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Fete With The Saints
Date: Saturday 31st January 2009
Location: St. Mary's College. Port of Spain, Trinidad
Promotions: St. Mary's College Past Students Union
Click on thumbnails to see the big picture/entire gallery

I remember when, every school principal in Port-of-Spain would put the fear of God into young, impressionable school girls, if they dared walk by that "Saint Mary's Boys College School" aka "CIC", in their school uniforms, located between Pembroke & Frederick Streets? Well strangely enough, the same principals had no problem with these same youths passing up & dong de Royal Jail a couple blocks up, as pariahs of society filed in and out of that institution. Now CIC's heads want all past suspects, to make up for those times, by welcoming them to FETE With those same Saint's who were off limits, all these years. And boy, have they ever....

So Saint's boy Dre, our TJJ/TJJ TV founder, proudly arrived at CIC miraculously early to shoot. (FYI, I've never personally witnessed Dre arrive in a day fete in de day yet ... season still young though). Dre and his Choo Quan dynasty of 1, 2, 3, 4 brothers, proud receivers of the CIC education by licks certificate, (though they claim it was only Dre the brown sheep's hide that was whooped), who during their school stay, proudly wore their baby blue & khakis. Mas Pioneer, Errol Achue, President of Mas Toronto Caribbean Association, another major licks receiver, in town from Canada, working with Trini Revellers, happily pointed out the crime scene where all the whippings took place as a boy.

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Photos By Rahaan J. & Yohann G.
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Missing Ventures performance, cutie pie Jamie, new frontline singer, told us that this was their 1st major gig for the season and that her band mates were looking forward to the upcoming Soca Monarch Semis on Feb 8th. Backstage, Kees Dieffenthaller (a former Saints boy himself) & Nadia Batson who've been getting ready to take Soca & the Saints stage by storm, are warming up with the rest of the band. Behind backstage area is a hall with a wall of fame of past & present famous CIC licks recipients. Check de line up ... Dr. Hollis Liverpool aka de Mighty Chalkdust, this PHD ethnomusicologist who plans to save our Calypso. Our pass Governor Generals & President Sir Solomon Hochoy & Sir Ellis Clarke. Captain Arthur Cipriani, everybody know de Cipriani Boulevard with all de hot clubs & restaurants. Andre, 'thank u for the music' Tanker. And another brother dynasty of Pantin's, Archbishop Anthony Pantin, Fr. Gerard Pantin founder of Servol, Clive Pantin former Principal of Fatima College and a list of stalwarts to go on. So why did they stop giving blows in schools again? ... because I'm all for it, especially for the boys!

Feting swaying, great music, nice people. Destra & her band arrive. We still need to ask why the band's old name, Atlantik, is no longer? Liming by de Shark & Bake line, we ran into a stunning Trini-Antiguan, Gwen the beautiful, hanging with a sweet Saints/Convent happy couple. I truly believe 80% of the couples in that fete were a union of St. Mary's & St. Joseph's schools. One half of this fine couple, Saints boy Ron Huggins, big boy RBTT retiree & "HOG", Harley Owners Group Trinidad founder, confirmed that even though that St. Joseph Convent school was right next door, across the road, the boys weren't even allowed to look over the wall in the direction of the school. If they did, well is LICKS AGAIN!! Talk about being tested everyday of your life. But how ironic that almost every married or dating couple wining dong in this fete, was a Saints/Convent union, even though they weren't allowed to even glimpse at each other when they were in school .... College of the Immaculate Conception indeed! smile

Blaxx warming up and getting ready to gih we "TUSTY" ... we head to the bars. Rooms of booze keeping the patrons in more ways than one hydrated. Crossing the yard we encounter a mature clientele who came out to "Fete With The Saints" who were just coasting, cool and cozy like to the music. That's where I found Keston Nancoo, VP of Employee Relations of Guardian Life and former Interim Chairman of the NCC (National Carnival Commission) 2007-2008, who spoke of Carnival of yester year & where he saw Carnival as a business in the future outside of T&T. "Bigger & Better".

Returning backstage, I found recently conferred, honorary doctorate from UWI, a classic of a calypso icon Dr. Leroy Calliste aka "Black Stalin", who sat humbly on a school park bench awaiting his turn up. We chatted for a minute or two about the Calypso music as a living not dying form with TJJ TV, and I congratulated him on his new book release, "The Man The Music a Pictorial", and then the man & his music hit the stage with Blaxx, Trini Jacobs, Olatunji, Roy Cape Sr. & the All Star Crew for an engaging back in time melody delivery. Tonight "Black Stalin" really felt to party and the crowd followed suit.

The party people then simmered down to Angostura's Woodbrook Playboys pan round de neck. This same pan playing group who voiced to me earlier about the love of "Feting With The Saints" & de pan season, as preliminaries kicked off just last week for the Pan Trinbago Panorama Competition. Chipping his way out of Saints was Derek Murray, President of the Trinidad & Tobago Cricket Board. A QRC, Queens Royal College kat, who "out ah de blu" come to scope out CIC's party scene for C2k9.

This year's "FETING WITH THE SANTS" event had that combination ambience of a Friday night after work lime & those Boston pub 'Cheers' episodes, where "Everybody knows your name & they're really glad you came."

Nadine for TJJ

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St. Mary's College All Inclusive "Fete With The Saints" (2008)