which,he now says, had grown more
pronounced from the late thirties to the late fifties -
from Uriah Butler of 1937, to Eric Williams of 1956
(21). At least the later assessment, whatever it omits in
its discussion of Gomes' political demise, does not
simplify the complexities of the Creolisation porcess.


Neither did the calypsonians of the forties, whose
songs reflected, if they did not analyse, the frequent
harshness of the process of acculturation. Calypsonians
mocked at Indians, Chinese, Baptists, Bardadians; sang
about the lack of morals in white society; castigated
Trinidad women for going out with American soldiers,
even when, at times, they themselves were prepared to
exist off the earnings of such women. In other words,
calypsonians, the extremes products of the process of
urbanisation, provided a sounding board by which all
"intruders" on the urban scene, were placed. Licensed
eccentrics themselves, they mocked at what they saw as
the eccentricity of others. The mockery which took the
form of "picong", a kind of wit based on caricature, re-

ductive sarcasm and at times good humour, was a rite de
passage, which ensured that creolisation took place on
the basis approved by the urban-Creoles themselves.
Hence, reference to Indians and Chinese tended to be
reductive, to stress existing stereotypes. Hindi and "In-
dian" melodies were mocked in the Calypso. For the In-
dian peasant, the processes of urbanisation and accul-
turation tended to merge. Calypsonians noted this with
what seems to have been scorn. Killer, for example, a
calypsonian of the forties, noted the process of accul-
turation in Indians who rejected their Indian names:
What's wrong with these Indian people
As though their intention is for trouble
Long ago you'd meet an Indian by the road
With his capra waiting to take people load
But I notice there is no Indian again
Since the women and them taking Creole name
Long ago was Sumintra, Ramnaliwia,
Bullbasia and Oosankilia,
But now is Emily, Jean and Dinah
And Doris and Dorothy.
The prostitution unleased on entire villages during
the Yankee occupation of Trinidad during the war, is
noted with the usual cynicism. The calypsonian seems
to envy the Indian women even their success as good
time girls. In this field also the Indian was regarded then
as an outsider.
Long ago you hadn't a chance
To meet an Indian girl in a dance
But nowadays it is big confusion
Big fighting in the road for their Yankee man
And you see them in the market, they ain't making joke
Pushing down nigger people to buy their pork
And you see them in the dances in Port-of-Spain
They wouldn't watch if you call an Indian name


What one notes here is that the calypsonian is seeing
Port-of-Spain as the centre of his activities, and regard-
ing the Indian as a new arrival on the scene, who must
be levelled. What is also interesting is that in mocking
at the Indian, the calypsonian also reveals his own self-
contempt, or lack of a self-image. While he notes the
loss of name and customs among Indians in the city,
he can still use the insulting epithet to refer to his own
people, the "nigger people." This is exactly what is
happening to Selvon's Tiger in A Brighter Sun.
Several calypsoes can be used as examples of what was
happening during the forties as regards Creolisation and
race relations. Only one more will be cited. In "Moonia"
sung by the Mighty Dictator, a courtship between an
Indian girl and a Creole (Negro) is the theme.
Well, I was in love with an Indian
I was born in Jerningham Junction
I couldn't see
Eye to eye with her family
But she said, "Me lika de kessing
And de Kirwal (creole) hugging and squeezing"
The courtship stall
When her mother jump up and bawl ...
... "Moonia, Moonia,
Bap na like am Kirwal, Moonia..."
The mother raises valid objections, by pointing out
that the Indian peasant Ramlogan, can offer cattle, a
house and a reasonable match, while the Creole, (urban
and most probably unemployed) offers nothing.
Well, de mother jump upa nd mention
"This is the height of provacation
How baytee
Could likeam dat Kirwali?"
She say "You know, Ramlogan house got cattle
The Kirwal can't gie am nutten"
Baytee a cry "Kirwal plantam me garden, Mai."
And the father raises the final objection, with which
the Creole seems half to agree. The Negro, he says, can
offer only sexuality, which his "fast" daughter seems to
value above all things.
Arguing with her mother
Her father jump in the picture
Before my eyes
He started to criticize
This time he said, "What matter baytee?
That Kirwal...
You got um speed,
So you likeam dat nigger breed."
This transcription of the calypso is not word perfect.
There are several places where the recording is unclear,
and others, where the calypsonian mocks at Indian ac-
cent and "Hindi", the dotted line being one of them.
What is clear was the unillusion of the calypsonian
about the process of racial contact. Selvon, like the
calypsonian, was clear about the implications of Tiger's
"advance" from "Indian" to "citizen". He retains fair
detachment throughout the story,but would have shared
Tiger's rejection of the false values of the Port-of-Spain
city slickers. On the other hand, he does not reject
the process of Creolisation per se, as does, for example,
V.S. Naipaul's Ralph Kripalsingh, anti-hero of The
Mimic Men, who sees Creolisation as holding the hor-
ror of miscegenation, as violation of Aryan purity. Sel-

