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Clarke continues top road form
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Barbadian Heatwave cyclist Phillip Clarke continued his solid form on the T&T circuit, claiming the top prize at the Toyota Hilux Cycling Classic, which started and ended at the Toyota Showroom in Barataria, on Sunday.

It was a regional showdown at the end, with Bajan Clarke, Antiguan Jymes Bridges (Team Drive Phase Sport), Jamaican Peter Thompson (The Braves) and T&T cyclist Gevan Samuel (The Braves) breaking away from the rest of the field. Clarke showed his sprinting ability to capture gold in just over two hours, ahead of Bridges, Thompson and Samuel.

Clarke has been one of the most consistent endurance riders on the local circuit over the past year. In April, Clarke captured the Diego Martin to Debe International Road Race and last September, he won the Michael Phillips Republic Day Cycling Classic at Nelson Mandela Park in St Clair.

The field, which also comprised women, juniors, juveniles, masters 40-49, masters 50-59 and masters 60+ riders travelled from Toyota, Barataria to Toyota, San Fernando and back to Toyota, Barataria.

Claiming the women’s crown was T&T cyclist Christiane Farah, who finished ahead of Jamaican Dahlia Palmer.



1 Phillip Clarke - Heatwave

2 Jymes Bridges - Team DPS

3 Peter Thompson - The Braves

4 Gevan Samuel - The Braves

5 Andrew Hicks - Rigtech Sonics

6 Romello Crawford - PSL Cycling Club

7 Jabari Whiteman - Southclaine

8 Sheldon Ramjit - Hummingbirds Intl

9 Marc Pogson - Heatwave

10 Ben Adams Brito - The Braves

Women Open

1 Christiane Farah - PSL Cycling Club

2 Dahlia Palmer - Team DPS


1 Andrew Hicks - Rigtech Sonics

2 Romello Crawford - PSL Cycling Club

3 Emmanuel Watson - PSL Cycling Club


1 Jabari Whiteman -  Southclaine

2 Ronell Woods -Team Woods

3 Adam Francis - The Braves

Masters 40-49

1 Mark Hosein - PSL Cycling Club

2 Christopher Gill - Heatwave

3 Robindranath Balgobin - Hummingbirds Intl

Masters 50-59

1 Rodney Woods - Team Woods

2 Wayne Samuel - Southclaine

3 Cyril Fook - PSL Cycling Club

Masters 60+

1 Clyde Pollonais - Southclaine

2 Godfrey Clyne - Southclaine

3 Peter Hernandez - Hummingbirds Intl 


Crown Point, TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO Weather :: 31C Mostly clear

mostly clearMostly clear 31°C

Wind Speed:
24 KMH
Wind Direction:
E (090°)
1016 mb
Heat Index:
Wind Chill:
11 km
Bravo bats for more $$ for sports women
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Captain of the T&T Red Steel Dwayne Bravo is not pleased with the terms and conditions laid out for women in sport.

As a consequence, he is advocating for the present imbalance to become a thing of the past.

Starting with better conditions for female athletes, Bravo also raised concerns about their financial incentives and declared the time had come for women to receive better pay packets.

In a T&T Guardian interview, Bravo said he believes more could and should be done for women. “You have conversations with the women’s football team and the women’s netball team…I mean, they are representing the country. They are giving their heart and soul, yet still they have to balance their jobs with the sport. They already don’t get paid well, and it’s unfair for them.” 

Bravo said: “We as men, maybe, get pay better, I think. But regardless of what gender, I believe you should be paid properly if you are representing your country, because you are putting your life and your body on the line. To me sports women don’t get treated properly and this is not only in T&T. but throughout (the world). I think they need to look at women’s sport a lot more seriously.” 

Commenting on the present state of women’s cricket in the West Indies, the team leader said he was not pleased.

Bravo declared being both “embarrassed” and in a “state of shock” over the state of women’s cricket in the region.

“The quality of the cricket? I mean… It’s showing in TV and stuff! It’s just not nice for the eyes. I don’t want to comment too much on it because I (will) really have to get into details. That’s why most times I get in problems,” he ended.

