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Ollivierra remained a true son of Laventille
The passing of Franklyn Ollivierra, a true son of Laventille and by extension T&T, came as a shock to me. Franklyn’s claim to fame derived initially from his football skills with Amateurs and of course Malvern, one of the great clubs of T&T football. Franklyn was a furious kicker, especially from the dead-ball position; Ray Roberts and Richard Chinapoo were the only two players who may have surpassed him.
I was not his friend, but when I encountered him at any social or sporting event he always showered praises on “Boogsie” and Phase II as if nothing else mattered. Franklyn was one of the pioneers of Highlanders’ amplified pans, playing the tenor with distinction. He came from an era when Forsyth Highlanders’ was considered the saga boy band with “Chinee” music.
I remember in 1968 Highlanders, led by Bertie Marshall (the greatest tuner from my perspective, who was way ahead of his time), came to town on Carnival Tuesday with fluorescent shirts and off-duty military garb and had town hot. The size of the band was unbelievable. With the sound of Mr Walker in the air, it having been second runner-up in the National Panorama finals, it stretched from Mango Rose to Duncan Street.
“The Mad Men” from Pashley Street, a group of sharp guys, was operational at the time and Ulric Boxhill was the gem of Pashley Street, playing on the left flank for Malvern and also as a national player. There were many arguments and debates at the corner of Whitney and Pashley Streets about football in that era. Laventille was a nice place to be at that time, whether it was on the hill or on the back road.
Franklyn, in his latter days, built a nice home in the West, which I suppose made him switch his allegiance to the boys in the West, but as far as I am concerned, he was a true son of Laventille. Franklyn, you did it all. May your soul rest in peace.
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