February is known to the pan and culture world when intense Panorama rehearsals and competitions are in full swing. But sadly, February 11 marks 22 years since the passing of the late great pride of Arima, Grand Master of Calypso, and prolific composer of tunes described as befitting for pan, Aldwyn “Lord Kitchener” Roberts.
On April 18 will be his 100th birthday and to ensure his legacy’s respected, remains relevant and alive, a team of local and international professionals, entrepreneurs and cultural community activists predominantly from Arima, is planning a one-year commemoration from the birthdate to April 17 of next year, 2023.
The Arima Rebranding Team (ART) is spearheaded by former education curriculum coordinator, international education consultant and community activist, Henry Saunders, with its core representation being Donald Baldeosingh, Thomas Isaac, Dennis Hicks, James Toussaint. In part, the team comprises international professors in education, IT experts, anthropologist and international lawyers.
ART is a bonafide registered not-for-profit NGO, and functions with its signpost: service and humility.
Themed All Things Kitchener–the brainchild of Kendall Reyes–the launch anticipated to be on Kitchener’s birthdate includes in part, an inter-faith service in Arima at 9.00 am, a street parade, and a free, gala, virtual, culturally-mixed tribute featuring top local and international artistes.
The 45th and current Mayor of Arima, Cagney Casimire, expressed elation: “Arima is a powerful and extremely special cultural, historical, educational and tourism-worthy borough. It’s the only Royal Chartered Borough in the western hemisphere, and leads the nation by being the borough with the most single-pan bands.
“I fully endorse the team’s initiative, and I’m proud that the event is going to be executed, with two of the key aspects being the re-naming of a major street in Kitchener’s name, and a Kitchener Park,” stated Casimire.
To ensure a successful solid celebration, Saunders said he tapped on the shoulders of a robust and diverse range of organisations, and owing to the intense need for funds, he’s anticipating co-operation from the business community to be a part of this one-of-a-kind auspicious occasion.
“We are looking forward to their partnership to ensure our concerts and varied competitions are executed successfully.
“Some events are self-sustaining, and are being planned in collaboration with national cultural organisations.”
A 100-page All Things Kitchener collector’s item magazine depicting the life and music of the Grand Master is an element of the commemoration.
Some activities identified for the year “that require major collaborative and financial support are, a Kitchener cultural caravan; talks, media events on Kitchener, exhibitions and symposiums; visual and performing arts (VAPA) competitions, training and development projects; a monumental space for Arima icons; a Kitchener artefacts museum…; embellishment of Kitchener’s grave towards becoming a historical site; and a Kitchener Culinary Creations.”
Kitchener is a calypso icon non-surpass from the inception of his entrance in the arena, noted for his impeccable wardrobe, his signature hats, his dance on one foot while kicking out the other during performances, and his tunes being played the most times during Panorama competitions.
Rain-o-Rama, located at his family’s home on the Diego Martin Main Road, remains an illustrious tourist attraction.
While many steelbands played Kitch’s tunes for Panorama, hand in glove with his music was bp Renegades steel orchestra (RSO).
RSO remains the unbeaten large-band hat-trick champion since 1997, having played Kitchener’s Four Lara Four in 1995, Pan in a Rage, 1996 and Guitar Pan, 1997.
Saunders said he is making a special appeal to government ministries, and the corporate and business sectors to assist in the best interest of T&T, culture and the performing arts, and most of all, to preserve Kitch’s legacy.
To assist and/or for further information:
Call or message: 780.7921 |
Email: [email protected]