Two Tests for Windies in Sri Lanka
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The West Indies will battle Sri Lanka in two Test matches, three One-Day Internationals and two T20s from next month in Sri Lanka.

The regional team will play the Test matches first, to be followed by the ODIs and then the T20 matches. The first Test of the series will be played from October 14 but the venue is yet to be finalised. 

The first Test of any series in Sri Lanka is normally played at Galle and although this is the venue that has been submitted to the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), there is an issue of finance that is catching the attention of the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) and they are yet to make a final decision on the venue. 

Sri Lanka Cricket's interim committee is considering beginning the upcoming Test series in Colombo instead of Galle. With the West Indies tour not generating big revenue for the SLC, chances are the interim committee would prefer playing the two Tests at the P Sara Oval and the SSC or R Premadasa Stadium to cut costs.

It is understood that the TV broadcasting rights, will net the SLC a total of TT$2.1m. This is lower compared to what they got for the other two home series which involved Pakistan TT$2.6M and the Indian series where they got TT$14.1M.

Although the SLC owns the ground at Galle, it still has to pay the Galle Municipality taxes when a Test match is staged there. They have to fork out TT$5800 per day, in addition to other overhead costs. 

So it is likely that both Test matches will be played in Colombo in order to cut costs. The first two ODIs will be played in Colombo as well and then the teams will travel to Pallekele for the third and final match. 

They then play the first T20 game at Pallekele before going back to Colombo for the final game before leaving for the West Indies.


  • FIRST TEST October 14 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Galle.
  • SECOND TEST October 22 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (PSS).
  • FIRST ODI Nov 1 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS), 1st ODI (day/night).
  • SECOND ODI Nov 4 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS), 2nd ODI (day/night).
  • THIRD ODI Nov 7 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele, 3rd ODI (day/night).
  • FIRST T20 - Nov 9 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Pallekele, 1st T20I (night). 
  • SECOND T20 - Sri Lanka v West Indies at Colombo (RPS), 2nd T20I (night).
Warriors in demand in Salt Lake City
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

​Trinidad and Tobago’s senior footballers caused a bit of a stir at Lakeside Park, Salt Lake City on Monday evening as they took part in their first training session ahead of Friday’s international friendly against Mexico.

Over 150 fans comprising of  US folks, Mexicans and other members of the Latin community turned up at Lakeside to observe the session and then later formed lines for the opportunity to take photographs and get signings from the players following the 90-minute session conducted by head coach Stephen Hart.

 It was an appreciated welcome for the visitors who arrived in Salt Lake on Sunday evening.

 “It’s quite good to get the fans involved especially in places like this which is somewhat outside of the Caribbean or away from home,” said English-based midfielder Andre Boucaud.

 “It’s special for the players because you feel that sense of what the fans like and appreciate. And we as players like to engage in these kind of activities. I think our performance against them (Mexico) in the Gold Cup had a really big impact and people are starting to follow the team. Hopefully we could get that back home as well and get the fans involved in our campaign. It brings everyone closer,” the Dagenham and Redbridge midfielder added.

 Hart himself saw something encouraging about the happenings in Salt Lake. 

“It’s good for the players to interact and get this kind of attention when it comes. Of course we are here to prepare for a game and nothing changes about that. We had our first session which was to get the legs going and then we get into it a bit more over the next couple of days. We still have a couple players to come in and we’ll take it from there,” Hart said. 

Mexican-based defender Yohance Marshall, the scorer of the fourth and equalising goal in the 4-4 draw with Mexico at the Gold Cup, is patiently awaiting Friday’s game.

 “It’s an exciting period for us but we have also got to keep out feet on the ground. There will be a lot of expectations for our team after the Gold Cup performance and particularly the game against Mexico. A lot of people will be looking to see what happens in this game. I think we need to be patient, prepare properly and go into the game making sure we do all the right things,” Marshall said. 

“For me personally I’m looking towards the game with a lot of anticipation but we see this game as preparation for a much bigger stage which is the World Cup qualification. These kind of games go a long way in helping us prepare for the campaign,” he added. 