I -

'EMBER 17, 1972





von seems to view history and change as things which
one must accept. In so far as Tiger does arrive at a solu-
tion for his existential problems it is this:
You don't start over things in life You just have to go
on fromwhereyou stop. It not as if you born all over again.
Is the same life ... (p. 230)
Much has been made of the calypso, mainly because
in the calypso one has a permanent record not only of
the passing phases of humour in Trinidad, but of how
language was spoken, of the spirit of "ole talk", "pi-
cong", "mamaguy", abuse, from decade to decade. Sel-
von in his stories about Port-of-Spain urban/Creole life,
is relating to the same tradition of style and rhetoric
which produced calypsonians like the legendary Spoiler,
Wonder, Panther, Melody, Lion, Tiger, Invader, Atilla,
Kitchener, Beginner and Dictaror, all figures of the
These artists had a special language which involved
heightening of the mundane and humdrum into melo-
drama, or "bacchanal" as it is normally called. Gesture
and mime reinforced speech. The language of the city
was also the language of the small-time confidence
trickster, the Brer Anansi figure who so often appears
in Selvon's fiction, and whose method is to spin words
fast enough toensnare his victim, or, in the case of the
calypsonian, to "captivate" his audience.


Selvon brilliantly captures the language of the Port-
of-Spain ole talk in this passage about taxi-drivers,
which appears in A Brighter Sun: T he breathless
prose, quicksilver fluidity of the passage can be com-
pared with an excellent short story by Daniel Samaroo,
called "Taxi Mister" (22), or calypsoes such as Lord
Melody's "Peddlars", or Panther's "Taxi-Drivers."
'Boy, dese taximen does have tings their own way too
much. Some of dem does tell you dey leaving right away,
and wen yuh get in de car, is because dey making round all
Charlotte Street for more passengers, and wat yuh cud do?
Nothing, becauseyuhin de car already. As for weh dey going
down South! Boy, dat is trouble self. All dem touts by de
railway station, from de time dey see yuh wid a grip in yuh
hand; det start hustling. "South, Mister"? "Yuh going
South? Look ah nice car here it have radio Leaving
right away. South Direct. An dis time, de smart driver have
'bout three tout sitting down quiet as if dey is passengers.'
(p. 95)
To clinch the point about Selvon's relation to an
oral tradition of the streets, the urban "lime", the Calpy-
so (Selvon has a story called "Calypsonian") I'll just
quote bits of Panther's "Taxi-Drivers".
You may be standing on any pavement
Asking someone questions on the government
All you see is taxis in a line
And all you do is answering questions all the time ...
An is PeeeeP... One to go
You shake your head, you tell them no
Braaaw ... they blow again
You shakeyour head you tell them no again
And is, San Juan, Tunapuna, Arima, Sangre Grande ...
Madam, you going? I am de fellar who give you a lift in Toco
last week ... You can't remember me?
And they pointing their finger all over the place
Somebody have a right ot spit in their face.
This happen to me up by Globe Theatre
Ole talking, meself and the Tiger
Tell you the truth I didn't want no taxi,
In long and in short I was going to matinee
Man, up comes a taxi driver
"Panther! You going Point Cumana?"
"Whe a going deh for? I ain't got no fishing boat"
He take a knife and nearly cut way me throat
An is... Peeep... One to go
You shake your head, you tell them no.
Braaaw ... they blow again
You shake your head you tell them no again
He say, "Panther, you're a old calypsonian I know a long time.
You mean to say when I want to go to Carenage you won't go
wid me? Whe is it at all? Anywhere you going ah carrying you
Diego Martin, Four Road, Tamana Bucco Point, Uphill...
any way at all..."
Ah say, "You could be going down to Devil's Bay
Leave me here! I ain't going no way.
The sections in prose are spoken rapidly in the tones
of the hustler above the rhythm of the calypso. The
calypsonian regards the taxi-man as yet another smart
man, who is using language against the citizen, rather
than one who is trying to make a living. The language,
an abstract from the language of the streets, is little dif-
ferent from Selvon's dramatic prose. Both Selvon and
Panther relate to an oral tradition, but in this case it is


