Vol. 7 No. 19
SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977
FOR THE STUDY Of MAi"
12 EAST 78 STREET
NEW YORK 21, N. Y
A, JUN 151977
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY THE TAPIA HOUSE PUBLISHING CO. LTD.. 91 TUNAPUNA RD., TUNAPUNA TEL: 662-5126 AND 22 CIPRIANI BVD. P.O.S. 62-25241.
THE disputes which have attended the holding of the annual
Carnival in Notting Hill, London are not only between the West
Indian participants and the London police and local authorities.
Last August Bank Holiday saw violent confrontations on the
streets of Notting Hill when some 300 police were injured and
many persons arrested.
The big dispute this year seems to be within the West Indian
community, between two rival carnival-sponsoring committees, but
apparently things are being settled constitutionally.
A one-page supplement of the Black community magazine
Race Today has announced the formation of a Carnival Develop-
ment Committee (CDC) comprising "the steelbands men, mas men
and sounds men."
By Lennox Grant
THE NEWS THAT MP Raffique Shah was
stopped at Grenada Pearl's Airport and.hustled
out of the country came as another reminder
of the distance still to go toward regional
Gairy couldn't give a damn that Shah,
the colourful former army lieutenant who led
the 1970 mutiny at Teteron then won his case
in court, has since steadfastly pursued a legal
path to political office.
S With his radical image, Shah wouldn't
have been able to go to Gaiiy's Grenada before.
And ,it matters not a nutmeg to Gairy
that Shah is now an honourable member of the
Trinidad and Tobago Parliament, having been
duly elected there by a majority of the voters
In Trinidad, at least, ULF politicians, outspoken
foes of US imperialism, nevertheless rate invitations
to cocktails at the Flagstaff Hill residence of the US
Ambassador. And they accept.
Given their own beliefs about who really runs
this country, what more evidence is needed of their
having achieved a position of respectability?
So Shah, George Weekes and other ULF names
-whose mere mention instils fear in the heart of the
nervous capitalists here, can now park on Knox
Street outside the Red House, even as the car-owning
masses drive round and round looking for a spot.
But Grenada is another country. Maurice
Bishop, roughly Shah's opposite number in the St.
George's parliament, had felt it necessary to write the
Gairy government seeking to know its attitude to the
proposed visit of Shah.
Gairy's answer came when the officers at Pearl's
pounced on the Trinidad and Tobago MP and
denied him further enjoyment of Grenadian hospital-
And as shock waves ran through political circles
in Trinidad (and probably to a lesser degree in
Grenada), the effect was to disturb dim old notions
that a member of parliament somehow was entitled
to unrestricted access to foreign countries.
Certainly, it was felt, in a CARICOM country
like Grenada, the banning of a 'T&T parliamentarian
was at least unseemly if it didn't amount to un-
pardonable cheek on Gairy's part, a slap in the face
to the Trinidad and Tobago electorate etc. etc.
Gairy's action cleared up whatever illusions
existed on that score.
SOnce within in the airspace of the island 90
miles to the north of here, it is altogether another
Eric who is boss.
Any low-ranking Trinidad
and Tobago diplomat can fly in
and. out of Grenada at will.
But not the opposition Chief International Relati
Whip. more than courtesy
While agreements ana
conventions cover the travel of
diplomats, there is nothing on
the books to guarantee that
any politician in our outside
of Parliament -can move about
the Caribbean without hassles
at the airports.
Of course, most of the
time the exalted aura of Par-
liamentary status guarantees
easy passage through the
S But this, says Dr. Neville
Linton of the UWI Institute of
Linton points out that a
precedent exists for the ban-
ning of a Caribbean politician:
Cheddi Jagan was once banned
from entering Trinidad in the
And this courtesy thing is,
anyway, a tradition of the
relations of older states.
According to Linton:
"You can't transfer standards
and values established among
older states. New states tend
to be very fragile; their politi-
cians are unsure of themselves.
In-a declaration reproduced in the Race Today supplement
they proclaimed: "We are responsible for Carnival 1977, for without
us there can't be a West Indian Carnival."
The Race Today Collective, publishers of the magazine which
has battled editorially for the West Indian festival in London, have
become even more deeply involved.
Editor Darcus Howe was recently elected chairman of the
CDC, a role in which he has "the full backing and support of our
Mas, Trinidadian-style in Britain is showing signs of bacchanal
Trinidadian-style. But that won't stop the Carnival.
According to the Race Today supplement, "the carnival spirit
has started flowing"; mas and pan preparations move apace; and
"the jammin' will be constant until the day dawns".
ions, is "no
"In a small island state
like Grenada, the political
leadership will necessarily be
worried about why Shah wants
to come and speak for May
"Courtesy is one thing.
It's very much in order to treat
Shah as a representative of the
people of Trinidad.and Tobago.
But for the ruling politicians
of. Grenada, it's a question of
survival, and the question of
courtesy doesn't arise."
In any case; Linton
wonders, would Shah, once
allowed into the island, to
speak in Grenada under
auspices of the opposition,
have felt bound to adhere to
another principle of interna-
tional relations: non interfer-
ence in Grenada's internal
The Caribbean did not
get to find out. But the Gairy
ban of Shah simply shows that
regionalism exists only at gov-
The question to be asked
in Trinidad and Tobago:
would our Eric, if somehow
he got the chance, have done
any different from Gairy.
- aa trnKI:
A SIX-MONTH study-
course in public affairs is
scheduled to begin next
month at the Tapia Port-
of-Spain Centre. Secretary
Lloyd Best explained that
the programme aims to
give young party cadres a
firm grounding in the
problems of Trinidad,
Tobago and the Caribbean.
Centred on a series of
Thursday night lectures, read-
ing sessions and discussions,
the course will focus on the
economics and politics of the
Best said that since he
had become installed full-time
in his new office in Cipriani
Boulevard, he had reflected
deeply on "party re-organisa-
All the experience, he
added, points to the need for
a fighting force permanently
and professionally engaged in
Tapia, he concluded,
"must train a huge army of
workers and find the material
and moral resources to keep
them in the field."
Asked whether that was
the lesson he had drawn from
the elections of 1976 and
1977, the Secretary replied
that for over three years the
party had been "trying to break
away from the indoor work
of -elaborating perspectives and
"We know the problems,
we know some of the solutions;
we have the elements of a
party which is neither a trades-
union nor a civil-service
"Our party now has to
create an organ whose business
is political representation for an
Details of the study-
course will be elaborated at a
meeting to be held this Sunday
at 10 a.m. at Tapla Port-of
Spain Centre, 22 Cipriani
COME AND FIGHT
THE FAT WITH
1,000 CALORIE DIET
_ I I
with net & pillow
SLIDING SIDE CRIBS -S220.00
with net & pillow
-T :- -._.--
PERMANENT SIDE CRIBS -$120.00
KITCHEN CUPBOARDS,-- $265.00
KITCHEN CUPBOARDS $175.00
u=,& .& W*.w
EASTERN MAIN ROAD, BARATARIA
Opposite Penny's Gas Station
;, ..j . J ,
_; ..,--- .,,m,
? ~ :L;
~i4f~t~- r !I
I '`" :.;I I iI -i;
TOP DRAWER DRESSER--$225.00
PEDESTAL DRESSERS $285.00
LAMINATED BUFFETS $199.00
ANTIQUE STYLE DECKERS
(with Foam Mattresses) $365.00
JUNIOR BEDS $195.00
FOLDING' PLAYI'INS- 599.00
Also available CHIFFAROBES $325.00 LAMINATII) WARDROB- S275.00
Free Gold Bond stamps with every purchase
SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977 TAPIA FAGE 3
ON MY OWN SCENE ... Lloyd Best
THE Ministry of Finance has now publicly accounted for
the TT petro-dollar; accounted in response, ostensibly, to
parliamentary pressure from the official opposition.
