Material Information

Place of Publication:
Tapia House Pub. Co.
Creation Date:
December 24, 1972
completely irregular
Physical Description:
no. : illus. ; 43 cm.


Subjects / Keywords:
Politics and government -- Periodicals -- Trinidad and Tobago ( lcsh )
serial ( sobekcm )
periodical ( marcgt )


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:
Copyright Tapia House Pub. Co.. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
Resource Identifier:
000329131 ( ALEPH )
03123637 ( OCLC )
ABV8695 ( NOTIS )

Full Text

VOL. 2 No. 12 SUNDAY DECEMBER 24, 1972

15 cents

162 EAST 78 s,!>.
NIEW YORK 21, N.-'i.



1 cista Amkr

The folkin Caribbean literature
PAGES 8, 9 and 15

THE FIRST charges under
the amended Sedition laws
were laid last week against
a teacher and a student,
both of Calder Hall,
This is the report from
NJAC sources who name Al
Morean, student and executive
member of the National Or-
ganisation of Revolutionary
Students, and Fenwick
Morean, a secondary school
teacher and member of
NJAC's Area Committee,
Tobago, as the persons arrest-
ed on Thursday December 14,
and subsequently charged
with sedition.
The two brothers were
arrested at a meeting with
secondary school students at a
Roxborough Secondary school
NJAC members report that
a girl present at the time
asked "just so?", and she too
was arrested and charged for
using obscene language.


Attempts to get clarification
from the Tobago police have
given a contradictory picture.
One policeman unofficially
admitted that the arrest and
charges were made.
But Superintendent Gordon
said he had no knowledge of
anyone being charged with
sedition last week. The police
had not charged anybody for
sedition, according to him, and
had they done so he would
If anyone had been charged
with sedition last week it
would have to be "private"
charges by someone other
than the police Gordon said.
The mother of the Morean
brothers in a telephone con-
versation confirmed that her
two sons had been arrested.
She did not know whether
the charges was sedition, but
it was "something like that".
Up to Wednesday this week,
she said, they had not been
granted bail.
According to a Crown Coun-
sel of the Attorney General's
Department, the Attorney
General must give his "flat"
for sedition charges. Officers
lower down the ranks would
hear about it later, including
the government law officers
who would eventually have
the responsibility to make the
charges stick in court.
NJAC officials could not
give more information on the

details of the charges except
that they included the term
"creating disaffection among
her Majesty's subjects".
The fact is, however, that
the government has been
anxious to define certain
groups as "subversive" and
seditious. A PNM document
two months ago openly
named NJAC as an organisa-
tion engaging in subversion.
The important thing about
the sedition law, is that ill is
there no matter how infre-
quently it may be invoked
against particular people.
It exists to intimidate people
like printers and publishers
who in the ordinary course of
their business are afraid to
handle anything that appears
to oppose the regime.
And the tight-lippedness of
police and other officials only
goes to show how much the
government's repressive stance
has created fear in people's
minds. In fact for this purpose
repressive laws don't have to
be invoked at all.

In next






Downtown with three more shopping days

RATIONING without any revolu-
tionary change in our economy.
That's what we're .having now. Poli-
tical upheaval usually brings great
economic dislocation as the Gov-
ernment attempts to correct the
deep-seated causes of popular
This is usually accompanied by
a shortage of consumer goods,
price increases and black-market
A small country like Cuba, in a hostile
environment, has had to live with rationing
for some years now.
In Trinidad and Tobago, we are having
rationing without the gains from sweeping
Given this minority government with no
moral authority, everybody doing their own

So poultry people suddenly
find that it's uneconomical to
sell chicken at the set price
and decide to strike.
Of course the government
has to allow a six-cents price
n increase.
It may be true that the
poultry industry is in financial
difficulty because of the in-
creased price of imported
feeds; the point is that some
arrangement should exist
throughout the year whereby

The Truth

IN THE hands of former-
PNM "dedicated citizens",
anxious to take a moral
position against the regime's
corruption, TRUTH can
often be a double-edged
Last week's issue of the
DAC's TRUTH, for ex-
ample, highlights a 1968
legal opinion of now Justice
Des Iles that O'Halloran
merely by appearing cock-
in-hand at Piarco had
offended against the cock-
fight ordinance.
So, thunders TRUTH,
O'Halloran "was in public
and flagrant breach of the

law while a member ofthe
cabinet." That was in 1968,
and A.N.R. Robinson then
a cabinet minister himself
must have known about it
for the two years before he
resigned in 1970.
Yet the DAC paper's
Editorial last week reports
a conversation with a "high-
ranking PNM senator" who
asked why he did not quit.
and make public all the
facts he knew about his
colleagues' sins replied,
"Boy, until we get some-
thing better, we have to
hold on to what we have."
And the Editorial com-





government can assess the
situation and grant or deny
price increases.
If this was happening,
poultry dealers would not be
able to exploit the Christmas
season to increase the burden
on the consumer.
It is the same thing with
eggs. As the season of good-
will draws closer, the price has
been spiralling.
Eggs are short and if you
find any, see if you have the

ments: "This reply is typi-
cal of the attitude of many
erstwhile decent and honest
men and women. We use
the word 'erstwhile' because
we feel that to continue to
be part of a group WHICH
RUPT is the same thing as
being oneself dishonest."
TRUTH must out. And
it condemns ANR and his
"erstwhiles" in their own
words, for holding on to
what they had until some-
thing better appeared, and
*for showing sanctimony
now they're no longer in
the money...

With rice, is months now
that rationing going on. Shops
and groceries are only allow-
ing two pounds per person.
One can't help feeling like a
Cuban lining up in Havana for
a price ration.
The only thing is that here
there is no free transport, no
hospital beds.
The situation is so ridiculous
that we are now importing
sugar although this country is
a big exporter of sugar.
But meeting export quotas
is more important than the
needs of the people.
Now if you want powdered
milk for the baby, you have to
take what you get.
One week is Klim on the
shelves, the other is Fernleaf.
And the prices going up all
the time. More rationing in we
Certains brands of flour have
disappeared from the country
Everytime goods reappear,
the price is higher.
How can the Government
sit back and allow a few mer-
chants to reap huge benefits
at the expense of people who
already ketching dey ass?
Andwhat is the so-called
Prices Commission doing? You
have to wonder.

must out


EVERY Friday morning, early, before the
hazards of everyday life that is the lot of 1
I journey to the South. Through Curepe
and McBean to Couva. And there at 1
the country begins to stir.
"Tapia reach".
"How much you sell last week?"
"All yuh cyar make here nuh, yuh ent
people ass like peas. Police getting next we
to buy we again".
"Why all yuh doh have scandal like de B(
Trinidadian like. We cyar change".

The air is crisp; it is early
morning. I listen, I smile; my
spirits are high.
"Brudderman, gimme mih
Yes, the country is stirring.
But the movements are slow.
It is as if the country does not
want to awaken. It is as if it is
saying to itself:


"I feel dat if I could sleep
and sleep and sleep it will pass
and the morning when I wake
it will be bright and the load
light. Oh God, I want to
whistle and sing and work and
build but every where yuh
turn is pressure and blows.Is
like a plan. Is like if dey have
a grand design. Will we really
never build anything? 1972-
We still struggling to break
the colonial chains that grip
our minds like a vice. And
the men of 1956 use all at
their disposal to prove the
colonial thesis that we are
nothings. Lord let me sleep".
Christian and Bruce are
waiting in San Fernando.
"Esmond wants 200 for Point
Fortin; he organising to sell
them." I give them their share.
And then Mickey is rubbing
the sleep out of his eyes. I am
in Fyzabad.


"Ah glad to see we publish
NJAC paper. I wanted to come
with you today but I just
come off the shift. Ah tired
too bad. Sales going good;
leave the usual50."
Butler stands sentry at
Charlie King junction and sur-
veys the block that now starts
to fill with the brothers. They
assemble from early, they
retire late at night. The un-
employed, "on a different
scene". The life blood of the
country perched on the blocks
of despair from Laventille to
Sangre Grande,from Tuna-
puna to Fyzabad. And
Butler stands over them at the
junction where the country,
once before, took hope.
Frustration and impotence
each succeeding generation
feels it. It is like a fact of life
here. Those that sit in the seat
of power, those who inherited
the governorship, those who
they say "understand Trini-
dadians" ensure that fact. But
there is a difference. Now.



Sparrow's g
"Drunk and
day it is not
and the mo
reflective. 0
you but cool
real difference
"Ivan, yuh
"Every wee
"Yuh feel I
message. I er
liams have t
He could bu
jail yuh......."
"Yuh takin
"How yuh
newspaper. '
much power
We going to
All of dem v
could buy
people like sl
who believe
nice house
level dey bac
and he brud
Nobody wan
paper every v
so. We go mc
lemme go a


people face the
the Trinidadian,
and Chaguanas,
ram's Cafe the

The Cafeteria at Texaco That is an achievement. There the all night folding at Tapia
Forest Reserve yard is teeming can be no doubt we are build- House. And so I pass through
see backpay in' with oil workers. Thetrade iss ing slowly and surely. Creat- Erin, Rancho Quemado and
eek. Dey trying brisk, the talk fast. They have ing something fundamental in Santa Flora. In Siparia at
to take up work at 7.00 a.m. their "Third World's Third "Busy Corner" Mr. Charles is
3MB. That is all The country is awake now. World". taking his swig of "medicine".
There are those who cannot Point Fortin falls away and I relax a few minutes while,
be broken. We feel it. We in Fanny Village Mrs. John in between ole talk, he works
LA UGHLIN sense it. We know the oppor- tells me that she has sold the out the sales for the week
AUGHIN before.
And now it is home time.
Generation were Penal, Debe, Marabella signs
Disorderly". To- of the GRAND DESIGN
corn, it is weed everywhere. 35 out of every
ptod is cool nd 100 of those under 25 years
pting out, mind t .. walk the streets without work.
ane. AI see it. AOf those who get work, what
back again." is it? A five days money for
ak uddea.rma" the foremen, money for the
people getting the checker. Crash programmes
e et think so. Wl- designed to encourage the
too much power. W young not to work. Killing the
oo much power. c life-blood. A generation dying?
y yuh, he could But Blackpool initiated block-
g a Tapia chief?" a-rama. Astor Johnson is nur-
e a Tapia chief?" .. turning the dance. Walcott has
illmean, dat is my built his theatre workshop.
? Yuh feel dat? Lance Layne Andre Tanker,
level all of dem. Bertie Marshall... the country
who still feel yuh is rallying.! The movement is
and sell black taking root. Tapia is growing.
rThe House shows signs of
lave like cattle; RUTHVEN BAPTISTE IVANLAUGHLIN the night's work. Alan is at his
dat allwewant is the night's work. Alan is at his
and car. We go tunity to redress 400 years of usual six. desk. Ruthven and Arthur,
sided. Every bitch degradation is ours. We know "But leave ten. You know Gerry and Sours finishing the
ler. Doh frighten, people matter and we know you have six serious readers folding. Lenny trying to write.
it dem. Bring the we have the capacity to build here but more will come. It Lloyd is still out on the
week. Keep it jus' anew. So once again we face takes time". Mayaro run.
owe dem. Anyhow the hazards. It is hot now, the sun is high Tunapuna, St. Vincent
nd do de people Tapia is here four years. The in the sky. The roads are Street, Tapia House. Home
New World movement twelve. real bad and I am sleepy from again my Spirits high.
___________________________________________________________________ .