a different tradition from that of the Trinidad folk-
song, say, having grown out of the process of accultura-
tion in the town.
Since the epithet "folk" has been most insistently
applied to the work of Selvon, one feels justified in
spending the most time on it, to point out its variety
and consequently the inadequacy of the term. In
The Lonely Londoners t he slickers of Port-of-Spain
find themselves in a real city at last, the very centre of
the Empire on which the sun seldom rises. It is in Lon-
don that they realise the smallness of Port-of-Spain.
There is a passage in The Lonely Londoners
where there is ahuge clock which can tell what time
it is in every capital city of the world. He looks for
Trinidad to find out what time it is in Port-of-Spain,
and succeeds in finding it only with the greatest


for this day

giddy upon repelling slopes,
crawling like maggots into swamps,
clapboard and tin, sad prey for rains,
high winds rattling their hides like leaves,
the poor slums fester in the heart,
the shanty towns, the squatters' tenements;
indigence sweats these vermin-peopled huts.

regard these market towns and mouldering
villages we find on motoring roads
as if astonished of their presence
carved out of forests, canefields,
cocoa, coconut and coffee groves;
not even names to us as we cruise by
in shades of opulence,
in varying degrees of cool contempt
sheltered from their sun of poverty,
sneering at their gnarled and barefoot drought.

you'd think the state too stern for
or the earth's blood, bitter as aloes,
is too bitter to suckle these poor folk;
that charity's atrophied in the heart
too sterile for love's silken roots.


village labour sweats among its trees
on the tough soil of hope
where men grow bovine in their bovine round
of work, feed, sleep and blind begetting
which they can break only if they abandon home

to prodigal in the sour slum
with those who've failed their hope
like writers their weak talents;
failed, failed lives
failed spirit and failed love.
and there it's all amen, amen,
save for the politician's cloven tongue,
his teeth rotting with his foul deceits.
handouts and handcuffs,
the circus guarded with tear gas and guns.
all that goes free are rats and roaches;
all left of liberty is abuse of power;
all left to live is drunkenness and lust
and mania for the bestial carnival.



The point is well made, since Galahad regards this
date as the first of his great achievements in conquer-
ing the big city. The passage symbolises the central
encounter in the book between the parochial con-




34 Pembroke Street P.O.S. Tels 35842 38434.


,, ,,




sciousness of the West Indians, and the vast chaos of
London. Galahad, no doubt, may seem as insignificant
and out of place in London as Port-of-Spain appears
besides the great cities of the world. Yet Trinidad time
is going to be imposed on the ponderous rhythmsof
Big Ben.
The "boys", as Selvon calls his innocents abroad,
reconstruct the "lime" and the language of the "lime",
and through imposing their language on the great city,
they remake it in their own image. Sometimes they
shrink it by the use of a reductive smile. Hoary
Paddington slums reveal walls which are cracking "like
the last days of Pompeii." The winter sun, symbol of
the devitalised misery of megalopolis, is "like a force-
ripe orange". The "boys", who have originated from
a world of language, recreate in the big city a world of
words in which they move, and through which they
grope for clarity in the midst of experience as bewil-
dering and vague as the London fog.