On April 17, five full pages of hastily thrown together
tables appeared in the Sunday Guardian, sweetly in time to
remind the voters in the local elections that the freshly
elected national government disposed of bread like bush.
Which was another way of saying what the man
already had said, that there existed no election issues in
1977 which had not already b9en settled in 1976 Sept-
Devolution, decentralization, deconcentration and all
the matters which the December Budget had identified as
needing "careful study and analysis" had been (retroactively)
closed especially "in the context of the demand for stricter
accountability for the use of public funds . ." (Budget
No need for these issues to come alive to local voters
when the Ministry of Finance could give a full account.
As usual, Speedy Gonzalez had no uses whatsoever
for the normal civil service channels. Editors received the
table pussonal, research footnotes and all, from the Minister
A "public service", on behalf of the Cabinet and aimed meekly,
"a) for the edification of the citizen; b) to rectify errors of omission
or commission in local comment; c) to correct distortions of.the
foreign press and its local correspondents."
WELL, how have the petro-
dollars actually been spent?
The following tables, we are
told, provide the principal
"a) Long. Term Project
Fund c) Loan Fund c) Tax
Relief for the Citizen d) Efforts
to Reduce the Cost of Living
e) Miscellaneous Grants f)
Extraordinary Expenditure g)-
Trinidad and-Tobago Aid to
CARICOM h) Foreign Travel."
I suppose there are politi-
cal minds in Trinidad and
Tobago capable of unravelling
"what such a listing aims to do.
Personally, only under-
stood it when I saw that item
at the end, entitled "foreign
travel". I said to myself ay-ay,,
but what is foreign travel
doing in this account?
Is true that the new PS
for Sport and the new PS for
Culture plus all the usual
Sahibs are up and down the
world; which, in the language
of 1957, is "economically un-
sound, financially impossible
and morally indefensible."
True, but still, the Gov-
ernment is not really an
important spender in the field
of foreign travel. So neither an
economist nor an accountant
would have included such a
table which relates to the
entire country and not to the
I mean, you could under-
stand the Minister of Finance
accounting for the oil money
in terms of his spending;
on funds for long term
,projects especially the never-
never energy projects on which
the whole- rotten structure
on the reduction of the
public debt, even though it
may be better to hold on to
liabilities in a time of rising
on government take-over
of businesses at a time when
divestment is the watchword;
on tax reliefs and cost of
on loans and grant to
the Statutory Bodies that a9
supposed to provide us public
I can understand such
accounting even if we still have
no idea whatsoever of the
impact of government expen-
diture on prices, on haves and
have-nots, on the position of
the pensioners, on the efficiency
of the utilities, on the output
of agriculture, on national
Tables of expenditure do
not- and cannot give us any
meaningful account; we need
proper national accounts and
we need that kind of account-
ability that interprets where
Trinidad & Tobago is going.
But a set of tables show-
ing what proportion of the oil
money is spent on what could
add up to a very useful start.
But why this little Table
How I found
40? Expenditure on Foreign
Reflecting, I suddenly
felt the vibration? Ah-ha!
Next door in his office,
Lloyd Taylor must have said
like the Secretary cracking up,
now that Dr. Ryan has pro:
nounced Tapia dead, buried
I began to look at the
Tables again. Sweet too bad,
once you apply a political
mind. A master-piece.
The answer to Burnham
and Manley. Democratic.social-
ism, leftist ideology, emergency
measures, two-tier dollar (mul-
tiple exchange rates), oy-oy-oy,
communism -to the North,
communism to the South.
Lil bit again and Trinidad-
ian can't go to Miami to bring
back colour TV, stereo, cas-
settes, cameras, clothes, cigaret-
Nah man, you jokin'; not
here, thanks to the petro-dollar.
You talk bout foreign travel?
For business, for health, for
vacation? In 1974, we spent
$25m. on vacation abroad, in
Is a free country and-
Table 40 is a small table.
Anybody could read it. The
rest of the Tables too hard for
the average voter but we sub-
sidising gasoline, we fixing up
pensioners, we helping out
.farmers, we paying through we
nose for the subversive activity
on campus, we even supporting
Manley and Burnham and all
the communists in CARICOM;
what more you want we to do?
And now that we have
accounted for the petro-dollar
in detail, we include an
Appendix on National In-
the following NIB statistics are
presented for general informa-
tion and for an appreciation of
the possible closer association
of NIB and Government in
the control of national
resources, the financing of
national development, and the
expansion of NIB's investment
Go and .No-vote now. The
issues are all decided. Eat,
drink and be merry because
when you dead you done.
And if even you live to
see the disaster wreaked by
present economic policy, well,
there is always foreign travel!
EASTERN MAIN RD.
FOR MEN'S SUITINGS
SHOES & SOCKS
For all your Shopping Needs
T IeP c h eTrtPolS
PAGE4 TAPIA SUNDA ~' MAY 8. 1977
i'Who rc>MTdn p k 'f4 ^ orj
THOSE businessmen, now
encouraged by the favour-
able advertising climate to
open more newspapers
and another TV station
could well be foisting
upon the public more of
what they don't have
much use for.
A 1972 UNESCO study of
five Caribbean countries found
that 75% of the people thought
they were not getting from the
media all the information they
wanted about their own island.
Reference to the findings of
this study is 'made in a paper
entitled "Economic Problems
of Caribbean Media" by
Gordon M. Draper who teaches
Management Studies at the
UWI, St. Augustine.
Reporting on the study,
Draper notes that 91% of the
people surveyed had a working
radio and 81% were regular
Draper's paper, read to a
Regional Conference on Mass
Communications in Jamaica
last December, argues that
Caribbean media mirror the
features of the Caribbean
economy as a whole.
"The media in the Carib-
bean," he writes, "is infected
with the same planning mis-
conceptions, the same struc-
tural millstones, the same
metropolitan orientations as
are our macro-economics".
Identifying the respective
effects of state and private
ownership and control of the
media, Draper warns that state
ownership and control could
lead to media censorship in the
interest of the ruling party and
With private ownership "no
less restrictive results" ensue.
For the people who own them,
entrenched moneyed classes,
are likely to .oppose reform.
Besides, "given the com-
niercial nature (of private
ownership) the main criterion of
Angostura Old Oak Rum
A mellow blend of light
Trinidad rums. Smooth.
performance becomes profit ...
good journalism must take
Draper's observation is that
Caribbean media are more con-
cerned with growth than with
development: "Much more
attention seems to be focused
on increase in circulation, for
instance, than a serious analysis
of content and effectiveness as
a communications vehicle."
Never regarded as of equal
importance is the quality of
the product and research into
consumer needs and attitude to
Explaining the "vulnerable"
position of the media in rela-
tion to the advertisers, Draper
-shows that the advertisers can
threaten and have threatened
and carried out punitive boy-
In.addition, because of the
"unscientific" approach to
advertising common here,
advertising is regarded as an
expense which could be stopped
at any time.
"It may well be therefore",
he suggests, "that a significant
percentage, of advertising
revenue is in the, form of
percentage, through which the
advertiser could exact 'obedi-
ence from media officials."
Still, for those who obey,
the rule could-be a profitable
one. Draper shows that between
1972 and 1975 advertising
expenditure in Trinidad and
Tobago increased 100%.
Nevertheless, as the writer
shows, the media still manage a
rip-off of their own, against
They are reluctant to provide
on-going research data about
their audiences which would r
tell the advertisers just whom
their messages are reaching.
So that "advertisers continue
to buy cat in bag."'
Draper denounces as "con-
tempt for the consumer" this
failure of the media to do
serious on-going research.