Cor. Abercromby & Queen Sts.


Staff and Management

Restaurant and Bar
Eastern Main Road, El Dorado, Tunapuna


Andrew Salkey
A book for all Republicans $3.95
111 Frederick Street & Campus St. Augustine




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Phone 652-2093





30 Cipero

San Fernando




THE crisis at UWI con-
tinues. This time the issue
involves two lecturers at
Mona, Jamaica-Trevor
Munroe and Bobby
Vice-Chancellor of the
University Professor Roy
Marshall last week brought
charges against the two
lecturers arising 6ut of a
three-week strike by
workers at the Mona
campus in October.
Munroe is also the Vice-
President of the UAWU (The
University Allied Workers
Union). The Mona workers
went on strike for increased
wages and better conditions
of employment. Students
joined workers in the strike.


Stanley Reid, President of
the Mona Students' Guild,
reported in the St. Augustine
campus paper, Embryo, that
Medical students for the first
time in the history of UWI
boycotted classes during the
October strike.
Professor Marshall has sum-
moned the Professional Com-
mittee to hear charges of
"serious misconduct" brought
against Munroe and Figueroa.
Reid pointed out that the
Vice-Chancellor had brought
these charges against the two
lecturers "in spite of the deci-
sion of the University Council
to enquire into the disruption
of the campus, and in spite of
the non-victimization clause
written into the workers'
settlement of October."
The workers at the Mona
campus have now gone on a
go-slow in protest against the




Vice-Chancellor's ;action, ac-
cording to Reid.
Reid predicts more campus
unrest when the Christmas
vacation ends next month,
with the likelihood of the
closing down of the Mona
campus for one year and
moves to purge the students
body workers and academics.
The duty of the Professional
Committee, which is drawn
by lot, is to uncover facts and

to make recommendations to
the governing body of the
university. It is due to begin
hearing of- the Munroe case
late January.
The issue contains all the
elements for another in the
continuing series of confron-
tations between the University
Administration and students,

workers, and members of aca-
demic staff, particularly in
Social Sciences.
In recent years, there have
been several incidents involv-
ing members of the Social
Science Faculty, the univer-
sity Administration and Carib-
bean Governments. --
In some instances, the origi-

nal spark has come from
Caribbean Governments as in
the cases of Rodney and
Thomas in Jamaica or of
Emmanuel and Riviere in
Trinidad. Other issues have in-
volved the UWI Administra-
tion and individual lecturers,
for example, Camacho and


In 1970 Munroe was stop-
ped by the Trinidad govern-
ment from visiting here to do
a study of the national crisis.
In the case of those lecturers
who have been banned by
Caribbean Governments there
has always been a feeble-
hearted attempt at protest by
the Administration.
This has led to a growing
suspicion in Social Science
circles that the UWI Adminis-
tration disapproves of their
activities which are seen as
likely to jeopardise UWI rela-
tions with Caribbean Govern-


The issue again shows up the
crisis of confidence which
affects UWI as all other insti-
tutions in the region. It is, as
we have said, a crisis which
can only be settled by
members of the university
really getting down to discuss
the fundamentals.
One of the persons who
have been chosen by lot to
sit on this Professional Com-
mittee, is Lloyd Best, Tapia
Secretary and Economics
Lecturer, who only recently
- Taced -a Professional Com-
mittee himself.

More facts about marijuana

IN RESPONSE to queries
about last week's article
"What You Didn't Know
About Marijuana" the author
Baldwin Mootoo wishes to
Drug dependence is a very wide
definition which includes both
physical and psychological dep-
Physical dependence (addiction)
on a drug is such that with-
drawal results in painful and
distressing symptoms vomiting

and convulsions.
The best known addictive drugs
are the opium drugs, heroin
being the most powerful. How-
ever, it is possible to become
addicted to other drugs, e.g.,
barbiturates, alcohol.


Psychological dependence in-
cludes any desire to repeat the
use of a drug intermittently or
continuously, for example, cig-
arette smoking, without the

body physically demanding it.
As pointed out in last week's
article, although there is no
evidence of physical dependence,
there could be psychological
dependence on marijuana.
The opiates on the other hand
always cause physical depend-
ence and are thus more dan-
gerous. Not only does the body
come to need it for normal
functioning, but users require
progressively greater quantities
to get a "high".


Look New

No Job Too Big or Small

Sen house

66 Eastern Main Road Centor
St, Augustine. C ne

Wishing you al// he'best


Morris New Store


.gift items

.Furniture&appliances SEE

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










"Ah went away, ah leave and
ah come back home
Ah come back to stay, ah
must see mih way ..."

THE WORDS are in the
idiom of calypso. But the
singer is not a calypsonian
in the strict sense of the
word. For 12 years Andre
Tanker has been a band-
leader, one who has man-
aged to retain a position
at the top whatever was
the current musical vogue.
Recently he has been sing-
ing those lines to the acc-
ompaniment of an uncon-
ventional assortment of

electric guitar and bass, African
drums of the Mansa Musa
and St James drummers
and assorted percussion in-
At NJAC's last rally two Sun-
days ago it was difficult to
match the voice coming over
the microphone with the fam-
iliar figure plucking the electric
It was an accented voice. You
noticed that, and it was signi-
ficant that you did. For the
accent was distinctively Trini-
dadian. And if it meant that
local singers and musicians are
now singing in Trinidad accents,
then that is a change.
In the tortured experience of
finding identity that so many
of our artistes have shares,

the achievement of a Trinidad
accent is a forward develop-
ment. At first, as in the case of
Andre Tanker now, it seems
forced, overdone, a wilful at-
tempt to be part of or to
identify with an authentic soul
tradition that is undeniably
So that when he sings now
Andre's accent is part calypso-
nian, part Baptist preacher, part
Andrew Beddoe but fully
Trinidadian, in the 1970s. And
because of that too, you are
able to make out influcInccs
that are not Trinidadian at all
- of Jose Feliciano, in parti-
cular, and that of a tradition
of North American "torch"
Overall, though, the impres-
sion is one of assimilation,

merging all the inescapable
influences and producing a
sound that owes to all of them
yet belongs to neither of them.
Andre Tanker has come -
or is coming very near to
the achievement of that syn-
thesis. That is the directic.i of
movement of Trinidad music
And Tanker who has lived
this evolution throughout all
of its phases in the last decade
or so illustrates in his career
the groping after a sound,
which, fully recognizable when
discovered, eludes the grasp
all through the dark days
before self-discovery.


Now 31, Andre looks back
and takes the positive view of
what was happening in Trini-
dad music over the years, as
we tried to sketch a line of
development from the Wood-
brook boy who went to St.
Mary's and then started a
group that came to be called a
"society band", playing in the
Hilton, then in 1970 writing
the music score for Derek
Walcott's folk musical "Ti
Jean" and now "grounding"
in NJAC rallies.
"When I went to music it
was just open. I embraced all
the influences there jazz,
rock and roll, indigenous
music. I grew up a corner
away from John Buddy Wil-

liams, a corner away from
Invaders Steelband and a
corner away from Beryl Mc
His first instrument was a
pan. "As boys we used to
hassle Ellie Mannette "Ellie
gimme a pan, nuh' and one
day he dropped an old tenor
in the yard."


By the time Tanker was
ready to enter music the
combo movement was just
coming on. Groups like Ancil
Wyatt, Silver Strings and
Esquires were just tuning up
for the wave of electronic
guitar sounds that was to
dominate the next decade.
Joey Lewis, whom Tanker
considers a most important
figure in Trinidad music, was
striking a powerful rapport
with the dance hall crowds
through the introduction of
the electric guitar and its use
to pluck the basic, repetitive
chant much like the montuno
of Cuban music.
The "saga ting" dance which
developed 'round this muisc
in the late fifties and early
sixties was perhaps the last
locally developed popular
dance. Joey, however, has
persisted,supported by a con-
stituency of his own in Trini-
dad and the Caribbean, so
Continued on Page 13

1 -1




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St Vincent St, Port of Spain.

Telephone 62-32186



of fredericK srett .
Trinidad's leading family Storr






THE SPIRIT that enobles
the Eddie Hart League could
hardly be better demon-
strated than with an account
of an incident that took
place during the Presenta-
tion function which marked
the closing of the League.
last Sunday.
One of the officials who
received a prize as a token of
the League's gratitude, Clyde Me
Donald, took it and without
hesitation gave it to a promising
17-year-old player,Clyde Phillips.
The point was well made -
it is only in the topsy-turvy
world of Trinidad sport that of-
ficials expect prizes and honorar-
iums as 'payment' for their ser-
Indeed oneof the curses of
this country's sport is the em-
phasis placed on officials to the
detriment of the players them-
Not that the Eddie Hart
League was skimping with regard

to its players.
There is hardly a league in
the country that gave out so
many trophies and individual
prizes as Eddie Hart's. Smaller
wonder, then that the League
attracted some 2,000 players
with an incredible 538 games
being played.

