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Culture minister visits panyard as Phase II celebrates 40 years
New Arts & Multiculturalism Minister Dr Lincoln Douglas paid an impromptu visit to Petrotrin Phase II Pan Groove’s panyard on Saturday night. A surprised Phase II leader Len “Boogsie” Sharpe and band manager Errol Skerritt welcomed the minister to the Woodbrook venue as the steel orchestra celebrated its 40th anniversary.
With huge luminous silver flags fluttering in the breeze at the entrance to the panyard, a mammoth crowd was entertained by live performances from reigning National Panorama champion Neal & Massy Trinidad All Stars, Republic Bank Exodus, Witco Desperadoes and the host band. The evening’s programme was hosted by Ronnie Mohammed.
Also attending were former chief justice Clinton Bernard, attorney Martin Daly, deputy Port-of-Spain mayor Kerron Valentine, Mervyn Telfer, Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz and members of his executive. Earlier on, there was also a large turnout at the Marcella Street Community Centre, in Success Village, Laventille, where a memorial was held for Phase II Pan Groove pannist Franklyn Ollivierra.
This testimonial was organised by foreign-based Herman “Ushkay” Thomas and Charles Small-Maynard. It featured performances by Composer, who hosted the evening’s programme, King Austin, Ken Harewood, Punchilla, Unistars steelband and Laventille Rhythm Section. Glowing testimonials of Ollivierra’s life were delivered by community elders, including former deputy police commissioner Ranny Coutain, Cecil Phillip, Clifford Alfred and others. Ollivierra suffered a heart attack and died three weeks ago.
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