And he suggests they don't
want to do the research simply
because it would cost them
money they are not prepared
For, given their commercial
nature, the idea is "to minimize
costs wherever possible".
' And they find it possible
to do so by minimizing labour
costs. Speculates Draper: "Per-
'haps their penchant for
reducing labour costs leads
them to deny real professionals
jobs in the media. Their staffing
suffers, and as a result their
"But if profit is the name
of the game, content is offside."
Draper calls for control of
the media, by .people who
work in them.
To provide workers with
the capital to do this he recom-
mends the development of
National Media Trusts which
would recognizee new limita-
tions and permit the develop-
ment of a free and independent
media in the region."
He calls for consideration
of community media which
would subsist through the
operations lof National Media
resource centres from' which
community groups would draw
And he calls in effect for a
New Caribbean Journalist
equipped to meet the challenge
of the new order "new men,
committed conscious, and
prepared to ensure a respons-
ible press." (L.G.)
W.M. COCKBURN SANGRE GRANDE
HERE SINCE 1901
B&H PET SHOP
Animal and Poultry Feed Depot
Local and Foreign Birds
Pets and Pet Supplies
Cor. E.M.Rd and Basilon St, Tunapuna
SUNDAY MAY 8,19/1/ IAIA I'.\'tt .
A short story
'by John Stewart
The author, JOHN STEWART, has published a novel Last Cool Days and a
collection of stories, Curving Road. A Trinidadian, Stewarz teaches sociol-
ogy and anthropology at Urbana, Illinois.
There are wars going on all over Africa. And I am not in one of them. I
spend many nights wondering how this will be justified to my son when he
questions. I was not born in Africa. But the milk of herself runs so full in my
face I have no choice about the guilt which washes me for being so safely here,
while others, most certainly my brothers, are.there fighting, risking, losing their
lives. How will I convince my son that the guilt I carry is a small price to pay for
survival? Or that the big price, those buckets full of blood thrown on the line
each day in Mozambique, Angola will buy no greater meaning? And who knows,
I may have already done a share against the brothers of those Portuguese in
Africa. Not with guns, grenades, and the like, but with weapons that perhaps burn
in more serious places.
When I was quite a child the Portuguese shop-owner brought a wife to our
village in Trinidad. He bought her a motor-car. And it wasn't long before she
managed to terrorise us daily with the roar-of her engine which, when she was
on the road, could be heard a mile or so away like some ill-tempered tiger
growling its way between the fields. The road would empty then. Grown-ups
carrying water or garden baskets on their heads stepped off into the grass. And
we snatched our marbles and tops, our bat and ball, and stepped off into the
grass too, although not as far away as the grown-ups because we wanted to-boast
that we stood nearest to danger as she passed by. It was not that cars were strange
to our village. The manager of the plantation and some of his staff had cars, and
there was a doctor who came from town -once every two weeks who also drove
his own motor-car. But none of these had ever drawn blood in the village.
,The Portuguese wife was different. By the time she was with us a month
her car had killed several dogs and chickens, had broken Ma Trumble's hip when
she didn't step off into the grass deep enough, and, worst, had run over one of
my infant cousins who had crept from the house into the road unnoticed.
Were it a boy-child, I believe some quick retaliation would have taken
place. But it was .agirl., And even though neighbors wailed over how the car
rolled the child into-pulp then spread her along the road, no one drew a weapon
on the Portuguese that day, no fire was set to the shop that night. -
Tante insisted that even though Min-min never lived with us the wake
should be kept at our house. Tante, however, was known in the family as the
one who loved children. Having rejected marriage to take care of Grandpa when
she was young, she never had a child of her own. But I was an example of her
affection for young ones. She had taken me from her sister after the old man
died, and I was raised the same as her son. I was the only one who lived with her,
but Tante kept Grandpa's place open to all the children in the family, and the
day Min-min was run over there were several of us at play in the yard. I still find
it strange that none of us either missed Min-inin, or left our play to run to the
front of the yard to watch the motor-car passing as we usually did. It was only
when we heard the screams that we ran out, and Tante was there before us. She
neither screamed, nor cried. Her face looked dried and hard as they picked Min-
min up, from the dust, and she showed no change all through the night as people
gave consoling words during the wake to herself and the child's mother. The
Portuguese shop-owner brought several bottles of rum to the wake. He also
brought a brown paper bag full of cheese, biscuits, and coffee. I didn't see him
talk to Tante or the older women, but he slapped the men on their backs,
sat and played a few hands of cards with them, then went home.
If I were older I might have paid deeper attention to Tante's feelings that
night. I might have been curious as to what was taking place in her mind. But I
had never all up through that time thought of Tante as being subject to unseen_
It was not as if Gomez was a stranger in our houses Tante had no husband,
and before he brought the wife Gomez used to be her regular visitor. He never-
.came during daylight, but after darkness fell he would slip in, not fearful but
furtive like a lord consorting among lesser subjects. Many times I spied him
passing our gap along the empty road, going past once or twice, then materializ-
ing out of the 4im like a shadow melting into the house. In those days when .
London was under the blitz and we lived continuously with air-raid blackouts,
Tante kept all the windows andjalousies closed at night, and I was never permit-
ted to remain in the front room once Gomez arrived. But from outside the wall
I could hear their voices not those of shopkeep and customer with some-
thing softened in Gomez hovering over Tante's submissive whisper.
When it was dark-night and no other boys outside to play I would be alone.
on the front steps until sleeping time when Tante opened the door and called me
softly in. And .sometimes there was Gomez formally posed in his green silk
shirt and plaid pants we villagers understood that Portuguese had little taste in
clothes -his arms folded in the rocker. Other times he sat wearing not a shirt but
a sleeveless singlet, rocked back with arms behind his head, his soft woman-like
tits slobbing out of the over-sized armholes. Yet I was never asked once to
acknowledge or respect his presence. When he was there on moonlight nights I
would find other boys to play with, and would be gone for hours, exploring
shadows in our neighbors' backyards, or even in the pasture or village burial
ground. And one night in the pasture after we had stolen oranges and sat an an
urchin's feast a boy asked, "Why that Potagee Gomez always at your house for?"
"I don't know."
"He at your house every night and you don't know what he come for?"
I could recall even now how still the night grew around me then.
"What he does be.bringing in that brown paper bag?"
I don't know."
"You're playing stupid.What he does be doing with your Tante, then. You
To which, of course, I could make no answer.
"Talk! You don't know?"
And I was ready to cry crazy, and fight. But another boy said, "What Cyril
care? He eating rice and have salt-meat to go with it every day, oui."
"But what his Tante doing to get all that food?"
Rudy was my best friend then, and in the sing-song voice we used to beg
pardon before the schoolmaster he said, "She only does wash his clothes."
Everybody broke up.
And if I was really smart then I wouldn't have laughed with them. Tante
and I weren't the only ones to eat from what'oomez brought in his brown paper
bags. Several of her friends used to share in what she got, particularly it they had
children. The war was making it hard to get many things in the village, and
Gomez was the only one who knew how to go- to town and come back with a
load of goods. Further, when not even the police could get Gomez to give them
a ration of flour, rice, or oil, Tante usually had enough of these things to share
with the very mothers of some of my laughing friends. But I was young, and not
only did I laugh with them, I went along as we collected old bottles and stones,
then hiding in the deep grass across the road, fired barrage after barrage onto the
tin roof of Tante's house, waiting after each to see whether she or Gomez would
appear. But the house remained shut and silent, and they gave no sign if we ever
To this day I have no idea if Tarite knew I was one of the boys who stoned
her house. But the stoning didn't stop Gomez from coming. In fact he was a
regular visitor right up to a few days before his wife appeared in the village. But
ffter she came, we seldom saw him out of the shop any more. We never once
saw him behind the wheel of the car. She was the one who trafficked back and
forth to town. And it might have been coincidence, but almost simultaneously
with her coming food rationing got even worse than before, and some items like
condensed milk and arrowroot on which babies were weaned disappeared from
the shop shelves altogether. Sugar got scarcer too, and some days the shop never
opened at all. It wasn't rare to see villagers hanging around Gomez's door their
mouths turning white, banging on the door without getting an answer. And
sometimes in the middle of their waiting, the wife would march out, get in her
motor-car, and take off with a roar. And so while many villagers vilified Gomez, .
in their minds he still carried less blame than the wife since it was clear she
encouraged him to hide more goods than he usually did, and particularly since
she was the reckless one with the motor-car. For Tante, though, they were two
6f the saine, and this became clear to me the day after little Min-min was buried.