Addressing the gathering,
League Secretary, Kenrick
Thomas pointed out that the
League had some difficulty in
getting some teams,to pay up
.their entrance fees simply
because of a lack of trust.
As he explained it: "We
discovered that these players have
been fleeced and exploited time
and time again by various admin-
istrators of sports in the country,
which hascaused them to be very
reluctant in taking on anotherr"

Thomas called on the play-
ers to put some trust in the ad-
ministrators of his League and
gave the assurance that they were
seriously interested in seeing that
the players "get the maximum
benefit from sport."
Thomas called on the TFA
to institute regular courses on
refereeing throughout thecountry
for referees, players and mem-
bers of the public similar to the
one that the League itself had
organised with the help of the

President of the Referees' As-
sociation, Mr. George Cumber-
batch and Theo Joseph.
Maintaining that in any
football League, the Juvenile
League was the most important.
Thomas also calledon the TFA to
institute a Juvenile League in
the country.
Norman Williams Shef-
field United (Arouca) Robert
Joseph- Fulham Ronald Woods
Second Spring Victor McGill
Cipriani United (Morvant) Wil-
liams Alexander (Trincity Ar-




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THEY say that things never
work but as one would
wish. But by winning Lav-
entille's Liverpool League,
Furness has shown that
sometimes they do.
Furness played a large hand in -
the clearing and marking of the
mini-football field situated just
off Erica Street. The members
of the team are all from "the
Hole" as Upper Erica Street is
called and they were all close
friends of Oliver Edmund who
crashed to his death in an
aeroplane.- -
The League was organised dur-
ing the emotional outburst that
followed Edmund's death and
it couldn't be more fitting that
Oliver's team-mates should have
the first lien on the League
A large crowd, two weeks ago,
saw Furness hold the star-
studded "36 Blues" to a 1-1
draw, thereby doing all they
had to do to win the League.
Furness deserved to win because
their hustling tactics prevented
"36 Blues" from displaying the
brand of all-round skills that
has caused them to be the most
highly-touted side in the League.
The entire team must take
credit for the victory, but sure-
ly a special word of commend-
ation is due to Donnie Bain
who was magnificent in goal,
Leslie "See-wah-wah" Barton
who was a rock in the defence,
and Junior Mayers who was
constantly trying the goal and
who rocketed a powerful right
footer past the "Blues" goal-
keeper early in the first half.
When "Blues" equalised near-
ing the end of the first half, the
pundits predicted that "coming
down" "Blues" would swamp
Furness. This was not to be for
the Furness defence took every-
thing the "Blues" forwards had
to offer.
Perhaps the vociferousness of
the Furness supporters had
something to do with unsett-
ling "Blues" but all that's in
the game. A word of comm-
endation must also go out to
the referee Winston Fraser who
was cool and courageous in
handling what was a difficult







_ __ II I _~



More pressure
on Africans
tioul Aflffisg W tit fai
" I t'C "t"wo*.4t! 'b 4af F-

tqk44 i~stW,
Zr 'lt9k*&ei~~w b~19 rrokIe~aw t

lpPt,~S ~~d~~"i~

~plt-C{d ibat llC, p S AbdetMo
dbe AINC~atd"re

the image of Rhodesia abroad."
They are also banned from
traveffing to African areas in


Nigeria doing repairs of war-damaged roads
LA; 'ii .';, MIGERIA has lunched a 584 million highway By 1975, contractors mainly Freneh Ad G[miin= siiM4dy
- .;:..' wo iAm ,s to repair an- d rcbuird roads damaged in the completed feasibility studies covering 3,-'00 kloif ff[6 ,h1f 81
1: b waul final engineering on 640 kilometres of highway.
.t,, ..... ;. -, .-. *;,::-;,.f plaS iilly to build or repair 175 Nigeria already has some 88,000 kilomete tOtfp 4#4d ~164WyG
.:..-.. .k ~fj ajr road in its Western state and rehabilitate eight roads for rapidly increasing traffic Il tthe tiO ft O f it51
I..? ::. '. ... W -:rr *.Iate .persons.

r t

A .. '. 4

IT-E, Qys grow up, and dress,
l #ke t *he men they admire.
I .jff %-\* k Th ; ','i ':o- tih : i fwiutuiul clothes in town. Both shirts oro dmacd fiiflm
:, Y.. i-: ',"-,' ;,-i.\ ,-:, I ,, ._'.,.ven etw\ees, \\ith iong sleeves, two button cuffs, orand faq ,hti hil
I..rrq ~'1.;'-Gi T r f r,e t hmr: h s a tve -ted tl'. The other shirt has a rugged western cut \\ih \ -t
S-.:-.~'ti ..As ,, .T ii-. |it .::.;.,,i ,,rl];r.g b,'l.-e. c-.-ccilo r combinations. The pants are o oubl:krnit
ig.Irr','2!,~,s w' i, *cii''n,,-tr.'~~-ral pl.; .or i3 bells. All are Freedom Clt th@ s bi
Sll 7'. K ^ t-l lflT te~lt, br \ 3ur growing boys.

____~_~ i

ONE OF the major areas
of concern in our present
debate about constitution-
al change is the question
of local government re-
form. There seems to be
general agreement among
all non-PNM groups on
the urgent need for
change in this department
of national life. But this is
as far as agreement goes.
One school of thought argues
that the present system is
generally all right and needs
only to be touched up here
and there; that the problem
of local government is not so
much that the system is
wrong but that the wrong
people are in charge.
Change the present rulers at
the central level and better
local government would in-
evitably follow. The alternative
school of thought feels that in
the age of independence, a
system instituted in the
colonial time has now to be
drastically overhauled; that
real power has to be given to
local authorities in the
management of local affairs.

This article seeks to advo-
cate the second premise,
namely, that our present sys-
tem of local government is
not only out-dated but is a
confusion of acts and ordi-
nances haphazardly passed
during the last two decades,
that our local bodies are
bound up in an incubus of
red-tapism which makes pro-
cedure more important than
performance and in which
regulations have replaced
The argument will also be
developed that there has been
so much overcentralization
that the local bodies have
very little authority and
initiative left to them. A
pointed illustration of this was
witnessed only last year. There
was much protest about the
situation of the La Basse off
the Beetham Highway. Nor-
mally this should have been a
matter for the Port-of-Spain
City Council to put right. But
during the last ten years so
much of this Council's author-
ity has been superseded by the
Central Government that the
City Council felt powerless
to act on this matter and
therefore had to wait on the
Cabinet to take a decision to
re-site the dump.

In the meantime, however,
the Mayor and his entourage
of side-kicks revel in their non-
authority and promise with
great solemnity to rid the
city of its dogs. Even that
they could not do properly.
The two English experts
brought down to do the job
found the situation here too
chaotic. They hastily packed
up and departed much to the
delight of the dogs.
The Municipal mess that now
exists in Trinidad, however,
will have to be dealt with
separately. The concentration
in this study will be on the
rural areas of local govern-
ment, mainly the County
Rural local government can
be traced as far back as 1847
when it became necessary to
set up the administrative"
machinery necessary to cope
with the many new problems
created by the migration of
peoples (mainly former slaves)




No power

to the


from the urban to the rural
In that year and in 1849
ordinances were passed which,
firstly, divided the colony into
two divisions, each of which
was parcelled into four coun-
ties. Each county was split
into two districts, each of
which in turn was divided into
These ordinances, secondly,
made provision for the
appointment of a warden in
each ward. Initially these war-
dens were selected from
among the planters but later
the post became a full-time
paid one. From 1852 the
powers of the Wardens were
gradually increased so that by
the beginning of this century
the warden was a little
governor in his ward. He had
become not only the adminis-
trative head but also the
ceremonial leader of his ward.

It was not until 1894, how-
ever, that elective Local Road
Boards (LRB) were created.
These allowed for participation
by the rural people in the
management of local roads
within their wards. In that
year the governor appointed
the first road board in every
ward where he felt this advis-
able but thenceforth these
boards were to comprise six
members elected from the
ward by the people who
owned property.
There was a sliding scale by
which votes were apportioned;

each voter possessed votes
according to the amount of
land that he owned. For
example, a person who paid
up to $6.00 a year had one
vote and a person who paid
$100.00 had five votes. Those
who paid anything over
$100.00 had the maximum
number of votes that any one
person could possess, namely
These Local Road Boards
were given representation at
the Central level in 1898 when
each LRB was permitted to
send one delegate to the Cen-
tral Board which had over-all
control over the colony's road
system. Even though the vote
was restricted only to property
owners and although the white
plantocracy often saw LRB's
as competitors to their power,
the road boards formed an
important training school for
rural landowners.
In places like Diego Martin
and Princes Town they were
used as a forum for the vent-
ing of grievances against the
government and as areas for
political education and mobili-
zation. We have to remember
also that people like C.C.
Abidh, Chairman of the
Chaguanas LRB for many
years, was able to use this area
as a base for his entry into
the politics of the wider
The period between the set-
ting up of the Local Road
Boards and the second world
war was one that was cha-

ing two councillors. Tobago,
however, comprised at that
time only one electoral dis-
But we have to remember
that the British government
in 1945, did not envisage that
Trinidad's rural peoples could
manage their own affairs. And
so the 1945 Ordinance gave no
executive powers to the
County Councils. They could
only act in an advisory capa-
city and at most make recom-
mendations to the government
regarding matters, like local
roads, markets, pastures, police
stations, public buildings and
social services.
It was not until 1952 that,
under pressure from the politi-
cians, the status of the County
Councils was improved. From
that year County Councils
could choose their own Chair-
man, their own Aldermen and
each County Council could
now appoint three Committees
to deal with their more im-
portant policy-making func-
tions effectively.

These Committees were (a)
The Roads Committee consist-
ing of six members, four of
whom were to be appointed
by the governor from among
persons who had special ex-
perience about road-making.
Here the former LRB mem-
bers were able to contribute
substantially. (b) The Health
Committee comprise of six
members, four of whom were
to be appointed by the gover-


racterised by much agitation
for constitutional change. And
one of the recommendations
of the Franchise Commission
appointed in 1942 to recom-
mend constitutional changes
for the Colony, was that
County Councils should be set
up to replace the LRB's and
that the work of the County
Councils should include a far
wider area of jurisdiction than
simply the handling of local
Acceding to this request, the
government, through Ordi-
nance 18 of 1945 set up seven
County Councils namely, St.
George (excluding Port-of-
Spain and Arima). St. David -
St. Andrew, Nariva Mayaro,
Caroni, Victoria, St. Patrick
and Tobago. Each of these
counties was divided into
electoral districts, each return-

nor. (c) The Finance and
General Purposes Committee
which was to comprise as
many members as each council
saw fit.
The Warden of each county
now became the Chief Execu-
tive Officer (CEO) responsible
for the efficient management
of the affairs of the County
Council. But the most signifi-
cant aspect of the 1952 Ordi-
nance was the fact that it gave
Executive powers to the Coun-
They now obtained financial
allocations and were respon-
sible, among other things, for
the maintenance of all roads,
bridges (other than Main roads
and bridges) and of all Crown
traces. They were now also
empowered to assist in the
development of Community,
District and Village Councils,

distribute water by trucks in
emergency cases, maintain a
Local Health Authority (LHA)
for the County, provide and
maintain markets, pastures,
recreation and burial grounds
and make regulations pertain-
ing to commercial advertising
in the county.

