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Move to name Laventille street after pan legend (with CNC3 video)
In memory of acclaimed pan tuner Bertram “Bertie” Marshall, Williams Street in Laventille should be renamed after him. The request was made by Marshall’s former Highlanders bandmate Leslie Slater. He said the idea of naming the street after Marshall was taken to Donna Cox, MP for Laventille East/Morvant, and Nileung Hypolite, MP for Laventille West, who agreed to make the submission to the regional corporation.
Marshall died last Wednesday at 76. He was originally from Success Village, Laventille. Slater delivered one of several tributes at Marshall’s funeral. Other tributes came from Teddy Belgrave, another former Highlander bandmate, Pan Trinbago president Keith Diaz, University of the West Indies Prof Clement Imbert and a representative of Desperadoes where Marshall was the band’s tuner from 1970.
Belgrave recalled Marshall’s constant desire to improve the pan and to have it sound like his harmonica. Marshall, whose innovations made significant contributions to the development of pan internationally, was buried yesterday after a funeral service at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in Port-of-Spain.
Imbert called Marshall a scientist and praised his contribution to the development of the sound of the pan. He was hailed during the ceremony as a genius who was endowed with gifts and talents. Former junior culture minister Eddie Hart called for some form of memorial in Laventille in recognition of the work of Clive Bradley, Marshall and others who have distinguished themselves.
Earl Brooks, acclaimed pannist, honoured Marshall's memory by playing How Great Thou Art, the notes so clear that it prompted the congregation to join in. Hundreds of pan stalwarts, politicians and activists turned out yesterday to say goodbye. Politicians including MPs Cox and Hypolite, Minister of Works and Infrastructure Emmanuel George, Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism Dr Lincoln Douglas, calypsonian Edwin Ayoung (Crazy) and activist Verna St Rose-Greaves were present.
Retired dean Knolly Clarke was the officiating priest and Marshall’s grandchildren delivered the vote of thanks. Desperadoes played as Marshall’s body was being carried out for a private interment. Marshall began tuning pans at 18 and was credited with revolutionising the sound by altering the tuning method using harmonics. He led bands such as Metronomics Steel Orchestra, Armed Forces Steel Orchestra and Laventille Highlanders.
“Laventille mourns, another hero falls,” Belgrave said.
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