Catapulted into a strange world, their experience is
as strange as was Tiger's in A Brighter Sun. They
face a similar process of having to make sense of a
bewildering milieu; like Tiger, the Creoles begin to ask
questions about existence itself, about identity and
manhood. But the "boys" remain fragmented, partial
personalities. They continue to be identifiable in terms
of idiosyncracy;they have nicknames, not real names.
Perhaps, nicknames are an acknowledgement of indivi-
dual richness of personality, but they are also sugges-
tive of an incompleteness of self. This is definitely the
case in Naipaul's Miguel Street, which seems to owe
much to early Selvon. In The Lonely Londoners,
it is the group that has a full self, that faces the
wilderness and survives; not to belong is to be lost in
the void.
The term "the boys" begins to gain weight as the
book proceeds. It indicates not only the strange pre-
moral innocenc- which Selvon's people seem to pre-
serve wherever they are, but a certain immaturity,
which persists because these calypsonians refuse to
awaken to responsibility, even under the weight of
metropolitan pressures. Thus Selvon contrasts Gala-
had's "grand-change" (bluff) with Moses' growing
gloom; the seemingly eternal youth of the group, with
Moses' sense of Time and inanition; their irresponsibi-
lity, with Moses' weight of life, the burdenof con-
sciousness which he has just barely begun to assume,
as lie absorbs each man's folly, failure and momentary


By the end of the book, Moses sounds more like
Sergeant Pepper than the Calypsonian Lord Kitchener.
He is singing the genuine urban blues. He sees laughter
as part of a tragic process. Like a Wilson Harris con-
sciousness (it seems inadequate to speak of a Harris
"character") he feels the weightof each man's experi-
Sometimes listening to them, he look in each face, and he
feel a great compassion for every one of them, as if he live
each of their lives, one by one, and all the strain and stress
come to rest on his own shoulders.
It is no accident that the boys father at Moses' place
"every Sunday morning.., like if it lis confession.
"Moses by the end of the book has a high priest's role;
he greets the new arrivals and tries, reluctantly, in con-
trast to his Biblical namesake, to guide them though
the wilderness. But near the end of the book, one sees
him on the banks of the Thames, contemplating the
aimlessness of things.
Here, his function is similar to that of Lamming's
Old Man in In the Castle of My Skin, i n that he
becomes a repository for group consciousness, a sort
of archetypal old man, a Tiresias-figure. Is it accident,
or design, that this technique of moving from a frag-
mentary form. where several voices share the stage, to
a point where all the voices are blended either in
chorus as in Mais's Brother Man, or into thesingle
representative voice of an archetypal figure, has
occurred in all of these early writers? And what about
the technique as it appears in Brathwaite's Trilogy?
How much is owed there to the structureof T.S.
Eliot's "Wasteland", andhow much to theinstinctive
groping for an architecture, appropriate to expressing
the crucial tensions in West Indian societies between
the group, and the privacy of the individual soul,
which these early writers seem to have done?


What you didn't know about



THE HEMP plant known
botanically as Cannabis
sativa has been used as a
drug as far back as the
earliest recording of medi-
cal history. In the eastern
world it has been known
both as a medicine and a
social or ceremonial in-
toxicant being smoked,
snuffed, eaten or drunk.
iThe plant preparations have
varied from place to place and
so has the name of the drug.
The main preparations are:
(a) the crushed plant
(mainly leaves, flowers and
fruits), often mixed with
tobacco known as mari-
juana and more recently as
"pot", "weed" and "grass"
in the Americas and Eu-
rope; charas or bhang in
India and the Middle East,
ganja in India and parts of
the Caribbean, Kifin North
Africa and Dagga in South
(b) hashish which is a resin-
ous extract from the plant


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(in the form of hard brown
cakes). The active constitu-
ent is concentrated in the
resin, making hashish the
most potent preparation of
the drug available to users.
The marijuana plant grows
over a wide variety of climatic


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tropical forests to all parts of
the temperature zone. The
plant can reach maturity at a
height of nine inches while in
some areas it will grow to well
over 15 feet before maturity is
attained. With regard to plant

diseases, Cannabis stands up
quite well-there seems to be
no major pathological pro-
The sexes are normally quite
distinct that is> there is a
separate male and a separate
female plant. This is significant

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because while all parts of both
plants contain varying quanti-
ties of the resin, the concen-
tration is much higher five to
10 times) on tlhe mature
fruiting tops (i.e. of the female
plants) than or any other part
of either plant.
In fact the fruiting top actu-
ally exudes the resin at certain
times and in some parts of the
east harvesting is doncon the
bodies of naked men running
through the fields.
This high difference in con-
centration of the active in-
gredient has led to much legal
wrangling in some parts of the
world. One of the earlier defi-
nitions of ganja in British Law
was "any part of the pistillate
(i.e. female) plant Cannabis
sativa from which the resin has
not been extracted, or any
resin extracted therefrom."