There were a number of
subsequent amendments to the
1952 Act, the most impor-
tant being that from 1967
(Ordinance 22) there was to
be one representative for each
ward instead of two.
An important development
under the aegis of the 1952
Act was the formation of Vil-
lage and Community Councils
in Trinidad and Tobago. These
are voluntary organizations
whose major functions are to
promote the cultural, recrea-
tional, educational and allied
interests of the various areas
which they service.
It is against this background
of the development of rural lo-
cal government that we can now
examine thevery rapid deteriora-
tion of the County Councils
system. In conducting research
for the writing of this critique
we found that some of the
braver County Councillors,
county clerks and members of
the rural public are more than
ready to talk of the large-scale
bobol that goes on under the
name of the County Councils.
Examples of the usurpation



- ---- ~ -~'


A CONTINUUM exists between a living oral
tradition, and a growing scribal one in the West
Indies. It relates to the continuum which
exists between the various West Indian Creoles
and Standard West Indian English. Most West
Indian writers seem to enter this continuum at
several points. Selvon, for example, bridges the
gap between oral and scribal traditions.
When his works are read aloud to a group, and there
is interplay between narrator and audience, they yield
up ironies and subletieswhich one can miss when
simply reading the words on the page.
There is a tendency in certain quarters to undervalue
an oral tradition, and the sort of criticism which it
demands of the critic. Criticism of works which are
meant to be performed can never be purely literary
criticism, although it may borrow some of the methods
of literary criticism. Louise Bennett's poetry, for
example, depends so much of tones of voice on the
fluidity of the voice as it breaks out of the strict
metrical limitations of the quatrain, that one ought to
comment on the words in audible motion, rather than
in their comparatively frozen form on the page. Afair
proportion of Brathwaite's poetry falls into this
category. Since I have discussed his work extensively
elsewhere (23) I won't bother to do so now. I'd like
instead to consider the work of Louise Bennett.


Mervyn Morris (24) and Rex Nettleford (25) have
both written important essays in an attempt to begin
discussionon Louise Bennett,while Dennis Scott inter-
viewed her for Caribbean Quarterly. (26) In this
necessarily brief enquiry, comparisons will be drawn
wherever possible, between the poems of Miss Bennett
and calypsoes from Trinidad which treat of the same,
or similar themes. In this way, it may be possible to
probe similarities and differences between the "urban"
male mentality in Trinidad, and the "urban-folk"
mentality of one of the most formidably accomplished
women in Jamaica. Tentative insights may also be
gained into the different positions occupied by two
different sets of West Indian people, along the folk-
urban continuum. Since, ultimately, the problem is in
each case one of language, some comment will be
attempted on the linguistic aspect of the issues.
From the very start of her career as an artist in the
late 1930's Louise Bennett decided to work in dialect,
despite the initial discomfort, and even dislike, she
occasioned the middle-classes. She seems to have had a
clear idea of her ends, and as early as 1944 in "Bans
O' Killing" wrote a poetic defence of the language
of her choice.


Her argument was that dialect and an oral tradition
have provided the very basis of English literature
itself; that part of the process of self-acceptance was
acceptance of one's most intimate language. The final
stanza is a piece of verbal sleight of arm, very similar
indeed to the method of several calypsonians, begin-
ning with the Mighty Spoiler (Theophilus Philip), one
of the masters of the late forties and the fifties.
Louise Bennett is able to identify the precise quality
of absurdity in the educated colonial arriviste, who
assumes the accent and the accent-snobbery of the
And mine how you dah-read dem English
Book deh pon yuh shelf
For ef yuh drop a "h" might
Haffe kill yuhself.
The play on words (s (h) elf, self) is brilliant, sum-
marizing the argument in the entire poem. Charlie,
who wants to "kill" dialect, is in fact so unsure of
himself inhis acquired accent, that he has to be for-
ever on guard, lest he lapses into the old (natural)
manner of speaking, and betrays his lower-class back-
ground to the new world of arrivistes in which he seeks
a place. Social, as well as artistic liberation, Miss
Bennett is saying, ultimately depends on self-accep-
tance. In her work, one recognizes a consistent and

intelligent attack on class and colour snobbery,
especially in their linguistic dimension. The scanty
critical attention which, according to Morris and
Nettleford she has received, is probably the result,
not only of middle-class philistinism in the West
Indies, but of the inability of the "Afro-Saxon" mind
to understand the corrosive quality of Miss Bennett's
humour. They preferred to accept her as a "coon"
entertainer, satire being, in a paraphrase of Swift, a
glass wherein each man recognizes everybody else's
The energy which sustained Miss Bennett through-
out her thirty years of almost unbroken and dedicated
devotion to her art as poetess, raconteuse of Anansi
stores (27), actress and folklorist, could scarcely have
derived from the educated or monied "middle-classes".
They were concerned with maintaining position and
stereotypes and few societies are more deeply en-
crusted with stereotyping than ex-slave societies which
need to maintain their semi-feudal rigidity, or accept
the possibility of a too rapid.levelling-off. Louise
Bennett, on the other hand, was primarily concerned
with shattering stereotypes; with making the language
of the people into a tool which could penetrate the
barriers of colour and class, or at least point out their
absurdity. It is perhaps, for this reason that in. her
interview with Dennis Scott, she refused to be categor-
Scott: Your position in this country, it seems to me,
Louise,is that of a middle-class professional enter-
tainer. Or perhaps "professional entertainer of the
Bennett: O0i, neverthat.
Scott: Who then do you speak for in your poetry, and who
do you speak to?
Bennet: I think I speak to all Jamaica. In a performance
for instance I don't want to talk about my writ-
ing a large cross-section of the community from
the Governor-General to the man inthestreet can
react to the lines and the situation I present. So I
can't feel that I belong to any class or that I write
for any class. (28)
Scott, it seems to me, in attempting to des-
cribe the crucial relationship between the West Indian
writer and his/her world, has allowed himself to be
trapped in the very categories, which, we have been
saying the very existence pf the writers challenges.
Miss Bennett, on the other hand, seems to be argu-
ing for what we have described as a fluid process
of interlocked relationships, a continuum flowing be-
tween the various polar opposites which, for the
sake of examining West Indian experience, can be
imagined to exist.
On the other hand, Miss Bennett's claim, "I
cannot feel that I belong to any class or that I write
for any class" needs to be examined. Do the various
types of people respond to her work in the same
way, or does she, in spite of the supposed "limita-
tions" of dialect, manage to make her appeal at var-
ious levels? If so, how does she do this? Such an en-
quiry will involve in the first place, an examination
of her people and their milieu, and secondly, an ap-
preciation of the way in which she handles her
masks, seeming to merge her voice with those of her
personae, while she retains such distance as is neces-
sary to pursuit of her central purpose.


Louise Bennett's people are largely semi-
illiterates, caught in various stages of the transition
from village to city. Had her formative years been
the sixties rather than the thirties, she may well
have found laughter difficult, the process of change
more violent, and the dislocation caused in the
transition from country to town, more painful.
There is little laughter in the folk-urban sounds of
contemporary Kingston. (29) The transition in the
thirties was probably less harsh. Or it may simply
be that Miss Bennett's laughter is her final mask.
Her people are often bewildered by the rapid changes
in their milieu.
This deep perplexity is countered and almost
concealed by solid commonsense and shrewdness,
which ignore the broad incomprehensible forces at

work in the community, and reduce such intrusions
as Miss Knibb's mass marriage campaign, a visit from
the census taker, the chaos of politics and the re-
mote machinations of Adolf Hitler, to manageable
proportions. As we have seen Selvon is depicting a
similar thingin The Lonely Londoners. Between
the innocents' bewilderment at the complex move-
ment of local and world events, and their rooted
understanding of the art of survival in their own
little world., lies a wide range of richly comic pos-
sibilities, which Miss Bennett explores.
In order to come to terms with their world,
her people need at times to stretch language .Some-
times the result is brilliant. Universal Adult Suffrage
which does little to alleviate the accumulated ills of
the society is soon renamed "Sufferage". Mrs. Mary
Knibb, who seeks to counter illegitimacy with mass
marriages, becomes Miss Married Knibbs. Pedestrian
crossings become "crosses" in the frightened gaze

of the old woman, whose language almost breaks
down as she attempts to explain her fear.
De crossing a-stop we from pass meek dem cross
But nutten dah-stop dem from cross meck we pass
Dem ya crossing is crosses fo true. (p. 74)*
The question of what happens to the language of
a people in a state of transition between village and
city, who have to face dislocation and adjust
abruptly to each new disaster, is one which needs
to be investigated. Their are sufficient signs in the
popular urban responses reggae, Rastafarianism
and the new writing in Jamaica, whose basis is dia-
lect (29)-thatdialect is being stretched, both on the
part of the educated writer who wants to "ground"
with the sufferers", and on the part of the 'dispos-
sessed" who are trying to come to terms with the
Such asituationwill probably lead to the creation
of a number of artificial languages, whose make-
shift improvisations in themselves explore nothing,
explain little, but signal that a number of people of
goodwill are trying to bridge a gap, seeking to be-
long. Perhaps, the success of the Jamaican Disc
Jockey, with his peculiar patter of sound, his ability
to link together incongruous phrases, more with a
regard for their rhythm than for their sense, and the
disarticulated structure of a number of exceedingly
popular songs (29) are a sign of this.
The immense popularity of peoplelike Hugh Roy,
who have helpedcreate a Jamaican equivalent of the
jazz "scatting" for which Ella Fitzgerald and Louis
Armstrong were famous, may be due to the fact
that.their destruction of language signals the points
where the strain on dialect is too severe, while the
vitality of their rhythms reassures the "sufferer" that



I 2 1

all coherence is not lost, that life goes on in spite of
Louise Bennett seems to have sensed that when
societies are in violent transition, sensibility and lan-
guage, too, partake of the flux. Bewilderment and
survival are two of the poles between which her
people oscillate. Part of the technique of survival
lies in the scuffler's use of language as mask.
Candy-Seller and South Parade Peddlar are two of
the best examples of this. The higgler adopts the tone
of voice which she feels appropriate to each cus-
tomer, but showers abuse on those who refuse to
buy. Examples of such abuse are omnipresent in
West Indian fiction dealing with "the people."
It is there in the novels, short stories or plays
about the barrack-yard, and has been the life-blood
of certain types of Calypso, from the traditional
Sans Humanite' type to the picong calypsoes
sung by modern exponents of the art (30). Major

part of the artillery of abuse in both Louise Ben-
bett and the Calypso, is the simile. Examples from
both make the point better than any exposition:
Miss Bennett's "Cuss-Cuss" is an example of a
quarrel between two women, similar to what are
called 'Woman Bacchanal" calypsoes in Trinidad.
(The Mighty Duke)-Kelvin Pope is the best con-
temporary exponent of this type of calypso).
Yuh lip dem heng dung lacka wen
Mule kean meek up him mine.
Gwan, me an yuh nah combole
You foot shapeless and lang
Like smaddy stan far fling dem awn
An meek dem heng awn vang. (Cuss-Cuss, p.189)
The example from Calypso is taken from Lord
Melody's (Fitzroy Alexander) calypso, Sparrow's
Sister (1959,1960). It was one of a series of
picong calypsoes exchanged between the two singers.
Lie down on me rug
With she face like a ole hedgehog
And she smelling just like a swine
And the hair on she head knottier than mine
She don't use no underwear
So imagine whe happening down there
She so fat she belly lap
Like a big wasteful bowl of sour pap.
That last outrageously appropriate simile points to
another quality which the calypsonian shares with Miss
Bennett: skill at caricature. Indeed, in both worlds,
people are often defined in terms of their deformi-
ties. A long list of these terms exists in Jamaica La-
brish. "Pulpy'eye Sue"(p. 90) "dry head Emma" (p.
90) "twist-mout Uriah" (p. 92) "nine-toe Berty" (p.
31) "duck-foot Ima Knock-knee son" (p. 138).
There is, however, a difference in attitude between

