Saturday, August 10, 2002

Circular No 39

Newsletter for past alumni of The Abbey School, Mt. St. Benedict, Trinidad and Tobago, W.I.
Caracas, 10 of August 2002. Circular No. 39
Dear Friends, here is news from a long forgotten CD made by a Choir The Assumption Folk Chorale directed by our friend and old boy Nigel Boos.
Here is the story on occasion of a new anniversary.
Dear Las,
I'd very much like to be there with my friends, but my present financial condition does not permit a visit to Trinidad at this time. So I'll just have to leave it alone, I think, and wish everyone who attends lots of love and peace and happiness. I've already communicated this to the group, but I'm quite sure they can get along fine without me.
The last time I met with the Choir was in 1985 when I was asked to conduct them for the 15th Anniversary Celebrations at Assumption Church. It was really something special. When I walked into the Church for the practice, I could hardly believe it - - - so many of the "kids' had turned up that 1/3 of the church was filled with Choir members and their husbands / wives and muchos ninos. I felt a great lump in my throat and when I got to the podium eventually and started them off on one of our old favourites, "The Battle Hymn of the Republic", the years simply fell away. it was as if they hadn't missed a beat since my last meeting with them 11 years before. The Choir has formed an important part of my life, Las, and I believe that God must have used me to draw some of his children back to him, through music. Many of these young people are today extremely active in the Charismatic Renewal in Trinidad and elsewhere, so maybe we did have an effect, after all.
Can you make a story out of all of that?
This isn't really a news item. But for the record, it's just a record I made with a choir I founded in 1969 by the name of "The Assumption Folk Chorale".
The Choir operated (and probably still does) out of the Assumption Church in Maraval. At the time of founding it, I had intended it to be a forum for teenage religious expression and no effort was ever made to exclude anyone of any faith whatever.
Basically, I tried to encourage youngsters who wanted to meet together in a communal spirit to praise God and to enjoy one another's company.. We had blacks, white, pinks, browns, yellows, greens, purples, reds, and practically every hue of the human condition. We had a wonderful time, and the record was one of our productions intended to document the fact of our existence, and to demonstrate new forms of praise and worship.
The teenagers of 1969 -1974 are now turning 50 and they're having a get-together in Mayaro in August 2002. I understand that they're coming together from many parts of the world for the occasion, and they'll be attempting to celebrate the mass using the songs we loved back in the distant past. So much for the news item.
Good luck in all your efforts, Las.
Dear Salvador,
Thank you for your kind words and for the memories. I agree, our days at MSB were special, although perhaps we didn't think so at the time. It is wonderful to see how Ladislao has been able to bring so many of us together through the use of the computer.
The record you're referring to was made back in 1970 and it seems to have become a sort of rallying point for the teenagers of those days, who are getting together again next month in Trinidad to celebrate their "Group Age 50" since so many of them are turning 50 either last year, this year or next year.
Thanks also for the invitation to contact you in Louisiana. May I extend the same courtesy to you if you should happen to pass through Ajax, Ontario.
God bless, and keep the faith.
Hello Nigel, it has been a very long time. My name is,Salvador Coscarart and my brother Pedro, we both went to the Abbey School in 67 to 75.
We are from Venezuela, two years ago we went to visit our sisters and she gave us back a record that I had purchased in Trinidad, it was one of your records and your Choir, I also found a picture taken at the abbey refectory during a mass with the boy scouts and your Choir, Father Cuthbert was saying the mass and you were standing behind him.
Just wanted to tell you hello and Iʼm glad to know you have done good for yourself, I have been in contact with, Tony Johnson and Ladislao, it is also nice to have met new oldboys from Mount, I live in the USA now in Louisiana, Lafayette. if you ever come around this way you are welcome, my phone and address are in the Abbey School Web, best wishes God bless
Salvador Coscarart Msb Old Boy.
For those that like to collect Choir music, please contact either Nigel or Salvador. CDs are part of our history.
Continuing the Who is Where,
28. Allan and Kirby Peters has a Poultry farm near San Fernando.
For my next circular I shall be in TT and hope to have new information for you, specially those that are not in the island.
In the photo: Matias Fedak, Ladislao Kertesz, Guiseppe Braggio, Enrique Castells.
God Bless
Listado: C39.xls
Photo: mycp3,
9 Tugs & Lighters
Column: 020721 wvb Waiting for it I
Waiting for it
(Part one)
by Wayne Brown
Sunday, July 21, 2002
IT was only mid-morning, but from the back porch of the house in the foothills the mountain was already vague with heat. Above it the sky was colourless, almost white, with ill-defined blotches of barren grey cloud; and in the opposite direction, down the long vista over the roofs of the city, the waterfront skyscrapers and the ships in the harbour were discernible only as indistinct, blue-grey shadows.
In the garden the impatiens, planted in the shade of the palms soon after Christmas when the sun was in the south, had lost most of that protection now it was summer and withered. For a time she had tried to save them by assiduous, twice-a-day watering; but inch by inch the petrifaction had crept along their stalks, and in the end she had given up.
Indeed, the garden as a whole was beginning to show signs of neglect. The lawn was dry and turning brown in patches, and the pods of the Poinciana lay where they had fallen, split and eviscerated. (By what? Patricia wondered with a shudder: Rats? Rats coming out at night?)