The policeman came and left. He had wanted to know who was response,
ible for letting Min-min into the road, and Tante, the child's mother, Cousin
Ambrose and his wife, and I had stood around in our front room while the
policeman asked questions and wrote in his black leather book. After warning
us severely about letting children play in the road he left, and Min-min's mother
began to cry. Tante said, "Ever since Gomez bring that nasty woman in this
village it have people crying and lamenting about some loss or the other. But she
gon get what she looking for."
Cousin Ambrose laughed. He was a hard man. He had big teeth and was
well known as a hunter. His teeth were yellow. He laughed his yellow-teeth laugh
and said, "That Gomez, he a very smart Potagee."
"What so smart In him bringing that woman here?" Tante flared back.
"This village was-a decent place till he bring she. You could send children to the
shop, or go yourself, and know you didn't have to fight up with all the riff-raff
men this village have barring the counter waiting to see she cock up."
"That's the truth," Ma Ambrose added. "Them nasty nigger-men hang
around that shop thicker than flies ever since he bring that woman there."
"You women too funny,"'Cousin Ambrose laughed again. "You too funny,
oui! You looking at bne side and yuh getting hot. There's two sides to every-
thing you know."
"What two side?" Tante's voice was in a decent rage. "What two side, tell
me. All you men too nasty. Potagee, nigger-men, you all the same. That woman
ain't nothing but a ho. I don't care what .two side you talking about. A ring-down
generation ho, and she shouldn't be in no shop where children nave to go."
"Well if you feel so bad about she, why yuh ain't buy somewhere else?"
"Where? You want me to walk to town every time I want a penny lard?"
Cousin Ambrose skinned his teeth, but didn't laugh out loud. "That
Gomez too smart," he said.
"Smart if he smart," Ma Ambrose said. "But she gon get what she looking
for, and she gon do for he too in the bargain."
"You women too funny. If was a young fella he did bring to sell in the
shop all yuh wouldn't 'ave had one complaint to make. But rum making more
money than rice and sugar these days, and Gomez know that. I bet since she
there he selling three times as much rum as before."
"And you mean to say, a man would bring a woman in his house just for
that?" Tante's indignation was not loud, but it was hot.
"What Ambrose say making sense, you know," Ma Ambrose chirped, as
though she had just had a revelation. She would disagree with him, but it was
again comfortable to know he was never far from being master. "Them nigger-
run to spend their money in the shop, but all they getting is a see. Besides, she
behind that counter, and let one of them try to cross it and Gomez pulling out
his gun. All they getting is a see, but they spending plenty money to get that."
"Then is not she alone who nasty," Tante said. "He nasty too. And if that '
Sso, is time he clear out of this village for good. Any man who so .asty he let
people see his wife bottom for a few shillings .."
"Tante, you too hostile," Ma Ambrose cut her off. "You ain't ever feel
you want to hice your petticoat and put up your foot sometimes too? What in
.. .Continued on Page 6 ,
PAGE 6 TAPIA SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977
''rom Page 5
that? Vec don't do it, bu, what in that?"
"It nasty. It stinking. People who do it ain't have no bringing up. That's
why we don't do it."
"But times we would like to."
"I don't care. We don't do it because it uncivilize. And you Ambrose, you
sitting there laughing at me would you let people come peep at Ma's bottom
for a shilling or a dollar or two?"
Which made Cousin Ambrose laugh louder still while saying, "I don't got
no shop ..."
It made a funny picture all told, the idea of Ma Ambrose's bottom beneath
all her skirts and double petticoats. The Portuguese wife never talked much, no
more than to ask what you wanted, and to tell how much you owed, but her
eyes were black in white and fierce, and the hair bunched on her head bristled
always like a hawk's feathers. Took nerve to face her. Especially since among us
boys it was understood she was a temptress. A direct descendant of Lucifer,
some said. But from our side of the counter we all helplessly watched the wife,
her bottom swinging three ways independently as she walked, her soft-looking
breasts falling oqt when she leaned over the bins to weigh out rice or flour. When
she worked the section where the men sat drinking and stopped to rest her feet,
she would prop them on a high stool so the skirt fell away, revealing the rubbery
banks of her white thighs, up to the crotch sometimes. She was a temptress to
make a boy have premature dreams: but the idea of Ma Ambrose was only
funny, so I laughed too. And Tante remembering my presence thundered,
"What yuh doing in here boy? Don't you see big people talking?"
I had to leave the room then. But not to go far. And from beneath my
favourite window I could hear Cuz Ambrose saying ... I don't got no shop.
But that Potagee too smart. You see how he didn't take nobody from the
"Nobody here nasty like she," Tante shot back.
"That how they does live," Cuz Ambrose went on without hearing her.
"You did think he was gon put you behind that counter? Potagee, Chinee,
Indian all of them too smart. They come, play around, and they get around,
but when it come time to make partners concerning money or anything else
they does find their own kind. Is only we black people who don't do that."
"I hear he send quite Madeira for she," Ma Ambrose said. "That where
Christmas wine come from. He send quite there for she.".
"That not what I hear," Tante said.
"Just like the Chinee fella have the shop in Petit Mome," Cuz Ambrose
said. "He make children here and there in the village, butwhen he get ready for
wife he send back tb Hong Kong. That the way they does do business."
"That not what I hear," Tante said. "That piece of saltfish Gomez pick up
ain't from no Madeira. I hear she used to be taking sailors on the wharf in town.
She nothing but a piece of back-alley saltfish and you only have to look at
i how she get on in the shop to know."
"I still say Gomez put she in the car and not no woman from the village,"
Cuz Ambrose said.
"She and that blasted motor-car... The devil gqn do for she in that blasted
Sotor-car," Tante said.
"Tante you talking disrespectful," Ma Ambrose said.
"Who got to respect she? What she got to respect?"
"'She don't care" Cousin Ambrose said "whether you respect she or not.
You-can't touch she, and if you get in she way she gon put she motor-car on
"You're disrespecting againstt yourself," Ma Ambrose said.
"God knows I don't like ugly," Tante couldn't let it rest, "but if is one
time I'll dirty my hands is to get rid of she and Gomez and all the nastiness they
bringing here in this village."
"Tante, you better careful now. You talk like a woman want vengeance,
but vengeance a very dangerous thing. It strike the very one who call it,"
Cousin Ambrose said, suddenly quite solemn.
"Let it strike," Tante said. "The Lord know who's wicked and who ain't.
And somebody got to start cleaning or else this whole village gon rotten down
like a old latrine."
"Village ain't never been clean, ain't never gon be clean. Whe whe, whapee,
dice, cockfight, hoing this village little but it have everything. Look at them
rich white people living on the estate; and Granny Batista who could still recall
you what slaving days was like. It have that big sugar factory, and people
making plenty money in the crop. It have high church and low church, and
people who don't go to neither one. What I saying is it have.everything here; but
if you keep your eye too hard on rottenness the very thing you don't want
bound to bring you down. And if enough people like you, then the whole place
,bound to go down. Leave vengeance where it is, I say ...