the matriarcha' good humour of Miss Bennett, and the
sort of insistent cruelties one can sometimes find in
the Calypso. Sharpness there certainly is in Louise
Bennett, but little to match the reductive insistence of
a calypsosuchas Lord Shorty's "Fat Pants Fathers",
say, which is just part of a long tradition of anti-
feminism in the Calypso. (31).
This time, he daughter face greasy life a fry bake
She black like the pitch lake
She hairy like a yam
And under she arm smell like uncook ham
Sometimes worse than a poultry farm.
She maga and dry, she have cross eye
And looking stupid and dumb
And when she open she mouth to smile
She have in top and bottom plate o'gum
"Fat PantsFathers" is about the hypocrisy of re-
tired lechers who are now trying to palm off their shop-
soiled daughters as virginal. What is interesting is the ex-
cess of the abuse which the calypsonian calls into play
in defence of his "manhood". Several calypsoes of the
early Sparrow are like this (32). One notices the calyp-
sonian's betrayal of his self-contempt in "She black like
the pitch lake".
Louise Bennett's attitude toher people is summarised
in the words of one of her personae:
Lawd, ah pity poor Miss Matty
But she is a real old goat (p. 120)
The difference is one of awareness. Anti-feminist
calypsoes seem to me to indicate the uncertainty of the
male astowhere his true man-hood lies. Louise Bennett,
in contrast, was certain enoughabouther femininity, to
mock indulgently at the missionary shortcomings of
Mrs. Knibb's efforts at women's liberation (Mass Wed-
ding, Bans O'ooman, Registration).
Another point of contrast between Louise Bennett's
work and a representative selection of the work of
almost any calypsonian, is the high degree of moralising
in the former. This moralising is generally reinforced
by frequent aphorisms and proverbs. It is really a
quality of the religious tradition of the lower classes in
Jamaica (33), and the degree to which this tradition
is being retained can be measured in the strong religious
content of popular music in Jamaica today (34) The
calypso, on the other hand, is remarkable among New
World art forms with African roots, in its almost total
divorce from any folk-religious roots.
More secular than even the Blues, whose relation to
the religion of Black America has been pointed out by
Le Roi Jones and Charles Keil among others, (35) the
calypso has been the result of the incoherent settle-
ment of Trinidad by so many different kinds of people,
that there was no single religion strong enough to
provide a solid moral basis for the kinds of people who
created the Jamette music of Port-of-Spain. Moralising
calypsoes are few and generally sound thin. When
proverbs appear in a' Sparrow calypso they are
generally wrenched out of context, and made to serve
ends which are not necessarily moral. When, for ex-
ample, Sparrow declares to Trinidad's good-timegirls in
Jean and Dinah, 'By the sweat of thy brow thou
shalt eat bread," he is talking about sexual revenge.
The religious undertones of the quotation are all lost.
Louise Bennett's use of the proverb is not always to
reinforce a moral tradition. In a poem like "Dutty
Tough", for example, the initial proverbs present
the issue of the poem in general, and hence universal
terms. They also control the structure of the poem,
since the rest of the poem is an elucidation or illustra-
tion of the paradox which each proverb suggests. The
poem begins:
Sun a-shine but tings no bright
Doah pot a-bwile, bickle noh nuff,
River flood but water scarce yaw,
Rain a-fall but dutty tough.
The third and fourth stanzas provide concrete illustra-
tion of the four related proverbs.
Noh care much we dah-work fa
Hard time still eena we shut,
We dah-fight, Hard-Time a beat we
Dem might raise we wages, but-
One poun gawn awn pon we pay, an
We no feel no merriment,
For ten poun gawn on pon we food
An ten poun pon we rent.
Then the full implications of the proverbs are revealed
in the sixth stanza:


? StepRhens A

Cloth, boot, pin an needle gawn up
Ice, bread, taxes, wata-rate!
Kersene ile, gasolene, gawn up
An de poun devaluate.
The poem, then, deals with the phenomenon of infla-
tion/devaluation in the period of post-War depression;
the paradox of increased wages and decreased purchas-
ing power. Proverbs such as "River flood but water
scarce, or "Rain a-fall but dutty tough", summarize
the situation in an economy of language, giving con-
crete illustration to the abstract ideas of inflation/
devaluation, and helping create a bridge of language
stretching between the world of educated wage-earners
concerned about the "economic situation", and the
unlettered "folk" who create proverbs, and are the
ultimate victims of economic policy.
It is through poems such as this one that Louise
Bennett justifies her statement that she belongs to all
classes, or none. It is not that class-barriers cease to
exist, even for a moment, but that her art enables her
to illustrate their irrelevance. In her best poems, she is
able to preserve the mask of a fortright village matri-
arch who hilariously misinterprets events in the semi-
sophisticated world of the town, while including her
own sharp and not-too-simple commentary on things
like race and politics. Two examples of this will suffice
"Problem" (1947) and "White Pickney" (1949).
In "Problem", she is dealing with the controversy
which a film on Jamaica's problems occasioned. Under
the guise of delivering a string of platitudes, she is able
to suggest the real problems of race, colour and class
which exist, andthe lack of face, the spiritual nullity
of the black/brown middle-classes, who have the
material and educational equipment to deal with them.
Yuh want den) show fe yuh big-house
An yuh Mota-car! A-oh!
But dat noh Jamaica Problem?
Dat a fe yuh poppy show.
Is no use weh stranger come, fe
Sen yuh black gramma go hide,
An show-off all yuh white gran-
Pupa photograph wid pride!
For de ole woman kean hide weh
An no matta wat yuh do
Dem won' see hex eena parlour
But dem see her enna yuW
Here, it is obviously the "brown" man who is being
addressed. The white grandfather is either dead or
absent. His presence, which thecoloured Jamaican
traditionally has valued, is recorded in the photo-
graphs, and more visibly in the complexion of his
brown-skinned grandson, and the privileges he has
inherited of a big house, car, the values of materialism
these represent, and the possibility of more rapid
promotion than even his black peers. Yet, the brown
man's black grandmother i s still alive. The child she
has borne the white man is, more likely than not,
"illegitimate" (according to the white man's moral
and civil law, and the blood-pride which he has ele-
vated into natural law.)

For the brown arriviste, then,the black grand-
mother represents a guilt which he prefers to conceal,
not because he is particularly concerned with moral
values, but because she symbolises the blackness in
him, which the inherited slave-society values of race,
colour, caste and material gain have taught him to
She is a "problem" only because her grandson re-
fuses to come to terms with the duality of his history,
and avoids his own face. But, significantly, she has out-
lived the grandfather in a most vital sense; she is still
there, having never had the opportunity to leave the
new world, or return to the old. (Louise Bennett in
"Back to Africa", warns that there is no returning,
that the Jamaican must accept his own broken earth,
his burnt soil. "Oonoo all bawn dung a Bun grung/
Oonoo all is Jamaican" (p.214). This poem also was
written in 1947) In other words, the black grand-
mother has now earned the right tothe scorched
ground that she has made home, while the absentee
grandfather is fading into an image of the past. The
grandmother, ground of being in the grandson, still
has to endure a poverty, whose existence makes
possible the material prosperity of the latter. This,
then is identified as the real problem, the true soul-
sickness of Jamaican society.
"White Pickney", like "Problem", was the product
of the late forties, and deals with the question of war
babies. The "voice" in this poem is the excited one of
a semi-literate Jamaican woman, who has just read a
newspaper- headline stating that five thousand black
babies, the offspringof Negro American soldiers and
white Englishwomen, are to be sent from England to
America, the land of their fathers. With unerring logic,
she concludes that the child of mixed blood assumes
the colour of its father, and should be sent to the
father's country. Hence, Miss Mary's mulatto war
baby, child of a white English soldier and a black
Jamaican woman, is white, and should be sent to
England. Also, in England, there should be place for
the seven mulatto bastards of Miss Fan, the war-time

MIBER 24, 1972




of the policy-making powers of
the County Councils by the
CEO's are rampant, and bitter
comments by Councillors about
their absolute powerlessness are
readily forthcoming.
But such is the state of fear
under which this nation operates
that the interviewer is given in-
formation only if he promises
never to divulge his source of in-
The heavy hand of govern-
ment victimisation reaches far
and wide;and this becomes more
ominous as the government as-
sumes .greater control of sources
of employment. They now di-
rectly control 25% of the work
force of the nation.
This is not to say, however,
that there are not a few brave
souls who are prepared to talk
when things become intolerable.
In the Express of Friday 17th
November, 1972 one of the most
experienced County Councillors
in the country Mr. Shaffie Ho-
sein of the Caroni Council gave
his candid view.

The government, he said, was
usurping the rights and func-
tions of the County Councils
and members were now robots.
He added that work which was
normally within the province of
the Council was being taken
away and given to the Better Vil-
lage programme.
Shortly afterwards, the Ex-
press carried a report from the
Felicity Village Council stating
that only PNM card-holders are
given jobs in the Better Village
programme. The Secretary of the
Council stated that they had
written the MP for the area,
Balraj Deosaran about this
matter but had got no reply.
The Secretary of the Felicity
Village Council must realize that



small fry like 'BD' are not the
ones to complain to. These de-
cisions are taken by the Lords
of Balisier House.
What, more specifically, have
been the main areas of abuse
under the present County Coun-
cil system? In all quarters there
was agreement on the problem
caused by the take-over of the
powers of the County Coun-
cillors by the CEO at the local
level and by the government at
the central level.