While most countries have
redefined the law to involve
any part of the Cannabis plant
(male or female) or any prepa-
ration containing the active
constituent from the plant
there are still some countries
(e.g. Jamaica) which uphold
the old definition.
The ganja plant was actually
cultivated for manyyears over
large areas of North America
for its fibre (hemp) which was
used in rope making, and its
oil (from the seeds) which
was an ingredient of paints.
The seeds themselves formed
a large percentage of commer-
cial bird food.
The plant in the United
States is a poor resin producer
while Mexican and Jamaican
Cannabis give much better
yields. Cannabis from the east
is generally thought to be of
the highest resin concentra-


Marijuana smoking has in-
creased so tremendously in the
last decade that there have
been vociferous outcries for
and against legislation it is
undoubtedly the most con-
troversial drug in the world
today. Yet in spite of a
voluminous literature on tile
subject there has been very
little accurate scientific evalua-
tion so far.
This is not surprising when
one is faced not only with a
plant whose different parts
vary considerably in the
amount of resin they produce,
but also with a plant whose
overall production of resin
depends on where it is grown.
Thus crude marijuana ex-
tracts vary extensively in the
amount of the active constitu-
ent they contain.
Compounding the problem
was the inability until recently
of chemists to isolate and
purify the active constituent
from the large numbers of
chemical compounds present
in the resin. Although the drug
has been known for thousands


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ment on the hill."
Here was an attempt by
Blackpool to harness whatever
skills there were in the com-
munity with a view to creat-
ing a larger organization in a
democratic fashion whereby
persons relied on themselves to


Many people in our society
tend to take a very cynical
view of this approach and
make many unreasonable ex-

cuses as to why they feel this
way. In Blackpool's case the
results have proved different
with membership increasing by
over 25%
The merger with Hilltones, a
resident steelband in the area
proved highly successful;
Dancing, a choir, drumming
and Environmental Sanitation
are just a few of the current
activities. Blackpool of course
has led the country in what is
known as Blockorama and this
year's, organized by Vernon
Ashby and George Farrell was
especially successful, with a
number of steelbands perform-


The surfboard ridden by the
PNM in '55 is now drifting
along with the wind and it is

only a matter of time before
community organization
assumes its rightful place, as

The concept of the freedom of the Press sometimes lead to
an infringement of the rights of the people. Let us in our
developing country strive towards a harmony of the
inter-related rights, responsibilities and freedoms.

Live a better Life

1 U



KENYA, Tanzania and Uganda
have received nearly $110 mil-
lion in loans to continue
expanding their ports.
The East African Com-
munity obtained $27 million
from the World Bank, repay-
able in 25 years at 7.25 per
cent interest, and $26 million

from Canada, repayable in 50
years, with no interest or ser-
vice charges.
"The massive diversion of
Zambian traffic from South
African ports to Dar es Salaam
in recent years, while yielding
considerable benefits for the
Tanzanian economy, has
strained the port's capacity to
handle the increased cargo,"

0 1


a World Bank spokesman said.
The East African Harbours
Corporation, which is supervis-
ing the port expansion pro-
ject, expects to provide three
new deep-water berths and
improve four existing berths
and a mobile equipment repair
area at Dar; erect new transit
sheds, back-up port facilities
and to replace a tug-berth and
a coal store at Mombasa; and
improve lighting facilities in
Dar, Mombasa and Tanga
The $70 million project will
also improve training facilities
at Dar and Mombasa and
provide more cranes, forklifts
and floating craft for handling



back home
(AWA) THE Somali mili-
tary delegation charged with
policing the border between
Uganda and Tanzania follow-
ing the hostilities in Septem-
ber has returned to Somalia.
Gen. Nur Abdow, com-
mander of the force, said that
both countries had "imple-
mented and honored" the
peace agreement reached in
Speaking to journalists upon
his return at Mogadishu, Gen.
Abdow said that he was
pleased with the co-operation
of both Tanzania and Uganda
in abiding by the agreement.