Talking, Cousin Ambrose, almost like a preacher, and it affected Tante in
a most strange way. Her face did not soften, even as tears came down, and she
made no sign to acknowledge them. Defiance, and a certain intense hardness
where she stood, chin erect, her arms folded beneath her breasts. "You know how
much I do for that man?" she said. Her voice quietly filling the room, her eyes
focused much beyond it. "You know how much?"
"Forgive and forget," Cousin Ambrose said.
"I give him my best. I used to stand hours over the coalpot ironing his
shirts, and if they wasn't starched right, washing them out again. ."
"That time pass, girl," Ma Ambrose consoled. "That water done gone the
other side of the bridge."
"I used to cook for him. Anything he bring chicken, beef, pork, I used
to cook for him all hours of the night .. ."
"Forgive and forget," Cuz Ambrose' said. "The worse you could sin
against yourself is hard-heartedness."
"Everything in the Lord hand, girl," Ma Ambrose said. "And wherever a door
close he does make another one open."
"When he come here tired I used to make him take off his shoes and
clothes and rub him down head to foot. He used to say, 'You creole, you're the
best woman God put on this earth ..."
"Forget all that," Cuz Ambrose said. "The world already old but it still
getting newer every day..."
.. Ah, Emelda, he used to say, you the best woman God put on this
earth. How I gon ever live without you ...
"Tante, Tante! Control yourself, girl."
". .. And all the time I know what people thinking behind my back. But it
was alright. Even with them young vagabonds stoning this house at night, it was
alright. And then for Gomnez to throw that nasty woman in my face and turn his
back like he ent ever know me! Well who I is, dog?"
"You're doing a wrong thing, I tell you," Cousin Ambrose said. "Stop the
remembering. Is tomorrow you should worry about, not yesterday."
"I don't want to hear nothing ," she said. "I gon get my chance. I gon get
it, I gon get it. If is the last thing I do, am gon get my chance."
SContinued on Page 7
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0 From Page 6
Tante's voice frightened me. Terse as nails, yet sad. And I had never seen
her cry before. Had had no idea she carried such wounds which in a moment
could comemy own and I couldn't help myself crying too where I was outside
A few people came to the house to set up with us that second night. They
sang slow hymns, and the women gave consoling words again to Min-min's
"...What you gon do when the Lord calls ..?"
"... the little lamb's been called home, child.."
"... But by the grace of the Lord ..."
"...Not to fret child. Your womb will flower again..."
And on this second night Tante did not serve the coffee and biscuits. She
let the women go to the, kitchen for themselves. She' sat mostly still in her
straight-backed chair thinking nobody knew whether of Min-min or Gomez, but
definitely not crying, and somewhere now reinoved from the sadness that was in
her voice the earlier hours.
I fell asleep right after the midnight cock crowed, and don't know what
time the neighbors finally left Tante alone, but she was up early the following
morning. She got me up too, and in the chilly dawn took us on a journey from
our village to the outskirts of Penal where an Indian sadhu lived.
She spoke only twice the. entire way, once when as we were taking a
short-cut through an overgrown field I accidentally put my foot in a hole and
twisted my ankle. She made me sit down in the grass and bandaged my ankle
with a strip torn from her underclothes, and when she was finished asked, "It
still hurting plenty?" and I said no. "It gon be alright," she said.
And later as we went uphill through a short stretch of forest she asked was
I smelling snakes. I wasn't, but a few paces ahead we came on a boa constrictor
coiled in the iniddle of the path. Tante immediately dropped to her knees in
silent prayer, and before long the snake uncoiled and disappeared into the
roadside bushes. Tante was a marvel. She was a wonder. There were depths to her
none of my friends or I had ever guessed.
The sadhu's yard was dim and damp. His thatched hut was surrounded by
overhanging trees, with moss dangling from some branches. The dampest spots
on the ground were green. After Tante called, the sadhu came to meet us at the
roadside. He was a thin man wearing nothing but a dhoti. Long curling hairs grew
from his chest and arms, but his'head was clean shaved. And he had the kindest
eyes I had ever seen.
"Neighbor, you reach," he said. As though he had witnessed the begin-
ning of our journey. Then he made me stand behind Tante, and did something
with her hands in his before leading us up to his hut.
They made me sit outside while they two went in. Then after a while
Tante came out and asked me to let her have my cap. I gave it to her. Again
shortly afterwards they both came out, and the sadhu replaced the cap on my
head. "You a good boy", he said, placing both hands on my shoulders. "Do as
your Tante says, and God ivill bless you." He had the kindest eyes, and when I
glanced at Tante she wasn't smiling but the hardness was gone from her face.
My mouth was full of grit and dust, and when I tried to stand up a leg
gave way,and I fell again. Tante rushed over to where I was on the ground,and
pulled the cap back onto my head. She pushed her eyes deep into mine and
said almost fiercely, "Don't cry. Don't you cry!"
I didn't cry. Neither did the Portuguese wife. For as soon as the neighbors
were able to dowse the small fire and get her out of the car, she struck out down
the road without a word to anyone. Soon the policeman came, and Tante told the
story. I was too lame to jump out of the woman's way, and it was only after her
car hit me that she veered, and lost control of the vehicle. The-villagers clucked
and shook their heads, and the policemen wrote in his book then went back to
Later that night while& I lay on the floor behind my leg stiff with bandage
a huge fire lit-up the village. It was Gomez's shop. Nobody knew how the fire
started, but people immediately ran out with their buckets, and emptied their
rain-barrels on the blaze. That didn't stop it. The fire spread. It burned the shop,
then took several houses as it made a path to the canefield where it roared away
like a living streak to curve back through the burial ground and threaten the
high church. But there it petered out. Tante sat me up in a chair, and-we sat
looking through our window all through the commotion, with men running up
to' take our water and dash away again, and voices yelling, and some people
crying for the loss of all they ever owned. The police station burned down too,
and though no one was found dead, when the blaze'finally ended there were
heaps of charred galvanized tin sheets crumpled upon ashes and black rubble all
where the shop and station used to be and the houses around them.
The next day when Gomez and his wife left our village with nothing but
the clothes on their back, some were glad to see them go. And later when a man
came with two horses and hitching them to the broken motor-car started hauling
it towards town, many, in spite of their own tratimas followed behilid, like they
would at a funeral. Tante propped me up" in the window to see. the procession
pass by. And though her face was neither soft nor 4et, she seemed saddened
somewhere inside by the show and finally said. "Niggers! Just like niggers!.
Look at them ." Then went back to putting out ,what clothes we could
spare, and dishes, for those who had nothing left after the fire. 0
I had no idea what she saw to make her say 'just like niggers' but perhaps
I was still too taken with my own pain. On top of my sprained ankle I came
out of the crash with a broken knee. Although. thanks tu the skill of a village
midwife, and Tante's hovering care, my leg soon mended. I never asked her
what it was she saw to make her say 'just like niggeis'. but once before I was
well enough to walk I did ask "Tante, what made me jump in front of that
"The Lord moves in mysterious ways," she said. And no more.
Sometimes I wish I were as good as she was with sayings. I' scularly
when iny son teases me now because I have to have every pair of pi;,ts I'buy
altered to accommodate my one short leg. I wonder how he would take it if, when
he asks why I never fought in Africa I say to him. "The Lord moves .
SUNDAY MAY 8. 1977 TAPI\ PAGE 7
On the way back home we saw nl snuaks. And altioul Ini) inkle was
swollen,.Tante walked slowly enough so liat with a little limping I could st;y
beside her. When we came to the forested part of the road she broke me a stick
and showed me how to use it, so I could even run on the-swollen foot if I had
to. And Tante was in :I much better mood. We talked about school, and she
seemed to enjoy -telling what, it used to be like when she was a girl. There were
no Portuguese in the village then, and no shop either. Other places already had
their shops, but not ours. When villagers wanted flour, dried fish, oil, and other
things that are sold in shops they walked to town, or rode in hansoms. No
motor-cars in those days. Only gigs and hansoms,.and a tall black carriage or two
that had to be drawn by pairs of horses.