The CEO's function as de-
fined in the 1952 Ordinance is
to prepare and submit to the
County Council for their ap-
proval, estimates of the revenue
and expenditure for each year.
These are then debated by the
councillors and sent to the cen-
tral government for approval
and/or amendment.
But in the same way that
certain permanent secretaries
have abrogated to themselves
many of the functions of go-
vernment Ministers, so too the
CEO's with a more thorough
knowledge of rules and regula-
tions have taken over most of
the real functions of the County
By 1966 this usurpation had
become clearly evident and the
Sinanan report states that one
of the alleged defects of the
County council systemwas"the
use of funds of the County
Councils by the Chief Executive
Officer for works alleged to' be
urgent but which are not."
The remedy suggested was
that the CEO should be per-
mitted to undertake only urgent

works on his own initiative and
that his powers in this regard
should be restricted to flood
damage, the washing away of
bridges, removal of silt from
roads, bridges and drains and
the removal of fallen trees.
Needless to say, the CEO's
promptly denied these allega-
tions before the Sinanan com-
mission. But the fact that such
allegations had been made, put
them on their guard. Many of
them now took out PNM party
membership which, in today's
political climate, is a guarantee
against punishment.
One even campaigned publicly
for a candidate in the Nariva-
Mayaro area. Thus protected,
and encouraged by the centrali-
zing movement of the govern-
ment in every department of na-
tional life, they pressed forward
,their take-over. And so, at the
present time if a councillor wants
to have anything done he has to
beg the CEO, the R.O. (Road
Officer) or the Engineer.
We were also told of incidents
in the South where a CEO wanted
to give contracts of up to $5,000
to his friends. But the regula-
tions allow for the CEO to grant
contracts of only up to $250.00.
So the CEO simply phased out
the work in a series of $250.00
Those powers that have not
been taken over by the local civil
servants have been usurped by
the central government through
such agencies like the Central
Tenders Board and the Ministry
of Local Government. And this
has reduced county councillors

even further.
Now water-truck contractors
can continue to empty their
tanks into a lonely drain or an
isolated culvert knowing that
even if they are caught the coun-
cillors have little power to stop
their contracts. They know the
right people on the Tenders
Because of this situation
many councillors now un-
ashamedly enter the race for
contracts, for favours, for

Additionally, there are many
serious and competent country
people who are willing to serve
on local councils but not at the
loss of dignity which such ser-
vice now entails.
They tell you clearly that
they have no fowls for no CEO,
no whisky for no RO. This has
meant that wehave at the present
time some of the poorest repre-
sentation that rural authorities
have had in years.
As selfish interest comes be-
fore national interest, the roads
become swamps, the bridges re-
main unrepaired, the grass at the
roadsides become a habitat for
snakes and scorpions.
There is an equally vicious
form of political corruption that
goes on in the local government
system, namely, the politics of
race. This nation's East Indian
population lives mainly in the ru-
ral and suburban areas.
Under the LRB system many
of them participated actively in
rural politics and when th e
County Councils were created
they naturally moved to this

larger area of activity.
From 1946 to 1959 East In-
dians were in considerable con-
trol of the various councils es-
pecially in areas like Victoria,
Caroni and Nariva-Mayaro.
As late as the 1959 election,
the East Indian party, the DLP,
was able to give the PNM a good
fight. In that year, the PNM re-
ceived 34 seats from a state of
72 candidates whereas the DLP
won 33 seats from a state of 67
But in the racial political
climate that existed, this East
Indian strength could not be al-
lowed tocontinue.And so, under
the authority of the 1952 Or-
dinance, the ruling party sought
to create alternative non-East
Indian sources of strength.
Up to 1966 this was the Vil-
lage Council which, in most ru-
ral areas,havenowbecome party
groups of the PNM, getting sub-
ventions from public funds and
sending lettersto CEO's, RO's
and District Engineers instruct-
ing them to employ this or that
party man.
From 1970 it has been the
Better Village programme which
was brought in to re-enforce the
"good" party work being done
by the Village Council and to
push the East Indian further
against the wall.
In one county council, the
lone DLP member recently
crossed the floor when he found
that as a non-party man he was
Mr. Nobody, Now that he is a
member of the ruling party
things have started to look up.
This unashamed monopoly of
power by the 28 percenters is
having disastrous consequences
among the rural peoples. In No-
vember 1971 they simply re-
frained from putting up any op-
position against a system that
was so loaded against them. So
the PNM secured "an unpre-
cedented victory", as their PRO
said. To be continued
in next Tapia


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WHEN ON the afternoon of Wednesday December 13,
1972 Gene Miles was buried, one of the many sordid chap-
ters in the saga of corruption that is the PNM Government
of "morality in public affairs" came to an end.
Gene had believed the "Companion of Honour's"rhe-
toric, and when she saw corruption she exposed it expect-
ing that she would be supported and the person or persons
involved would be punished.
She and the really decent ERNEST
people of Trinago had a rude MASSIAH
awakening..Gene was persecuted,
ridiculed, ignored, and thrown m ts
out of her job. The perpetrators the disssessed some of
of the corruption she exposed the sossssd a exploited
are now respected and honoured people who saw her as one of
"good citizens". their few champions sang hymns
The report of the Co and ended with "we shall over-
The report of the Co- come" and shouts of "Power!"
mission of Inquiry into the gas
station racket has never been Who knows if the death of this
published and the men who talented and high-spirited girl
could stand up and put an end may not rouse some of our citi-
to at least part of the wholesale zens and make them resolve, not
debauching of our country have only to put advertisements in
never said a word about the "ma- the papers now that she is gone,
cabre plot" against public but to stand up and fight so that
morality.. Perhaps they are too never again can such things hap-
busy being "good citizens" and pen. And so that we may, under
feathering their nests. God, build a new and humane

A chapter ends; will a

new struggle begin?

S7 77

Yes, Gene is dead, but like
Raffique Shah no one is Trini-
ago will ever call her Eli while
everyone knows the price of a
crying "bragadier".
The Catholic Church which
is rediscovering the truth in the
old saying "he who sups with
the Devil needs a long spoon"
paid her tribute and they chose
as the text for the funeral or-
ation that part of the Sermon on
the Mount which carried a sting'

system of society where a man's
honour is not equated with his
bank balance, and where a double
standard of morality one law
for the rich and powerful, and
another for the poor is not the
ferent view on the issue of
Gene Miles expressed in last
week's TAPIA under the
headline "Fallen Angel in a
Shroud of Newsprint" is to
be attributed to SYL LOW-
HAR whose "byline" was
inadvertently omitted.


States has again refused to endorse the ef-
forts of Africans struggling towards self-
The US voted, "No" on two resolu-
tions passed in the UN Fourth Committeet
calling for a tightening of sanctions against
Zimbabwe (also known as Rhodesia) and
the convening of a constitutional confer-
ence towards the establishment of legiti-
mate majority rule.
The US has either voted against or abstained
on every significant anti-colonial resolution that
has been tabled here at the UN.
These include the call for The resol
negotiations between Portugal posed by onl3
and the liberation movements, Portugal, the
the endorsement of the struggle and the United
of the South African people The second
against the government of that demned the U
territory, support for the efforts breaking UN s
of colonial peoples to free them-
selves from colonialism by "all
necessary means" and the grant-
ing of observer status to mem-
bers of liberation movements on
the UN committee concerned
with non-self governing terri-

The first resolution on
Zimbabwe called on the United
Kingdom,as the state responsible
for the settlement there, to con-
vene a national constitutional
conference of the representa-
tives of the people to work out a
settlement for the territory.
The resolution further in-
sisted that the settlement then
be endorsed by the people "in
accordance with universal suf-
frage, secret ballot and on the
basis of one man-one vote, with-
out regard to race, education or
Speaking after the vote,
Ambassador Gaspard Atangana
of Cameroon questioned whether
Member States that voted against
the resolution really believed in
democracy with stands on such
fundamental measures as ma-
jority rule and universal suf-




ution was op-
y three states -
United Kingdom
id resolution con-
Jnited States for
sanctions by im-

porting chrome and nickel from
Zimbabwe. It further noted that
violations byj South Africa and
Portugal were instrumental in
nullifying the effects of the sanc-
Therefore, itsuggested that

the Security Council consider
imposing similar sanctions against
Portugal and South Africa.
The eight countries op-
posing the resolution were Aus-
tralia, Belgium, France, Nether-
lands, New Zealand, Portugal, the
United Kingdom and the United
Ernest Grigg III, one of
two Black members of the US

delegation, said that "the United
States could not accept language
which condemns actions which
are in compliance with its own
The recently passed US
legislation referred to by Grigg,
which allows importation of
Rhodesian chrome, is admittedly
in violation of this country's
obligations to the UN Charter
as a Member State.




74 Independence Square, P.O.S.
19 30 High St., San Fernando,
(Trinidad, W.I.)




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To All

Policy Holders






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h A B 'S


- ... tS


Andre Tanker's Comeback

Continued From Page 4
well that this Christmas Joey
put out an LP of his old hits.
Tanker, however, dosen't
care to look back nostalgically
The past for him has lessons
for the present. "I don't
reminisce and so on. I prefer
to think what I'm going to do
So he feels that it's not
important that bands didn't
survive the onslaught of re-
corded foreign music and the
proliferation of electronic
sound systems. What is impor-
tant is that the music lasted,
to develop and evolve to
where he and others are trying
to take it today.
But he remembers that in
the early days of the combos
"there was no kind of con-
sciousness. We were just doing
what came naturally to us. We
would take a Sinatra song and
play it in calypso beat.
"Still, that was a healthy
'step translating foreign
music into local idiom. Now,
however, we're trying to
His first band was a curious
ensemble of one tenor pan,
guitars and rhythm section.
They then moved to two
tenors, a six-drum base guitars
and rhythm.
Eventually, the pans were
dropped altogether. And by
the time I first heard Andre
Tanker and the Flamingoes in
the Little Carib Theatre about
1963 the instruments were
vibraphone (Andre), guitar,
electric bass, piano and
The bias was decidedly
"Latin" what Andre now
calls "Afro-Cuban". Smooth
boleros, lilting bossa novas
and wine-and-candle light


ballads like "You and the
night and the music". The
rhythm was disciplined; tim-
bales and congas used for best
effect, not just clattering along
indiscriminately in the back-
Traditionally local bands
have derived their inspiration
from foreign music to the
extent that they often copied
straight from the record.
Tanker was a part of this him-
self, but he chose to try and
understand the forces that
produced whatever kind of
music he was admiring.
So that what he took from
the foreign thing was not
merely a note for note tran-
scription but the insights for
a broader understanding of the
music other people were play-
ing, and how it related to


"Towards the end of the
combo era, however, we went
through a stage in which the
thing was to sound as foreign
as possible. This meant play-
ing a lot of Black American
soul music as closely as pos-
sible as the originals.
"But this was Third World
music we were playing, and
again a necessary phase in the
process towards discovering
If self-discovery came
through going round the
world, the present is certainly
a determinedly stay-home
phase. That is if Andre
Tanker's lines "ah come back
to stay ah must see mih way"
express the spirit of the move-
ment now.
Andre now sees that this
bias towards "Latin" music





that was really north of the
border in origin reflected the
impact of the Black Americans
and Afro-Cubans on the New
World musical tradition.
"I can see clearly now the
differences between the
Spanish and Venezuelan influ-
ences and the Afro influences.
The real Afro-Latin came
through North America from
Cuba. I reached the point
where in playing that music it
was completely Afro in
His late 1969 LP "Afro
Blossoms West" in which
Tankerw sings, plays vibes and
flute is somewhere at the
threshold of this new stage.
Now he tries to explain it:
"Like you reach a point -
beginning to get a kind of
consciousness. You ask; what
is it in the music that makes
me play it? You're beginning to
feel the power in the music".
The end of 1969 saw the
of a 14-month stint as resident
band in Hilton's La Boucan
dining room. The every-night
work tended to make for
better proficiency and better
Tanker had no intentions of
going back on the dance hall
scene. He recalls: "I wanted
to write. Sometimes I write
pages and pages of words that
have nothing to do with music.
"Then Derek Walcott and I
got together to work on "Ti
Jean". I was more ready then
than I would have been a few
years before. Working with the
Theatre was for me the ulti-
mate. There was music,drama,
art. It was my first real en-
counter with drama. And I
saw it all as the direction I
was going in."
It was for him an entree
into the folk culture. Although






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"folk" is not a word he likes
to use for he finds it alienates
urban people. "I prefer to say
people music."
This period he recognizes as
the one in which he parted
ways with the conventional
tradition in Trinidad music.
At the end of the combo era
with his band still riding high:
"As far as most people were
concerned I was on my way
out. I was leaving. But that
was my education in music.
That time I was blindly learn-
"Although most musicians
seem to end with popularity,
for me it was a means of
starting anew, getting a thing
"The musician is an artist.
First, you have to learn the
craft. If you have something
valid to express it's your duty
to express it. All musicians
in Trinidad who have the
ability to contribute some-
thing should do it. When this
is done the connection with
the people is so strong that
anything else he plays becomes
pale by comparison."


