Last update: 22-Jul-2014 11:09 am
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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After 44 years Hinds band to skip 2014
For the first time in 44 years there will be no 2014 Carnival offering from renowned Owen Hinds mas band, now known as the Owen Hinds Foundation. Convenor of the San Fernando Carnival Committee Junia Regrello said he was saddened that the band would not be participating in the 2014 festival. Regrello, an avid masman, said he hoped that was just a temporary setback and that the new management would be able to preserve the most significant Hinds legacy. The failing health of the foundation’s chairman, Ainsley Matthews, is the reason put forward for them bowing out of this year’s competition. “It is unfortunate that this band, with such a rich legacy, which has been around for so long and has produced so many monumental costumes and productions, will be no more,” said Regrello, also San Fernando’s deputy mayor.
He said over the years Hinds, who died in November 2010, was one of the few mas leaders who held on to traditional portrayals as opposed to the modern offering. The band paid tribute to the veteran masman in 2011 with Hats Off To Owen Hinds and From the Sea they Came in 2013. Regrello added: “Hinds was more than a masquerader. He wore so many hats. “He was a former King of the Bands, chairman of the National Carnival Bands Association, president of a trade union and politician, but, to me, the mas band was his most significant legacy. “The absence of the band from the celebrations this year will certainly leave a void. I hope this is just temporary and the interim chairman will regain his full health and return the band to its glory days.”
Matthews, who also stepped into Hinds’ shoes as head of the Contractors and General Workers Trade Union, returned to the job yesterday after an absence of several months due to ill health.
In an interview, Matthews confirmed it was the first time in 44 years the band would not have a production. He called on the foundation’s loyal supporters to hold strain, saying he would never let Hinds’ legacy die. He said while many of the players had opted out of playing mas this year in support of the band’s position, some have registered with other bands but he is confident the band would bounce back next year. Matthews assured: “It is not the end of Owen Hinds mas band. We will be coming back next year stronger than ever.” He said the band had already started drawing and designing the various sections for Carnival 2015.