"But I imagine there'll be many more motor-cars by the time you grow
up," she said.
"And I'll have one to drive you to town," I offered.
Tante only smiled. Then. after a long spell with only the sound of our
feet along the road, said, "By the time you grow up I won't be needing any way
of getting to town."
I wanted to ask her what she meant. But something in the tone of her
voice warned that the words came from still another layer of her that was new
to me. One that niavbe I didn't know enough to ask about.
By the time we got back to the head of our village it was mid-afternoon.
I was very hungry, and would have hurried my limp to get to the house for
something to eat, but Tante definitely refused to quicken her pace. Instead, for
the first time I could remember she put her arm around my shoulders, letting
me nudge against her as we walked. She.called out to several neighbors who halted
back, and as one or the other came to their gaps with refreshed consolations on
the death of Min-min, she held them in chat for what seemed interminably long
periods. Our progress towards the house went unhappily slow, and Tante came
to show another change. She continued with her arm about me, but I could feel
her growing tight and distant. Once when I glanced -at her face there was no
smile in her eye. If she wasn't sweating from the heat her face would have
looked dried and hard the way it did when they were getting Min-min from the
Two bends before our home I heard the familiar sound of the motor-car
coming from behind us, and almost reflexively said, "The Potagee wife
"I hear," Tante said, but she didn't move towards the grass although I
must have been nudging her in that direction. We heard the car coming, getting
iearer and nearer, and Tante gave a little, edged closer to the grass bank at the
side of the road. We could hear the car coming, and by the tione it was around
the bend where we could see it we were at the edge of the road, but a strange
thing happened. We did not back off deep into the grass. And when the car was
almost abreast of us a stranger thing happened. I raised my stick and jumped out
hitting at the machine. A totally erratic act. For which up to now I have no
explanation. I felt no pain. I recall myself rolling through the dust and getting
grit in my mouth, but I plainly heard the noise as the car. skidded into the
opposite grass bank and crashed into Mr. Francis' cedar tree.
PAGE 8 TAPIA SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977
MONDAY APR. 11.
NIB to set up Appeals Tribunal says Minister of
His Grace Archbishop. Pantin pleased with PM's anti-
Kuwait, its output hit by two-tier oil price, bids to
restore price unit.
Dunlop Marketing Manager Woodhams discloses that
8,000 tyres to be off-loaded.
Carter takes Young to task on charge of UK racism. He
does not think the British "any more guilty than we..
WEDNESDAY APR. 13.
Barclays Bank to go 51% local. NIB investing $3m.
Current reserves of gas equals 12 trillion cubic ft:
Mahabir. More than 25 yrs supply.
Tractor cuts city's phone links to East.
Dr. Kenny has "no confidence in the University
Administration's being able to handle" the Physics situation.
Dr. Sammy asks for help to "clean up mess."
Antigua has no plans for independence: Bird.
Jamaica Labour Party to boycott opening of Parlia-
ment: alleges abuse of human rights by Govt.
THURSDAY APR. 14.
Fishermen ask for Gulf to be made "common waters."
Part of 17-point plan.
75 seats to be contested in local elections: PNM 75,
ULF 54, DAC 28, Tapia 2.182 candidates in fight; 25 un-
opposed; 1 ULF; 17 Municipal.
Some of PM Bhutto's associates quit the ruling party.
Emile Elias, FPA President, says that girls find
Association only after abortions.
FRIDAY APR. 15.
Express Editorial: All we need is the will to make
food plan work.
Selby Wooding to head Legal Aid Council.
DAC wants $25 minimum NIS pension up to $120.
SATURDAY APR. 16.
Oil Minister Mahabir tells House that-companies paid
$3384.7 tax in 4 years. Replying to Opposition question.
Figures are: 1973 $113.4m: 1974 $911.5m; 1975 -
Keith Smith a key man behind the Sun.
$1154.8m; 1976 $1205m. AMOCO's net profitequals $62m.
- 1973; $139m. 1974; $106m. -11975; $106m. 1976
Fed Chem's retained earnings $20m. 1972; $22m. 1974;
$18m. 1975. Tesoro's after-tax profits equal $24m. 1973;
$93m. 1974; $95m. 1975; $83m. 1976.
During Debate of Finance Variation of Appropriation
Bill ANR Robinson accuses govt. of illegal spending.
Minister Chambers tells House that Govt. introducing
improved system of subsidies and price control' for agriculture.
Chamber sals Govt. forcing Barclays to sell shares at
Rice ship delayed 45 days in harbour.
Express Editorial: That the local elections will prove.
If Tapia lose, the end of this organisation as a 'political
Scoon Committee on Housing calls for price control of
Ministerial Committee to probe Trinidad Lake Asphalt.
SUNDAY APR. 17.
Ministry of Finance publishes 6-page Guardian state-
ment: Accounting for the Petro-Dollar.
Moonan Group to take over $100m. Holiday Inn
chain in Barbados, St. Lucia, Antigua, TT. Trinidad Branch,
opened in 1974 with 14 storeys and 253 rooms, worth $25m.
plus of which Govt. owns 35%.
Tesoro has paid Govt. $539m. in revenue since 1969.
Royalties $106m; corporate taxes $319m; PAYE $11m; divi-
dends $60m. Capital investment in period $240m. Investment
in land operations 1976 $74m; $34m. on sea. Projected Inv.
1977 equals $167m., Assets equal $452m; net earnings last
three fiscal yrs. equal $100 on average revenues of-$300m.
Proven reserves have risen from 96 to 124m. barrels and
output over the periods has been 111m. b's.
New $80m. gasoline to be constructed for AMOCO as
back up to the original. Sand causes leaks in latter.
Sunday Guardian Editorial. Sugar must mechanise. Not
persuaded by Papday's "Luddite fervour."
Hardware dealers urge caution on price controls. Pro-
blems of housing require a more serious approach Con-
tractor Emile Elias.
The local govt. system is waste of time Selwyn
Ryan, Express Columnist.
Express to publish Evening Sun produced by Owen
Baptiste, Keith Smith, Tony Forte. Horace, James, Paul
Keens-Douglas. Starts May 2.
Softer view of ganja by Jamaica political parties.
Hugh Harris named Chairman of Chag. Authority.
Telephone workers fined for illegal strike.
Trinidad well equipped for hurricane season: Miami
Central Tenders Board require prospective consultant,
to Govt. to register.
Carter outlines new policy to Latin America at OAS.
EEC to restore lost sugar quotas to ACP.
Employers must register domestics under NIS regime.
US, eager to help In Jamaica crisis: Washington com-
Violent opposition to Bhutto continues.
Central America tapping its volcano power.
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SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977 TAPIA PAGE 9
- I ____________
a new play; it's
on in St Croix
"IT'S A portrait
life", Derek Wa
of his new play,
its World Pre
April 23, and
May 1, at th
Centre in Fre
St. Croix, I
amateur St. Cro
group which s
first season t
Sponsorship of t
also came from
Islands Council c
have staged Wal
Jean And His
and "Dream Or
dad Theatre V
(TTW) in the pa
dad last week,
get two actors
(TTW) to act a
the new play in
But since he
able to direct, h
only veteran T'
Wilbert Holder t
lead role in
e the play
mittal on whether select-
ing St. Croix to open one
of his plays, for the first
time outside of Trinidad,
was connected with. his
resignation recently, after
20 years, as Director of
"I've written a new
play and it's on in St.
