Official: Stop Carnival work at Savannah
Chaos over plans...
Wayne Bowman and Kristy Ramnarine
Wednesday, December 12th 2007
WORKMEN erecting temporary structures in preparation for Carnival 2008 at the south-eastern end Queen's Park Savannah, Port of Spain, were given orders to cease construction yesterday following a directive from a top government official, the Express learned.
The work stoppage and the cancellation of the official launch of Carnival 2008 has added to the confusion surrounding plans for next year's event.
Culture Minister Marlene McDonald said late yesterday: "Keston Nancoo, the Chairman of the NCC, is the person responsible for Carnival and he will put out a statement tomorrow. I have nothing more to say, there is nothing to add and I want to disassociate myself from whatever was mentioned to my secretary when you called this morning."
The Minister was referring to reports that the stop work order came from Prime Minister Patrick Manning.
McDonald was scheduled to deliver the feature address at the launch which was carded to take place at a breakfast meeting at Hilton Trinidad, Port of Spain.
A source from the Culture Ministry told the Express yesterday that Manning had instructed McDonld, that under no circumstances any Carnival activities should be held at the Savannah.
It was only last Sunday, Nancoo took McDonald, Minister of State in the Ministry, Donna Cox and Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry Junia Regrello on a tour of the area at the Savannah.
Nancoo then announced that the Parade of the Bands will remain on the road for Carnival 2008. He added that all major pre-Carnival shows normally staged in Port of Spain (including the King and Queen of Carnival competition and Panorama semi-finals) will, however, be presented at the facility currently being constructed on the south-eastern end of Savannah. Nancoo also said then that the facility was expected to be completed on January 10.
Panorama semi-finals are scheduled for January 20. Attempts to contact Nancoo throughout the day at his office and on his mobile phone proved futile.
Maybe someone does not want to rile or embarrass ex Culture Minister Joan Yuille Williams who stated firmly that Carnival will NOT return to the Savannah until the new Carnival Centre is built, yet here is her replacement seemingly making the "impossible" possible. What this bodes for us masqueraders only time will tell, though knowing the stance from this year I am sure the NCBA will grind their heels in and rave at how well mas on the move was, a smoke screen for those "bandleaders" sticking their heads in the sand.
Do not forget to SIGN THE PETITION, please do not use any aliases or nicknames, initials will do if you do not want to use your real name. Regardless of what happens all your signatures and comments will be forwarded to these "decision makers", since everyone is deciding on what is best for US without asking us what is best for us. We the masqueraders are the ones who put on the world's greatest show and for once we will let our voices be heard!