Three more players joined the camp on Monday night including Khaleem Hyland, Jonathan Glenn and Mekeil Williams. San Jose Earthquakes attacker Cordell Cato will arrive on Tuesday evening. 

Meantime, official correspondence has been sent by Concacaf to the TTFA that the Copa America playoff with Haiti will not take place in October but at a later date. This therefore means the TTFA can now proceed with arranging another international friendly during the Fifa window. T&T so far  is scheduled to face Panama on October 8 in Panama City.

Soca Warriors players go through a warm-up exercise during a training session on Monday evening at Lakeside Park, Salt Lake, Utah, in preparations for their international friendly against Mexico at the Rio Tinto Stadium, on Friday night. Photos courtesy TTFA Media
Mental health stigma denies my dignity
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

At the outset, I wish to thank all my friends, relatives, and acquaintances who still accept me as a human being worthy of their love, affection, care, and attention and who, for all they know and possibly do not understand about my living with a mental health issue, still treat me with dignity.

Thank you for not labelling me a mad woman, having problems, being mental, psycho, and many of the cold-hearted things to which others relegate me disregarding the fact that God and the United Nations declared me as free and equal as everyone else.

I’m especially grateful for those very few who love me sufficiently to accept me in any mood—my disquiets and my warmth—and still plan and have extended stay with me. You remind me there’re people who know mental illness is a condition affecting just one part of a person’s reality. Thank you for not wrongly equating me with violence, unpredictability, and or needing to be restrained.

To my private humiliation, I live in T&T, an educated but especially uniformed society, nasty towards anything it doesn’t accept or understand, bigoted, prejudiced, reckless, and not given to sufficient contemplation so nobility and compassion can evolve in our daily existence. Here, I am a reject by the standard of many people.

Each of us knows the feelings associated with people rejecting us. We all understand the gut-wrenching hurt of being mistreated, neglected, and badmouthed. 

There therefore should be no reason for us to not exhibit compassion for the feelings of others and for treating others with dignity. The very fact that we’re all vulnerable to emotional injury and that we share the human desire to be treated as invaluable and precious should be sufficient for us to take a step back before we inflict hurt on another.

Indeed, if we remained conscious of our feelings as recipient of undignified behaviour from others, my simple reasoning tells me we wouldn’t be so ready to inflict or reciprocate hurt. It amazes me however, how easily we “lose sight of (our) inherent vulnerability.”

It’s inhumane what people are made to suffer for their beliefs, sexual orientation, race, colour and more that we should be able to accept or overlook in others if we remember that “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights” according to the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948).

Of course, to begin with, such a declaration would only have become necessary because someone recognised that there existed inequality, indignity, and infringed rights, inflicted on some by others who perceive or hold greater power and privilege.

Recognising the deficit in dignity towards persons living with mental health issues (PMIs), this year’s World Mental Health Day in October is designated Dignity in Mental Health.

Dignity here runs the gamut of issues relating to stigma and prejudice towards PMIs, all the way to what is called psychiatric criminality.

In over 35 years of thriving/living as a PMI, my experience includes an ex-boyfriend jokingly exclaiming about his “being saved from me”, to relatives and friends dismissing me with “she’s mental”, and people conspiring with others in their circle to have nothing to do with me.

What I do for the progress of mental health/illness is so much bigger than what one relative labelled as “the family bacchanal” as I chronicle my life and the effects on me and the impact on others during my years of living with a mental health issue to teach something… anything to a still uncaring public.

Stigma, discrimination, prejudice and lack of education have all caused people to react so vehemently to a work that is meant to bring about healing intervention for those like me and change for families, community, T&T, and the world over where my work is read and appreciated.

And as I contemplated this short series to mark World Mental Health Day 2015, I found myself in such a situation of ignorance which saw an (educated) individual shedding his humanity to maliciously accuse me of wrongdoing.

The owner of a landscaping company in South, which promises quality service, defaulted on a debt owed to me which has serious implications for me. Unable to convince him that he had a responsibility to pay me I felt very threatened emotionally for a meltdown. 