Croix and it's getting good
reviews," Walcott said.
ix theatre "It's a night", he says
staged iat of the play, "in the
htagd its reminiscences of an old
this year. Belmont assistant .head-
the season master. He remembers a
the Virgin love affair in his youth.
Af the Arts. It's a portrait of family
rd Players life. It's about a teacher,
cott's "Ti an old-fashioned type."
Brothers" Wilbert Holder plays
i Monkey the teacher, Albert Perez
:ly in col- Jordan.
the Trini- Walcott said the play's
Workshop, opening night was a little
st. shaky, especially since it
in Trini- was in the open air and
said his rain fell. "By the third
n was to night, Holder got a stand-
from the ing ovation."
nd direct Unlike recent plays,
Stnd drer "Remembrance" is not a
musical. It's also tightly
was avail- casted around seven.
e selected people.
TW actor Walcott said two of his
o play the conditions for writing the
"Remem- play were, that it be
done "in the round" and
non-com- have a small cast. (RAP).
B. .... __ .... _ ___ __,,_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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with fresh commentary every
Rates for 1977
Trinidad & Tobago
EE.C. (incl. U.K.)
TT $25.00 per year
Surface rates and rates for
other countries on request
Tapia 82-84 St Vincent St, Tunapuna, & 22 Cipriani Bvd.
P.O.S. Trinidad & Tobago, W.I. Telephone 662-5126 & 62-25241.
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PAGE 10 TAPIA SUNDAY MAY 8. 1977
Sang Hue and Gosein at the
officials make the difference.
second test match -
is ready for
Cor. Queen and Chacon Street
PROGRESSIVE are the North
Intercol champs for 1977.
Last week, they continued
their threatened clean sweep of
the .Championship Division
trophies by carving out a 47
run win over Q.R.C. in a
high scoring game.
Skipper Bacchus again won
the toss for Progressive and
predictably the team batting
first has not lost in any of the
Cadbury Fry's Cup games this
season opted to bat.
For an hour Bacchus (20)
and G. Kelly (39) weathered
the Q.R.C. storm and they put_
on 45 together. E. Jackman
(51) and Kelly added 57 for
the 2nd wicket before young
Shirvan Pragg enticed him out
of his ground for wicketkeepet
Seymour to compete the
Pragg then ran quickly
through the middle order to
send Progressive reeling at 141
for 6 an hour after lunch.
Then at 149, Carlyle Joseph,
on 6, pulled Pragg into mid-
wicket's lap where the fields-
man grassed the chance.
Joseph, assisted by half a
dozen dropped catches and
indifferent fielding went on to
score 56 with six fours and a
six and with K. Whitehead (20)
added 60 for the '7th wicket.
,The disheartened Q.R.C.
attack could not wrap up. the
tail before Hugh Bishop (45
n.o.) and F. Murray (15) had
taken the score from 239 for
9 to 278.*
Best bowler for Q.R.C. was
in San Juan
THE inaugural .meeting of
Tapia San Juan Women's
Arm will take place at 7
p.m. Wednesday May 11.
SRuth Rodriguez and
Judity Taylor will convene
the meeting. Interested
women can phone 638-
2063 for further informa-
The meeting will take
14-year-old left arm googly and
chinaman specialist Pragg who
in one 8 over spell claimed 4
for 19 to finish with 31-7-81-5.
He got good support from
offspinner Gerard Clarke (16.2-
6-32-3) and skipper Leon
In the two overs left on
Thursday evening, Q.R.C. lost
G. Clarke, lbw to Mark for a
Within half an hour of the
resumption on Friday, he waz
joined in the pavilion by
Copeland (02), lbw to Mark,
W. Thompson (02) run dut by
an alert skipper Bacchus as he
stood distractedly out of his
ground and R.M. Al caught at
the wicket off the first ball he
received from Bishop.
From 16 for 4, Colin
place at Rhona Hackett-
SHarris' residence, corer of
Farroe Terrace and Sun-
31A Erthig Road
Wide Range of
Cudjoe (33) and Lindy Phillip
(35) urged on by a steadily
cheering crowd of first and
second former, loudly orches-
trated by Tapia sports reporter
Owen Thompson, took the
score to 105 before Phillip had
a tired swat at a Darceuil off-
cutter and fell to a fine one-
handed catch by wicketkeeper
The next four wickets fell
relatively quickly and it took a
fighting last wicket partnership
between Courtenay Mark (56
n.o.) and Harold Boxill (12
aided by some rather irresolute
captaincy and less than serious
umpiring, to see Q.R.C. past
Mark hit 8 fours in his 56
and he, too, had his share of
luck while he and Boxill added
R. Mark (2-57), H. Bishop
(19-8-22-2) G. Darceuil (2-64)
and H. Murray (2-18)-shared
the wickets for Progressive.
Neither the B+H selectors
which is not surprising nor
the TCUA umpires which is
-. turned up for the game.
The absence of the first did
not have any perceptible effect
on the proceedings but the
same cannot be said about the
absence of the second. .
Yet, all things considered,
Progressive deserved to win the
game and now they will meet
Presentation (Chaguanas) in
the national final at Gilbert
Park on May 10th and 11th.
28 Mucurapo Street
111 Belmont Cir. Rd.
For quality clothes
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How commentators can (and cannot) help
By DA VE FRANCOIS
I READ with some amuse-
ment an article in one of
the daily newspapers to
- the effect that Trinidad's
cricket was in good hands.
The article began:
"There is no need to
worry about the future of
Trinidad and Tobago's
cricket. Although the pros-
pects-are not too bright
at the moment, there are
several promising players
to fill the gap next season."
With the exception of
Mark and Gopiesingh, the
writer fails to name one
replacement who is ready
to bridge the gap between
the Benson and Hedges
and club cricket level on
the one hand and the
Shell Shield competition
on the other. And the
gap is wide. -
He then goes on to
appraise the performance
of the team in this year's
Shell Shield competition,
observing that they lost no
matches and won two
Statistically, this sounds
impressive, but what is the
truth? Against one of the
weakest Jamaican teams
within memory we scored /
nearly 500 runs only to be
Beaten on first innings.
Against the Combined
Islands only a negative
approach by the Islands'
captain saved us from
Our win against Guyana
without Lloyd, Kallicha-
ran, Fredericks, Croft and
Skinner could hardly be
This leaves one creditable
performance in four our
outright win against Barba-
dos at home, and at that
only after a considerable
I should have expected
a far more critical approach
toward assessing the per-
formance of our team by
this professional cricket
I should have thought
he would tell us who will
replace the inconsistent
opening and middle order
He mentions Mark and
Gopiesingh as replacements
for Bartholomew. But
Gopiesingh is a young
medical practitioner who
may find it more and
more difficult to devote
his energies, on any rela-
tively long-term basis, to
David Furlonge as an
opening batsmen looks
promising. But whether he
will be eady to bridge-the
gap next year is left to be
Where -are the others?
There have been a num-
ber of good scores in the
Colleges' league, but this
.competition cannot be
considered as a fitting
battleground to blood
replacements for a Trinidad
eleven, who are going to be
up against Croft, Roberts,
Holding, Garner and
Daniel in next year's Shell
Shield competition. We will
not even have the means
If indeed there are
replacements who have the
necessary technique, self-
discipline and sheer .guts,
they certainly will not be
ready for next year.
We will see more or less
the same indifferent per-
formances in 1978.
Our Benson and Hedges
under 19 youth team per-
formed disastrously last
year, so much so that
Trinidad failed to get one
place in the West Indies
Youth team which played
against the young England .
side in 1976.
We did, however, supply
the twelfth man.
When one considers the
performance of .the W.I.
youth team, itself, then one
sees Trinidad's youth.
is indeed in bad
if any, top class
replacements are going to
come from our present
crop of under 19 players.