on African


TERNAL affairs minister
Lance E. Smith has in-
troduced a bill in Parliament
giving him the power to ban
anyone from African areas
whose presence is felt to be
"against the public interest."
The bill further demands
that all foreign clergymen and
church workers obtain official
permission before working in
African areas.
Africans here have expressed
the belief that the bill is part
of the government's revenge
for African rejection of the
Anglo-Rhodesia settlement.
Under the bill, they note, if
an African publicly urges
rejection of the settlement,
he can be expelled from his
home area.
In addition, the bill says that
in order to hold public meet-
ings, the permission of district
commissioners (close to the
national government) will be
needed in all African areas in-
stead of the permission of
"tribal" commissioners (who
are closer to the Africans).


independence Square, P.O.S.

nk in your Bank



From Page 3

more people realize the advan-
tage of self-reliance over State



~ir~~ 'z13

of years,this was achieved
only in 1964 the active in-
gredient is known chemically
as tetrahydrocannabrinol
The availability of pure
THC has made a tremend-
ous difference to the pace and
quality of research on mari-
juana for the first time exact
evaluation of the active prin-
ciple can be made the work
however is still at any early
We may divide the drugs
most often abused into four
main categories:
These include the "pep" pills
used by athletes and those
used by students attempting
long hours of last minute
cramming. Chemically they
are known as amphetamines.
"Speed" is a very powerful
stimulant of this type -
These drugs increase alert-
ness and provide a feelingof
well being they also tend to
reduce hunger and so are often
used to decreaes the appetite
of overweight patients.
These often have the oppo-

site effect to stimulants i.e.
they tend to reduce tension
and anxiety and induce sleep,
e.g. the barbiturates (sleeping
pills), librium and alcohol.
They are pain killing drugs
derived from the opium poppy
- morphine, codeine and
heroin and the man-made
chemicals with morphine -
like action.
Also called psychedelics are
capable of producing halluci-
nations, illusions, etc., and
include LSD (Lysergic acid
diethyl amide), mescalinefrom
the peyote cactus of Mexico,
and morning glory seeds.
Where does ganjafit into
the above scheme of things?
First of all it has been fairly
well established that its use
does not lead to physical
In fact there seemsto be a
reverse tolerance, i.e. regular
users require less and less to

attain a "high". However,
chronic users become psycho-
logically dependent upon the
drugs effects.
The drug also seems to have
very wide ranging effects on
human beings it is more
closely related to the hallu-
cinogens than any other drugs
but can also behave as a stimu-
lant at times and as a depres-
sant at other times.
The drug effects on a person
seems to vary widely depend-
ing in part on the user's
mood and expectations and
the quantity of drug used. A
feeling of tranquility and re-
laxation is often experienced,
there seems to be an in-
creased awareness of music and
of objects around the subject.
Colours and shapes seem in-
tensified. While there is a
feeling of intoxicationsimilar
to that produced by alcohol
instead of dulled and muddled
feelings users often claim that
they become extremely con-

scious of certain stimuli. So
much so that jokes may seem
funnier and misfortunes more
The user very often believes
that his thoughts are quite
profound ( a view rarely
shared by observers). One of
the most striking changes is
the apparent slowing of time
- five minutes may seem like
an hour.
A very significant finding is
that first time users often do
not feel any effects, and as one
gets more experienced, smaller
and smaller doses are required
to achieve a "high". This
strongly suggests that the drug
often merely reduces certain
inhibitions allowing the user to
achieve an almost predeter-
mined mood.
There are certain effects
attributed to ganja for which
there is no scientific evidence.
First of all it is well estab-
lished that the drugs not








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n enjoy the guaranteed 6 r
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ured under arrangements with'the
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In fact compared with alco-
hol its safety factor is about
five thousand times better.
The possibility of brain da-
mage has not been verified -
here, more research is needed
but it seems certain at this
stage that it causes very small
brain damage if at all as com-
pared with most other drugs
(e.g. alcohol, LSD).
Supporting this, is the fact
that there is no evidence that
mental disorders are more pre-
valent among populations
which have been using mari-
juana for centuries.
Another misconception is
that Cannabis leads on to
harder drugs. While it has been
documented that a very high
percentage of opiates users ex-
perienced cannabis first there
is no evidence that they would
not have become hard drug
users anyway. In fact there is
evidence that there are a great
many more marijuana users
who neverwent on to opiates
than those who did.