I told him of the stress he was causing me, and that for my enduring struggles with mental illness I’d like to ask someone to intervene because I did not want to jeopardise my health.

Without any communication from him, one week later I faced the indignity of his prejudice or ignorance when his business partner called saying he claimed “he was scared of me because I told him I was mental and he feared for his safety since he did not know what I could do.”

He had been landscaping my yard for over five months before this incident which caused me, in defense of my health, to disclose to him my best told secret. • To be continued

Gerald Clark’s Dame Lorraine dances
Ray Funk and Ray Allen
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Long before there was a Labour Day Carnival in Brooklyn, and even before Carnival revellers took to the streets of Harlem in the late 1940s and 1950s, Trinidad bandleader Gerald Clark was organising annual Dame Lorraine Dances. 

These masquerade balls began in the winter of 1935, and rather amazingly, continued for over 20 years. They were one of the first major efforts to bring Trinidad-style Carnival to New York.

By the time he started promoting these Carnival dances, Gerald Clark was an established presence in the Harlem community. He led the backing band for the historic visit of the calypso masters Roaring Lion and Attila the Hun to New York shortly after the 1934 Trinidad Carnival.  

For the next several years, Clark provided the primary backing band for calypso artists who came to New York to record and perform. But in addition to his recording career and his regular nightclub appearances, Clark played an essential role in organising annual Carnival dance celebrations.

There are only a few details that survive of the first dances. A brief note in the New York Amsterdam News gave a short summary of a dance in 1935:

“The Lido Ballroom, 160 West 146th Street, was transformed into a masquerade day in Trinidad when Mrs Rhoda Weeks presented her carnival ball there last Saturday night. Gerald Clark and his Caribbean Serenaders added to the tropical atmosphere by supplying appropriate music for the dancing.”

By 1937, the event was being described as Clark’s attempt to “Out-carnival even the traditional Trinidad Carnival itself” with “a colorful Carnival Day scene” and “a Calypso [Chantwells] competition.” In 1938 and 1939, the dances featured Wilmouth Houdini, the best known calypsonian based in New York. 

Interestingly, in 1940, the band was listed not as Clark’s own group, but rather as “Victor Pacheco and his Royal Trinidadians and Gregory Felix,” popularly called the “Benny Goodman of the West Indies.” Both pianist Pacheco and clarinetist Felix for many years were members of Clark’s band. 

In the early years, the normal site for the Dame Lorraine Dance was the Renaissance Casino at 138th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Built in the early 20s, it was a popular night-spot in Harlem. “From the start it was a setting for all of “Harlem’s most important parties,” recalled 97 year old, Isabelle Washington Powell, who reminisced, “all the best dances were at the Renaissance.” 

By 1942, an ad for the Carnival dance noted that Clark was forced by the number of patrons to move it out of Harlem to “the more spacious Royal Windsor Ballroom on 66th Street east of Broadway.” There were prizes for costumes and “the best dressed bands”, and the music was by Clark’s own band, the Caribbean Serenaders, featuring a calypso battle between Houdini and MacBeth the Great. The event was billed as an “authentic duplication of what transpires that Sunday in Trinidad” and was in a “big time space” so that more supporters could see it. The New York Age trumpeted its success, “Harlemite and Broadway celebrities found joy in socialising with one another.”

Bill Chase, one of the regular columnists for the Amsterdam News, attended the 1943 affair:

“After all these years we finally attended the famed ‘Dame Lorraine’” the brilliant West Indian and Calypso Carnival which Gerald Clarke [sic] throws yearly at the Renaissance.  The place was filled to capacity—all that without the benefit of advertising so imagine what it would have been like if the affair had been widely publicised.  It was a colorful event and one which the guests seemed to enjoy more than the usual crowd enjoys the more exclusive formals. The costumes worn by the prize winners including the Clowns (Darling Club SC), The Indians, Red Riding Hood, the Coolie Woman, half man and bride, the donkey lady, the Martinique etc. were costly and colorful —but the prize money was good too.