Tanker considers the phase
of assiduous attention to
foreign bands behind him.
Overall, the effect of copying
has been to force him back
on his own environment.
He recalls the Meters, a Black
American group which visited
here late 1969. That group, to
his mind, brought the drum
home to Trinidad.
"Before them drummers
never realized how close the
drums were to themselves.
Theirs has been a dynamic
contribution, and since then
we've produced some of the
best drummers in the world
today from the point of view
of feel."
He mentions former Ron
Berridge drummer Michael
"Toby" Tobas who has been
making a name for himself in
the US and is much in demand.
Tanker sees what he's doing
now as an attempt to "crys-
tallize the art. Whereas before
I was embracing everything.
I'm now trying to edit out
unnecessary aspects.
"The development of a Third
World consciousness in our
people means our being able
to do what we want, to pray
how we want, to make music
how we want. And even if it

Mansa Musa
turns out that we'll be doing
the same things then as now,
then it's all right as long as
that's what we want".
The fact that young people
have started beating drums
again of their own accord is
to Tanker the most important
musical development.
About conventional musi-
cians he comments: "Musicians
are victims of their own
talent. They are able to listen
to a record and to play it
just like that. But whereas, for
example, soul music can
take them somewhere, they
can't take it anywhere. And
that's why most of the thrust
has come from non-musicians,
calypsonians, steelbandsmen
and wayside preachers."
Andre Tanker once earned
the highest commendation
Trinidad had at one time to
give that his band was
"foreign sounding". His new
LP "Andre Tanker and the
Mansa Musa Drummers" is due
to be released by Columbia
in London next month. It's
more important, according to
him, that the recording was
done here.

Before the LP a "45" of
the tune "Ah went away" is
to be released. Tanker stresses
that the record was truly a
co-operative effort. The Mansa
Musa drummers were not
simply "side men". The songs
were his compositions, how-
ever, and the chants tradi-
He is satisfied with this
record as never before, confi-
dent that it expresses "the
new Third World sound".
And these lines from one of
the songs possible capture the
theme of the experiment:
"I try to change myself and
my identity. Strong is the
power of love, the power of
freedom and the power of

Read more




Every Week

------ --




ON LANDING in the New
World, Columbus thanked
God and enquired ur-
gently after gold. Since
then the traffic in treasure
between the countries of
the Third World and the
glittering cities of the
North Atlantic Seaboard
has continued more or less
A UNESCO report dated
October 1972 reveals that-
"Papua-New Guinea customs
officials have seized an illicit
shipment of primitive art
valued at $500,000 as it was
about to be sent to the United


The loot was in containers
labelled "valueless curios". It
included elaborately carved
masks, shields, spears, canoe
prows and slip drums, altoge-
ther a remarkable collection of
the artistic creations of the
renowned Sepik Tribe.
Apparently, the "prospec-
tors" involved are part of a

whole new breed of merchants
who sell dear but always buy
cheap because the small prices
they pay are a veritable for-
tune to the innocent villagers
far removed from the busy
world of commerce.
In places like Tobago these
prospectors themselves come
like innocent tourists in order

Mr. S

PERHAPS nothing is
more revealing of the
pally-wally relationship
between the foreign cor-
porations and the govern-
ment here than the way in
which attitudes and
policies towards labour
seem to be shared by
them both.
The rise in police power and
"security" measures has been
the most notable feature of
the government's "national
reconstruction" since the
February Revolution of 1970.
Because of the 1971 Badger
incident at Texaco's desulphur-

to plunder the Buccoo Reef.
New Guinea has faced the
problem by enacting legisla-
tion which enables the Govern-
ment to proclaim objects to be
part of the national cultural
heritage and therefore not
eligible for sale or export to
other countries. But effective
control remains almost impos-
sible for both technical and


ization plant, the government
declared an eight-month State
of Emergency, locking up
union "activists" and purging
the ranks of the plant
And from this Texaco seems
to have taken its cue.
The tightening of security
at Texaco's plants in the south
has been reported nationally
However, the latest issue of
the quarterly "Staff Review",
organ of the Petroleum Staff
Association, provides a reveal-
ing '"view from the fields" on
what they call "the frighten-
ing upsurge of police power in


financial reasons.
Even amongst the North
Atlantic countries where it is
possible to talk of inventories
of national works of art, there
is an enormous traffic in
objects stolen from museums,
churches and archaeological
UNESCO has moved to help.

A 1970 Convention seeks to
encourage international colla-
boration in the regulation of
transfers of art between coun-
Until this Convention gets
teeth and customs officials
begin policing inward ship-
ments of art, Third World
countries will remain the
biggest losers.

may I see

According to the paper
which speaks for "senior em-
ployees in the Oil Industry",
this Texaco adoption of the
government's national mili-
tarization dates from the
Badger incident.
Now "security police seem
to be stationed everywhere.
Gates which were never
manned have come to life,
new gates have been erected
and old ones have been
extended and strengthened".
Ironically, however, com-
panyproperty losses have in-
creased with the increase of
"Mr. Jones, may I see your
pass?" is the now familiar
ritual even senior staff must
go through daily at the gates.
And the "Staff Review"
comments aptly: "If the man
recognizes the staff what
possible reason can he have
for wanting to see the identifi-
cation, after all it is the person
who does the work for
Texaco, not the scrap of


Materials and vehicles pass-
ing the gates are also carefully
checked by the guards who
demand to see a pass for
everything from the smallest
bolt to the largest compressor.
But, as the Review notes,
since estate constables cannot
be expected tobe expert in all
aspects of oil technology, it is
still possible to bluff past the
guard with almost anything -
"the bigger the better".
Nevertheless, it is expected
that someday the guards will
stop a worker leaving with his
shirt covered with oil -
"Here, that's Texaco property
you're leaving the gate with.
Oil costs about four dollars a
barrel you know".


25 27 Eastern Main Rd. Tapuna.

Suiting, Gothing, Footwear.

Tel. 662-4909,4873.



71 Federick Street 62-37272
14 Independence Sq 62-31751
105 Eastern Main Road 662-4988




Continued from Page 9

Beneath this mask, a rather more complex and acrid
play of intellect is taking place,which gives the poem
its inner tension and shape. There is, for example, a
design for suspense. As in "Dutty Tough" the reader
begins with conclusions. Arguments will be supplied
in the heart of the poem, after which the conclusions
will be restated, becoming, thereby, even more conclu-
sive. The conclusions of the first three stanzas are as
That Miss Mary need no longer worry to face the
problem of providing for her child, since he can now
be sent to England- (the origin of the problem). That
the newspaper (which is gospel) says that her baby is
white. That the headline reads. "Five thousand black
baby dah-leff Britain fe 'Merica." None ofthis en-
lightens thereader as to what exactly is going on. The
central stanzas, 4,5,6, and 7, do this. The final three
stanzas, 8,9,and 10, restate the conclusions. In addi-
tion, stanza five contains the crucial paradox of the
poem, the real core. Structure, then, is studied and
flawless. A closer look at stanzas 4,5,6, and 7, the
central stanzas, serves to illustrate all this.
Dem ya baby muma wite, dem
Pupa is black 'Merican
So dem teck the pupa colour
An gawn at the pupa lan.

Dem half o' dis an half o' dat
Dem neida dose nor dese -
So since dem half-an-half, dem choice
Watever side dem please.

Ef dem deh baby muma call
Dem "Black", den is wright -
Since him pupa is wite-man
Fe call fe yuh pickney witee".

An nowyuh sure sey dat him wite,
Yuh kean raise de pickney
For him naw go able fit eena
Yuh black society.

Beneath the chop-logic of the "folk" voice with its
conventional enthusiasm and gustoies the ironist's
relentless intelligence. This results in a syntactic tight-
ness and toughness, as can be seen in stanza six particu-
larly, though it is a quality of the poem as a whole.


It is the real logic which the chop logic is meant to
conceal, that accounts for the peculiar tightness of the
line. In order to understand what the poem is really
about, one must first bear in mind that it was written
after a war which the youth of several countries, both
black and white, had been told was against racism,
Nazism, and the assumptions of Aryan blood-pride on
which Nazism had been based.
The rhetoric of the Allies had also stressed that the
war was being fought to ensure international freedom
and world co-operation. It had deeply humanist ends.
There are several post war calypsoes which indicate
that West Indians had been fed this rhetoric in no
small measure. About the same time that Louise
Bennett was writing "White Pickney", Raymond
Quevedo, a calypso-singing politician was berating
the British for neglecting their colonies, in spite of the
generous contributions West Indians had made in cash
and blood, to the Allied cause during the war.

I've tried but cannot understand
The laws they've got in my native land
In the war they told us we must fight to be free
From the tyranny of Nazi Germany
Where is the liberty of which they used to shout
The freedom of speech they boasted about (36)

By 1950, Quevedo (Atilla the Hun) was asking
Britain to give up the West Indies.

In England the people live happily
They get doctor, medicine and dentist free
While down here three quarters of the population
Dying out of disease andmalnutrition
I'm warning Great Britain don't leave us for long
Or they'll wake up in the morning and find these islands

If theywon't help us in our difficulties
Why don't they give up the West Indies?