"So long as there's electricity," she said into the phone now, "I can take it. But once the power goes, that's the limit."
There was no response. Patricia wondered what her listener was thinking; but she was too reserved to ask.
The sound of the front door opening startled her; she had not expected Brian home, and hadn't heard his car.
"I have to go," she said, with a sudden odd note of spitefulness in her voice that seemed uncalled for and was not like her. And she rose from the high stool, returning the phone to its cradle and turning to the door in one continuous motion.
"Electricity gone?" Brian asked peremptorily, barging into the kitchen. He was a burly man 10 years her senior, with a bluff manner, a round forehead, and protruding ears.
To Patricia it sounded somehow like an accusation. "As you can see," she said levelly. "It's been gone for nearly an hour." Then: "What are you doing home?"
"Frankson wants the Costa Rican file; he thought I had it in the office. I thought I had it in the office. But it's here."
He reached into the dark fridge, took a swig from a mauve plastic bottle, returned it to its shelf and closed the door.
"Do we know if the street's without power?" he inquired. "Or is it just us?"
Patricia thought: We? Who is this 'We'? And -- not for the first time, it had been occurring more than once of late -- for a moment her husband of eight years seemed to her a complete stranger: an insolent and repulsive intruder into her life.
"I don't know. I think it's the whole street," she said. "But I might be wrong."
Nowadays, it was only when she saw him with the children that she was safe from the hallucination that, as in a nightmare, she had somehow stumbled into a parallel universe where the imp of Unmeaning was forever jeering at her. When after dinner little Tanya shyly showed him her drawing of frowning, long-lipped Miss Oates, or Pierre got into his lap and told him complainingly to stop watching TV, and he laughed and tickled him, before returning his attention to Seinfeld or Cheers or whatever (while the myriad bits and pieces of the child, which had flown off in every direction, mirthfully, tearfully reassembled themselves, and he began again, Daddy. Dad-dee!): at such times her husband seemed to Patricia like someone she had long, if impersonally, known.
This sense of neutral familiarity was often truncated, however by a stinging terror that she might be trapped. And while, in its outlandish, disbelievable first flush, the thought was too intolerable for her not to set to work massaging it into a quasi-religious (and, so far, entirely temporary) mood of resignation, all of this was still less horrifying than the feeling of unreality, of a mysterious but threatening wrongness, which she felt at times like this.
Brian had gone off down the corridor. Patricia wandered through the living room and out onto the veranda and slumped there into a slatted-wood chair, fanning herself ineffectually with her hands against the great heat. When he returned (clutching a batch of manila folders) she barely looked up at him.
"Well!" he said brightly, as though the monosyllable were the vocal equivalent of clicking his heels. "I'm off. Hope the power comes back soon." And he gave her in turn a sudden, quite impersonal grin.
The card that slipped from between his folders as he left, lay on the floor in the corridor for the better part of an hour before, bestirring herself to go in and have a cold shower, Patricia noticed it. It depicted a 'flapper' type from the Roaring 20s, a slim-wristed, headtie'd girl, looking tenderly down at a peeled banana which she held at chest height fastidiously between middle finger and thumb. Inside, a confident, rounded, upright hand had written, 'Happy Birthday, Big Man', and signed itself simply 'K'. The card was dated two years ago. Patricia stared at it for a long time.
"So," she said conversationally to Brian that night. "Who's K?"
The children had been put to bed, the television quenched, and Brian was morosely sorting through some papers at the dining table, while Patricia sat with legs fiercely crossed in the big easy chair, trying in vain to concentrate on 16 Down ('Italian novel with a French point of view'; two words, 3, 6, the first word was probably 'The', the third letter of the second word was 'y'). This was the long silence she broke into when she asked abruptly: "So. Who's 'K'?"
The question startled Brian. He looked up in genuine incomprehension. "Who?"
By way of reply Patricia rose, walked across to where he was sitting, and wordlessly tossed the bright, banana-cherishing 'twenties child onto the table in front of him. 'Happy Birthday, Big Man.' The force of her fury all but swept her on and out of the room; but she swerved, returned to her chair, picked up the paper, and stared unseeingly at 14 Across ('Extravagant': 6 letters, the first letter was 'L').
Brian stood up with a jerk. "What is wrong with you these days?" he demanded. Then, while she stared at him with a look that was past exhaustion as it was past disgust, a look that was chiefly remarkable by the absence from it of -- anything -- his voice rose.
"You know what I'm doing here?" he said desperately, gesticulating at the papers on the table. "I'm trying to make sure the insurance instalments are up to date, before a hurricane comes and takes this roof off from over our heads! Because sure as hell we getting a hurricane this year. Even up here you must be feeling the heat. Sure as hell! And that's all you have to say: 'Who is Kay?' Hear nuh man! I envy you sometimes, yes, woman."
"A hurricane," Patricia said, in a dead voice.
Then, rising, the emotion filling in, she went on: "Well, if that's it, let it come. That's a good one. A hurricane, eh? Well, let it come. I waiting for it."
She tossed the paper onto the chair (it slid at once dejectedly to the floor) and stalked out of the room.
(Concluded next Sunday)

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