By 1944, the dance was back at the Renaissance Casino featuring MacBeth the Great.  Ads for the affair urged folks to “see the stupendous spectacle of Carnival Bands in competition. This is Harlem’s indoor Mardi Gras.” The event appeared to have generated other competing Carnival dances, since by 1946, the ad for the event declared: “Gerald Clark presents The One, The Only, The Original Gala Dame Lorraine and Twelfth Annual Carnival Dance.” Intriguingly, in the fine print the ad promised that the “Dame Lorraine will be presented at 12.30.” By 1948, the featured vocalists were Duke of Iron and Lord Invader.

A large photo spread in the Amsterdam News showed that wire or screen masks were featured at the festivities in 1949. A group of Pierrot Grenades won the individual competition while the “Barbados Gals” took first place in the group category. A similar photo spread the next year revealed the winning Carnival band was Balinese Ballerinas, followed by the Martinique Portese with bats in attendance. 1951 found the event in full form with Coty Dancing Girls, Bajan Gals, Neptune and his Mermaids, and the crew of the SS Calvary, presumably a sailor band.  The individuals included bats, jamet-men, and an African Chief. The music was by two bands, MacBeth and Clark’s groups, and both Duke of Iron and MacBeth sang calypsos. The next year the event was briefly noted as having “Pirates, Coty Girls, Quacker Clowns, Juju Warriors, Harem Queens, Bat Men and Creole Belles.” But the regular newspaper coverage dropped off after that. The dances continued until at least 1956, but after that they appeared to cease in Harlem. 

In a 1977 interview with anthropologist Don Hill, bandleader Daphne Weeks, speculated that it was failing health that finally forced Clark to stop organising the dances. But by the 1970s, Weeks herself was leading “Dame Lorraine” dances in Brooklyn. Though now forgotten, these dances were an important part of the history of carnival in New York at the time.

• Ray Funk is a retired Alaskan judge who is passionately devoted to calypso, pan and mas. He is the co-producer of The Calypso Craze, a book/CD compilation released on Bear Family Records. Ray Allen is Professor of Music at Brooklyn College, CUNY. He is editor of Island Sounds in the Global City: Caribbean Popular Music in New York, and is currently working on a book on the history of Carnival music in Brooklyn.

Gerald Clark, who hosted the Dame Lorraine Dances in NY. It was said at the time his dances “out-Carnivaled Carnival”.
No interest in ending noise pollution
Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A business goes up in fire in Arima and before the smoke clears a note is taken to Cabinet to distribute one million dollars to the affected employees. 

Meanwhile, payment is yet to be made to the family of the police officer slain in the line of duty recently when a couple men shot their way out of the Port-of-Spain prison. Nor has anyone been held responsible for introducing the firearms to that institution which were used in the brazen escape; despite several people being suspended, no one was charged. 

One can only surmise that their suspension will continue for a few years after which time they will be reinstated. 

Neither has payment been made to the family of the police officer killed in the Rio Claro forest, where a helicopter took two and a half hours to respond. 

So it is evident that the Government with their myriad dysfunctional agents and agencies, like the office of the CPO, which literally takes years to resolve issues, can expedite matters when it conveniently serves their purpose. 

It is amazing that while the Board of Inland Revenue take years to resolve matters of taxation and issues in gratuities for contract employees, or retirees, we see that the Government can and do have the uncanny ability to cut through their own bureaucratic yellow ribbons when it serves their purpose; like pulling out all stops to win an election. 

What I find amazing is that year-in year-out legislation to address noise pollution cannot be drafted. And after having being assaulted with what passes for political campaigning in the past couple weeks in this asylum, it is evident why neither of the traffic light political parties (red, green or yellow) would ever seek to put laws in place to deal with the excessive noise, despite the sorry, toothless bulldog, the EMA.

Putting laws in place to deal with noise would work against the interest of the political parties, since they are the greatest violators of disturbing the peace with their big trucks and loudspeakers all hours of the day and night. 

Rudy Paul Sr,


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