We must therefore, for-
get 1978 and get that
nucleus of about 30
youngsters to start build-
ing a national team' to
fight our cricket battles in
three to four years' time.
Whoever makes the final
eleven will know that
there are a number of
ready to take their places
should they perform indif-
ferently or below the
As I said in a previous
article, adequate playing
facilities must be provided
throughout the country.
And serious coaching, in-
cluding class-room work
on tactics, strategy, field
placements, etc., must be
part of the building of
our national team.
Our cricket commenta-
tors must also develop a
more critical approach to
the problem. They must
think it through and be
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SUNDAY MAY 8, 1977 TAPIA\ PAGF II
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THE evil that cricketers do lives not after their victory; the good is
oftimes interred with their failures. And now that we have disposed
of the formidable Pakistanis and moved one rung back up the ladder
of international supremacy, it is only too easy to forget the lessons
that ought to have been learnt in the course of the last three months.
Earl Best and Owen Thompson review the recent series.
ALREADY we seem to be
forgetting that this same
team that has just emerged
victors in the duel with
Pakistan was drubbed 5-1
by Australia with whom we
are now preparing to do
Already, we seem to be
forgetting that we lost the
fourth Test by all of 266
runs; that we failed to win the
third after the opposition had
been shot out for less than 200
on the first day; that we almost
lost albeit won as well the
Conversely, we are not
allowed to forget that we won
the Fifth, and, to a lesser extent,
perhaps because we could so
easily have lost it too, the
So now that Mushtaq's
men are, we hope, safe back
in their strife-torn homeland
or, like many of our players,
earning their keep in -the
greener pastures of the former
Mother Country, it behoves us
to take time off from the
back-patting and the eulogising
and the lionisation to take a
long, hard critical look at how
their presence here has affected
our chances of avenging our-
selves on Chappell and co. next
It was widely agreed at
the outset of this series that
Pakistan, 'by virtue of their
honourable 1-1 draw with the
Aussies, were at least as good
As the series progressed
and the, huge scores most
expected did not materialize -
only once was 500 crossed
and 400 thrice more in the
series the assessments of the
Pakistani talents were slowly
revised until, eventually,, they
were very often qualified as
"enigmatic" and later merely as
Underlying much of the
later comments was the feeling
that they were "over-rated".
Frankly, we find it difficult to.
agree since, in our view. Majid
and Zaheer and Bari and Imran
and Sarfraz as well as Mushtaq
as bowler and captain all
demonstrated the highest class
at some time in the series.
We saw glimmerings of
the same in Raja, Haroon and
Neither Qasim nor
Intikhab nor Javed did anything
in the Tests to support the
claims to greatness made on
their behalf after Australia but
one calypsonian does notmake
a calypso tent and it would be
foolish to write them off on
It is,. however, beyond
dispute that the Pakistanis have
been resolute opponents and
the series, open to the last, has
provided good exciting cricket
Everywhere, the crowds
thronged to see two well-
matched, talented teams do
battle though, puzzlingly, the
attendance figures in the Fourth
Test were considerably lower
than in the Second.
In the final Test in
Jamaica, fears of a boycott by
th, cricketing public, offended
by the non-inclusion of a
Jamaican, proved to be
unfounded as every day's pro-
ceedings were watched by
capacity crowds whose support
was no less vocal than when
local hero Mike Holding was
demolishing India last year.
Though neither Holding
nor Wayne Daniel played in
this series it was, in. the final
arialysis, the bowlers who
None imagined or dared
hoped that their replacements
would do half as well .as they
did. Some, indeed, did not
even recognize success for well
past the halfway stage in the
series' with Croft's and Garner's
bags of wickets bigger than
anybody else's Lloyd was
publicly lamenting the absence
As it was. Croft finished
with a record haul of 33 wkts,
Garner 25 and Roberts 19,
together more than 75% of the
97 that fell to bowers
Yet one cannot but point
out that they all laboured very
hard for them as very often
energies and enthusiasm went
untempered by the tactical and
strategical demands of the
One recalls that Roberts
bagged 32 wkts. vs India arid
12 in 2 Tests vs Pakistan in the
1974-75 Asian tour. Seventeen
Tests since then have yielded
4 wkts: with his 19 in the
just ended tour being his
lowest ever tally in a 5-Test
Roberts has become, in-
disputably, one of the best
p acemen around but where is
the statistical evidence of
Wes Hall has put his
finger on the pulse when he
affirms that "(we) have to
thank heavens (our emphasis)
for the emergence of Croft and
But where lies the blame
for the continued existence of
the hiatus created by the
"retirement" of Lance Gibbs
arguably still the best spinner
Padmore "and Willett
seem to have been definitively
discarded, Jumadeen tempo-
rarily and Inshan Ali, it;seems,
continues to be a non-starter
outside of Trinidad, despite his
recent successes there.
Holford, who replaced
him at Sabina, will be pushing
38 by the time the Aussies
arrive next year.
Neither Persaud nor any
of the new, young spinners got
further than the President's XI.
And though both Fredericks
and Richards bowled some in.
the Tests, neither seemed to
have been given any specific
assignment to mak4 of himself
a really first class bowler, a
move that could ease many.
.Perhaps, though, we shall
hear of them working very
hard at it in the eight months
Be that as it may, we do
seem to be preparing to lock
horns with Australia with our
bowling places monopolized by
quick bowlers. Many are already
wondering whether, when
Daniel, Holding and Holder are
fit and available again and
Roberts, Garner, Croft and
Julien are all on form and
available as well, five, six or
all seven of these will be
They are thus expressing
the conviction that underlies
Wes Hall's already cited state-
ment: the selectors have done
little to inspire confidence in
their ability to analyse the
situation, weigh the options
and then' make me selections
that best suit the existing
"What was needed.
(our emphasis)," ran Hall's state.
ment about Holford's selection,
and the penny dropped for us.
We have long held that the
selectors' job. is not merely
to pick the teams etc. most
likely to bring us victory ,in
the series being played but also
to ensure that in selection,
some account is taken of the
long term needs.
What Hall made clear is
that the first is their exclusive
and not just their primary
concern. Thus Holford, in the
event, his 37 years, notwith-
standing, was indeed just what
the doctor ordered for Sabina:
"a man who can bat ...field..
and (is) an orthodox finger
spinner (and a) ;seasoned cam-
Valid as they are, how-
ever, these arguments do not
explain away the non-inclusion
of Julien for the first Test and
his subsequent inclusion for
the Third, Jumadeen's omis-
sion from the First and -Third
and Inshan Ali's omission from
They raise questions
about Lance Gibbs and fail to
explain Shillingford's omission
in Janiaica especially ini view
of the questionable-credentials
of his replacement, Collis King.
In short, me selectors
have failed to convince us that
they have evolved a valid
approach to the selection of
the team or indeed that they
have been seeking so to do.
One wonders whether
Messrs. Carew, Holt and Solo-
mon are genuinely concerned
with the long term needs at
all since it is not immediately
evident that the 1978 Australian
tour affected selection of
teams for the tour under
It is true that it is not yet
watershed time as it was in
1969 when Worrell's cohorts
(Hall, Nurse, Butcher, Alex-
ander, Griffith etc.) began to
move out to make room for
the still extant new brigade
(Kallicharan, Rowe, Richards,
Roberts etc.) after the guava
season when Charlie Davis
Yet we surely have to be
looking around for at least one
spinner. We also have to' n-
earth a couple of middle order
batsmen and/or genuine all-
rounders, a wicketkeeper and a
i- -1I iII
BEAT ALL OTHERS FOR QUALITY VALUE AND LIFE
PORT OF SPAIN
112, henry st.
42, eastern mn. rd.
II I I