That was the spirit of the forties. Calypsonians also
commented on the war babies, but they tended to
mock at the misfortuneof their womenfolk, now
abandoned by their American soldier boys. Sparrow's
anti-feminism of the fifties derives from what had been
a general tendency among calypsonians of the forties;
to gloat over the "fallen" women. Louise Bennett's
treatment of the same theme is generally deeper. In
"White Pickney'", she is, among other things, hinting
at the failure of the white world tokeep its bargain
with black war-time allies. The Black American aswell

as the Black Jamaican returns to racial discrimination
in his own country, having fought to end it in Europe.
The same white blood-pride which received its most
degraded expression in Nazism, informs the opinion
of the Allies, as regards the question of miscegenation.
Even the white mothers of mulatto bastards all their
children "Black", not "White" or "coloured" white
being the colour of purity, the absolute whichhas been
infringed, and black the colour of the child's bastardy,
much more than it is the colour of the child's skin.
Far from mocking at the mothers, Louise Bennett
hints at her sympathy for them. Behind the lines: "So
dem teck the pupa colour/An gawn a de pupa lan"
lies a desire to make both sets of fathers responsible.
In the fifth stanza, which I have called the core of the
poem, she probes the central problem of what is to
become of the half-caste child, in a world where racial
absolutism and the desire for purity of blood, still
remain a powerful fact.

Dem half o'dis an half o' dat
Dem neida dose nor dese.
The mulatto, the "half-an-half" iman, mixed, of all
stuff both this and that, can also be neither this nor
that, neither here nor there. Theoretically, he has
either infinite choice, or no choice at all, since des-
pite the fact that he symbolises the very international-
ism that the Allies claimed to be fighting for, every-
one wants to send him away. He represents the guilt
of the white mother,while the black mother in a ex-
slave stratified society, realises that the mulatto has his
niche in the class above hers. In other words,by the
end of stanza seven, the irony has turned inward to
hint at the presence of racial prejudice at home, the
complexities of which had been dealt with in
"Problem" (1947) and later in "Pass fe White" (1949).
This problem of colour in the West Indies is really




part of the problem of being hybrid,the problem of
living in a colonial society. As Walcott has been trying
to say (38), with varying degrees of clarity, the fate of
the colonial, or ex-colonial, lies in his ability to make
"creative use of his schizophrenia" (39).
Louise Bennett's example seems to offer another
possibility. One needs to establish a ground of being
which will reduce the schizophrenia. "White Pickney".
suggests that the mulatto quest for the land of his
absentee father, will be frustrating. Ultimately, it is
to "teck the pupa colour", or inherit this distant land.
The alternative which she offers elsewhere tothe
Jamaican, is responsibility to the black "grandmother",
who has hitherto been neglected.


It is interesting that the black poetess who chose
dialect as her medium, tells her mulatto to understand
and claim his black grandmother, while Walcott who
describes.himself as racially and culturally mulatto, is
more frequently preoccupied in invoking the memory,
and justifying his quest for the white grandfather,
in the face of what he seems to see as a growing
chauvinism among the blacks. (40) Walcott's long
lyrical essay is too complex to be treated here.
What is fascinating is that a discussion on Louise
Bennett should have led us to Walcott, her polar
opposite in terms of language, aesthetic and orienta-
tion, and should have revealed that they are at times
dealing with the same complexities, even though they
approach them from different directions. This sort of
discovery is the most tangible proof of the existence
of the various continue the implications of which we
have been investigating.
There is no space here for commenting on Louise
Bennett as a political lampoonist, or to trace the

development of her art in this area, from the early
poems to the later astringency of some of her com-
ments on Independence. Also, we have concentrated
on the purely literary aspects of her work, but one
who belongs to an oral tradition ought to be appreci-
ated in the act of performance, where inter-play be-
tween performer and audience can deepen the "mean-
ing" of thework. On the page, Louise Bennett's poems
assume a hymn- book monotony, and an apparent regu-
larity of rhythm, which could bore the reader who
makes the mistake of hearing the poems as if they
were meant to conform to conventional (standard
English) ideas of prosody.


As soon as one hears the poem performed aloud,
especially by the poetess herself, one begins to wonder
how the ballad form can contain such energy and
volatility.. There are sudden changes in pitch and tone
and speed, a complete departure from the stress
patterns which the ballad form would seem to be im-
posing. The conventional notions about how verse is
supposed to sound are soundly challenged, the listener
realising that he is in an uncharted region. The pro-
blems of prosody haven't begun to be solved in the
West Indies.
Rex Nettleford in his introduction to Jamaica
Labrish relates her work to the Calypso, to Jazz and
the Blues.
"What she sometimes does is to manipulate the tonal
range of the language, setting the poems almost to music
as she patters along." (41)

This is perfectly true. She uses her voice like a
musical instrument; breaking lines, resolving stresses,
playing infinitely with shades of sound while operat-
ing within the confines of metric strictness, and estab-
lishing a tension between metre and rhythm, like a
good blues or calypso singer. I can sense a concep-
tual connection, between the fluid improvisation
which artists such as Don Drummond (42) were able
to achieve within the rigidity of the Ska, and what
Louise Bennett achieves within the equally bleak
rigidity of the quatrain.


This ability to explore a middle region between word
and song, this exploration of tone and pitch, can also
be heard in her rendition of Anancy stories Anancy,
the spider-hero and trickster, generally plays a double
role. The narrator has to indicate this by using differ-
ent tones of voice for Anancy, and another for his
victim, while preserving a neutral narrator's tone.
Sometimes, too, the narrator has to sing in the story.
The problem is how to do all these things without
breaking the rapid movement of the tale and losing a
created tension. Louise Bennett is able to do all this
to preserve the relationship between voice and mask.
Since this oral quality permeates her verse, one cannot
argue too strongly for a criticism which is as hybrid as
the work it considers, and as various in its approach as
the artists are in their methods.


This paper has sought to identify the "folk", to
identify some of their forms, patterns of rhetoric,
music and attitudes, and to suggest possible connec-
tions between these things, each with the other. It has
also sought to show how certain West Indian writers
relate to these root forms, and to identify the "folk" -
inspired element of their work. No claims have been
made for the writer as belonging to the folk: indeed,
the writers have from the start been identified as
normally part of an educated class, who, in exploring
their roots have achieved certain forms such as carica-
ture; a disjointed many-faceted approach to form, as
seen in Selvon, Lamming and Mais; Brathwaite's sense
of architecture and his employment of musical motifs;
Louise Bennett's use of several tones of voice, and her
ability to change mask, pitch and pace in mid-sentence
This enquiry regards as irrelevant the question as to
whether the artists examined are "folk" artists or not,
based as it has been on the notion that most things in
the West Indies are fluid, and most people caught in a
series of inter-locked continue, making it difficult to
place anyone precisely especially any "educated"
Since West Indians writers inhabit various landscapes
and milieux, few artists have been concerned simply
with doing any one thing; most with either doing
justice to their sense of schizophrenia, or with drawing
creatively on a wide variety of richly agonising experi-







R6 01 872
Mrs. Andrea Talbutt, "
Research Inst. for the Study of Man,
162 East 78th Street,
New York 10021, N.Y., U.S.A.

WHY did Malvern finish
the season without a
trophy (and here we are.
discounting the trophy
they won in the opening
exhibition match against
What happened to the side
that ran so well up to late in
the season only to disintegrate
in the finals?

A closer look at the


Was it just plain bad luck as
the fans and the sportswriters
have been saying or was it
more than that?
Even if we concede that in
the final matches the ball
didn't run Malvern's way we
have to take a more scientific

Malvern failure

approach then merely putting
it all down to luck.
The contention is that Mal-
vern paid in the late half of the
season for the mistake they
made at the beginning of this

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year's competition.
Early in the season (TAPIA
//- 29) we focused attention
on the fact that Malvern were
going into competition with
about 14 first class footballers.
If we take away say two
goal-keepers, then we are left
with only 12.
It says a lot for the ability
of the Malvern players that the
team was able to win so many
matches playing more or less
the same team all thetime.
But football being in many
ways a rough game, the in-
evitable happened. Key players
got injured and those who
were not injured got tired.
So there we were on Satur
day night watching a handi-
capped Malvern side strug-
gling to contain Maple.

Haynes who on his day can
be the best forward in the
country played with stitches,
Ulric Boxhill who is capable
of those dramatic flashes of
power and brilliance that can
change a whole game, played
with an injured leg and what
was even worse for Malvern
without the spirit and fire that
made him the footballer that
he is.
Other players nursed old
injuries, but with no reservoir
of reserve players from which
to draw, the side faltered

Maple's Surprise FA Victory


THE FA trophy final between
Maple and Forest Reserve at
George V Park on December 19
turned out surprisingly to be a one-
sides affair in Maple's favour.
Forest never lived up to expec-
tations which arose after they
defeated the southern favourites
Point Fortin Civic Centre.
From the very start Maple took
control of the game, playing fast or slow
as the game suited them. Leading the
Maple attacking was Godfrey Harris who
was nicknamed by the crowd "Harris the

His hustling speed and ball craft were
the highlights of the match. Every time
he touched a ball there was danger
written all over it and it became an
automatic impulse on the part of his
colleagues to pass the ball on the right
It came as no surprise when in the
35th minute Harris sent Maple ahead
Ellis Sadaphal picking up a stray ball
in the penalty area, feinted to the right,
slipped a neat pass through for Harris
cutting in front the ring wing to collect
cleanly and cannon the ball into the
The second half came with Maple

ahead with a slim one goal lead. In this
session the game deteriorated into a dull
routine until midway Ken Butcher, in an
otherwise indifferent display, increased
a Maple's lead.
Then in the twilight of the match
Selwyn Murren, the national stopper
whose morale was broken by his team's
inempt performance, succumbed to one
of Harris's body swerves.
Harris' shot rebounded from a
defender, Corneal picked up and
slammed the ball home. And so it was, all
hopes for the F.A. trophy residing in
the south this year were dashed by
Maple's three-nil victory.

against a Maple who were run-
ning just that bit better than
Not that the match was all
that good. The clash between
Maple and Malvern playing
the same fast style didn't
come about because Maple was
running in vaps and Malvern
hardly ever.


The real question, of course,
is why should a side like
Malvern be having difficulty
in attracting bright young
players. There are it would
seem two reasons one that
Malvern is suffering from the
enuui in the football world
caused by the TFA's determi-
nation not to introduce pro-
fessional football, and se-
condly that many of the
young players who over the
years have gone to join
Malvern leave the side, feeling
that there's-no-roon-in it for
They argue that Malvern is
run by a clique of 'veterans'
who gear the side around their
friends and associates, and
who do not pursue a course of
actively seeking out young
players and giving them real
opportunity to challenge for
a place in the team.


And if anyone reading this
is saying in his mind that
is a charge that can be brought
against the TFA, itself, then
the point is made that at both
club and national level a kind
of stifling, 'big boy' bias is
hampering the country's foot-
But that's the old way of
doing things. We will have to
reach the point where players
make the team on the basis of
real ability and not on their
ability to socialize with this or
that 'big boy".
If Malvern becomes the first
club to break out of this old
mould then the club would be
enhancing in even more funda-
mental fashion the stamp of
greatness that their players
have earned the club over the






34 Pembroke Street P.O.S. Tels 35842 38434.
Printed by the Tapia House Printing Co. Ltd. for the Tapia House Publishing Co. Ltd., 91 Tunapuna Rd. Tunapuna.

'i 1