The theory that marijuana
use leads to personality
deterioration again has not
stood up to investigation. At
New York University last year
a survey of 560 students
showed that although frequent
users three to six times a week)
showed slightly lower grades
than non-users, students who
smoked it occasionally did
slightlybetter than average.
Another American survey
among medical students
showed no correlationbetween
classstanding and use of mari-
juana. In fact drug abuse and
lack of motivation are more
often sociological rather than
a biochemical problem.
There is of course docu-
mented evidence of adverse
effects of marijuana, like inci-
dents of panic, paranoia and
"flashback "(where the patient
febls the effect again several
days or weeks after he last
used the drug). However, in
general it is agreed that these
effects are atypical.
Where does all of this leave
us? Misuse of any drug is
dangerous, and marijuana is a


However, all the evidence
indicates that marijuana is
certainly not the highly
dangerous drug that it was
once made out to be. In fact
compared with other drugs
(including alcohol and cigaret-
tes) it stands up quite well to
scrutiny. Undoubtedly much
more research is necessary but
there is no need to be hysteri-
cal about the ill effects of the
In fact this is well accepted
today and the tendency is to
reduce the sentences inposed
on marijuana users through-
out the world (Grenada is a
notable exception where they
have just done the reverse).
While science and medicine
continue research at their level
the problem is undoubtedly
much larger and more impor-
tant than this. Why are so
many young people turning
to this new culture? The pro
blem must include such things
as a study of life styles,
attitude to life and the civiliza-
tion, and disillusionment of

suCCess is


.. .

I. I


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In the World No

.~- *

R6 01 872



COLTS' supporters who
have been having a lean
time for years, now have
something to talk about
this Christmas.
On Tuesday night they saw
their team defeat the highly-
fancied Malvern to win the
B.D.V. Cup final. So the BDV
is back in Belmont where it
perhaps belongs Colts having
won the trophy so many
By chastening Malvern, Colts
have shown that they must
still be numbered among the
top teams. And, the Lord
knows, they played all over
Malvern on Tuesday night.
The winning goal was a
beauty. During a Colts raid,
Hilton Moore advanced goal-
wards but there was 'Dads'
Mclean playing a steady
stopper for Malvern. As 'Dads'
came to tackle, Moore shifted
the ball from his left to his
right foot, catching McLean
who must have expected
Moore to try to beat him on
the outside.
He was through with a
chance and as Colts supporters
prayed 'Now! Now!' he hit a
magnificent shot that caught
Barclay in goal slightly advanc-
ing. The ball cannoned off
Moore's right foot to whizz
just slightly under the cross
bar with a diving Barclay

having not the slightest chance
in the world.
Malvern may very well com-
plain that they were a tired
side, but they aie first class
footballers and really the ex-
cuse cannot detract from
Colts' performance, particu-
larly that of stopper McGill,
whom I hope to see as a
permanent fixture on the
national side.
This season is nearing its end,
but there are a few key matches
still to be played. Yesterday
(Thursday) the Defence Force
met Malvern in the first of the
two-best-out-of-three final for the
League Cup and on
Saturday Malvern meets Maple
to decide who will be the North
Zone F.A. finalists.
The Maple/Malvern clash is of
considerable interest. The two
teams have not met in a final
for a long time, and with Maple
now playing the fast game pion-
eered by Malvern, it is a question
of who has mastered this type
of football better.
To make things even nicer,
Colts have defeated both of these
teams by the same 1-0 margin
within recent times so they are
starting off from the same plat-
form, so to speak. Whoever wins,
one thing is certain and it is
that Saturday night's Christmas
parties will have to hold strain un-
til after the match, before they
can have their full complement.



SOMEBODY, either some-
one in the army, or some-
one who knows the man
well, will have to talk to
Charlie Spooner.
No, I am not joining in the
general chorus of condemna-
tion that has made Charlie
possibly the most unpopular
footballer in .the country
Some men are just born
with what we cnll here a streak
of ignorance,but the Defence
Force's right back is so persis-
tent with his stink play, that
something has to be wrong
with the man, and I seriously
think he needs help.
The trouble is that the

crowds are not viewing
Spooner in isolation. The
Defence Force is a hard tackl-
ing side and sometimes in the
heat of battle this style slides
over to rough play.
Many fans of the game do
not understand the difference
between hard tackling and
unfair play and when hard
tackling is climaxed by out-
rageously dirty football as
played hby v pootni onl
Tuesday, during the POSFL
Cup Final, a blanket of con-
demnation is thrown around
the entire Defence Force
The upshot of all this is as
one soldier in the crowd

A stocking full of questions

From page 1

ster unionism so that the
voice of the workers can be
heard in the corridors were de-
cisions are made." TAPIA, June
27, 1971.
This year what is new is
that thecountryhas gone through
four long years of agonizing re-
appraisal of its political habits
and has formed an entirely new
There are not many who
still think that a grass-roots
movement is one which brings
large crowds into the square.
For Tapia, a grass-roots move-
ment is one which has roots in
the local areas, roots which no
government repression can ever
reach and kill.
Such a movement has to
encourage citizens to dedicate
themselves to work wherever

they may happen to find them-
selves. In the Army or in the
Unions; in the Church or in the
schools; in the professions or
amongst the poor or underpri-
vilegedor unemployed.Wherever
there are citizens aspiring to a
finer, better world, they must
be tied into the movement and
the only line of linkage must be


This is the perspective
which the large majority of the
people have come to share today
now that all the various choices
have been on stage since 1969
and 1970 right up to the present
moment. Who does not realize
that a political party can only be
a coalition of local groups, that
of those "intermediate political
institutions" which sounded so

obscure in 1968? That one day
those groups must come to-
gether in defence of common in-
Tapia's own "local in-
terest" is clear for all the world
to look upon. We were born
among the intellectuals in the
University, and that is where we
had to start. We must be judged
by our impact on intellectual
life and on the University and
student government. We must be
judged by the kind of paper
that we publish, by the clarity
and the relevance and the radi
calism of the plans which we
propose; by the support we have
won among the people with
whom we live and work from
day to day.
Tapia must be judged by
the impact of our work in Tuna-
puna, the centre of our political
life, by the responses of the
youne people all around who are



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now so active in drama and in
dance, in steelband and in sport;
who are discovering in them-
sleves a strength of purpose not
surpassed by any group we know.
Four years have passed.
We cannot say that our example
has been the most important
thing but "the movement among
the people" is visible even to
those soda-fountain activists and
commentators who are in truth,
the backbone of the old regime.
The "ivory-tower, idealistic, Uni-
versity party" is now suddenly ,
threat to the complacency of this
mindless breed. And- that is why
they are worrying so; that is why
they're composing phony letters
to the papers.
Well, they are very right
to worry because a new kind of
political party is in the making.
When it comes it will have lo-
cal groups and unions (includ-
inga-gar union) each with com-
petent leadership and permanent
organisation on the spot.
We are happy to be able to
say in Tapia that we are not the
owners and controllers of these
associations that represent the
interests of real people; in many
cases we do not even know who
and where they are. We are
merely letting our light so shine
before men. If that alone could
make the reactionaries so jumpy,
you can imaginehownear the Day
of Judgment is.


complained bitterly on Tues-
day night "the crowd getting
on as if they want to put us
before a firing squad."
It is not as bad as that, of
course, but look what happen-
ed in this key match viewed
by thousands. At half-time
both teams were deadlocked
at 1-I.
Then came the Spooner inci-
dent and he was ordered off
the field with the crowd
snorting "Boo!" 1 am con-
vinced that Charlie's folly cost
the Defence Force the match.


From then on, practically
the entire crowd was rooting
for Paragon.
Not that Paragon didn't play
well enough to win. They did,
but the Defence Force was
making many raids simply
because Paragon with only
three men attacking lost the
ball on most occasions.
With Spooner off the teani
it meant that Paragon's three
attacking forwards had one
defence man less to contend
with and it was no accident
that Paragon's two final and
winning goals came from plays
on the right side, one scored
by Keith Lester and the other
by Thomson.Spooner sitting
sullenly in the army bus could
only watch as Paragon made
mas' with the space his absence
had caused.


So that somebody should
really talk to Charlie and I say
this as one not wanting to
see the career of a good foot-
baller go down the drain
through sheer 'ignorance' and
as one mindful of the un-
savoury reputation the
Defence Force has got as an
undisciplined team.
This apart, congratulations
go out to Paragon who if only
for the fighting spirit of their
defence deserved to win the
match. They were lucky on a
few occasions but nobody
should begrudge them that



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