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BARBADOS - National Cultural Foundation

Crop Over 2006


revellers of Gwyneth Squires' band were smiling all the way down to Spring Garden. The mood was in keeping with her title Come Celebrate We Freedom, a presentation which won Festival Designer Of The Year, Large Band Of The Year, Best Flag Person, Best Socaholics Individual and the top prize in the Historical category.

BLAZING END TO GRAND KADOOMENT 2006. Compliments of the Nation News

Even before knowing they had won, the revellers of Gwyneth Squires' band were smiling all the way down to Spring Garden. The mood was in keeping with her title Come Celebrate We Freedom, a presentation which won Festival Designer Of The Year, Large Band Of The Year, Best Flag Person, Best Socaholics Individual and the top prize in the Historical category. The 500-strong band put Squires back into winner's row after last year's loss. It also capped an outstanding season for the veteran designer, who dominated Junior Kadooment last week with the band Dance Caribbean. (Picture by Cherie Pitt.)

by RICKY JORDAN Compliments of the Nation news 31/07/06


Mount Gay/Cable & Wireless Party Monarch 2006 A NEW CHAMPION set the Mount Gay/Cable & Wireless Party Monarch aflame, six-time king Edwin bowed out in second place, while the biggest crowd ever packed the rolling East Coast hills of the Calypso Bowl yesterday.

Barry Chandler, the 22-year-old former Richard Stoute Teen Talent winner, copped the 2006 Party Monarch title with a song called Flames to become the youngest winner in the 11-year-old competition that has become Crop-Over's largest mass event.

< Read more >

Tiffany G (left) and Mighty Sweetness, of the Dream Team, celebrating their wins in the Scotiabank Junior Monarch Finals

WHAT A DREAM! Tiffany G (left) and Mighty Sweetness, of the Dream Team, celebrating their wins in the Scotiabank Junior Monarch Finals on Saturday night. Tiffany G Goddard retained her 13-18 crown while It was third time lucky for 8-12 champion Kishee Mighty Sweetness Moore.

Compliments of the Nation News

The children of Sunrise Prep Institute in 5th Avenue, Bellville, St Michael, got a taste of Crop-Over as they displayed beautiful costumes before judges. Co-ordinator of the event, Marilyn Hunte, said it was part of a fund-raising venture for the school and they wanted the children to have fun and show off the costumes. Among the designers were Betty West, Passion, Reggie Cave, Auntie Marla and Anwar Muhammid. Here, two-year-old Kayla Prescod is smiling sweetly as she shows off her costume entitled Butterflies In The Garden. The children of Sunrise Prep Institute in 5th Avenue, Bellville, St Michael, got a taste of Crop-Over

 

You can't keep politics out of Crop-Over. This costume, part of the Bajana Kadooment Band, is entitled Mascoll'ision. It portrays the cross-over of politician Clyde Mascoll from the Democratic Labour Party to the Barbados Labour Party. The front is all red representing the colours of the BLP and the back blue to signify the DLP. Designer and bandleader Deij Britynee-Carter (sitting) is seen here making adjustments to Stacy Norville's costume at the Bajana Mas' Camp.

This costume, part of the Bajana Kadooment Band, is entitled MascollÕision

Date July 19, 2006
Brief Systems go for Soca on Hill Compliments of the Nation News


THE STAGE IS all set for one of the biggest Crop-Over events this year, the inaugural all-day Soca On The Hill at the Farley Hill National Park, Sunday.

Following in the trend of recent highly successful productions at that venue, the thousands expected to throng the venue will have no problems getting there or having adequate parking.

Transportation will be plentiful with the Transport Board providing buses from 9 a.m. to run every hour from the Fairchild Street, Princess Alice and Speightstown Terminals.

There will be a similar return service after the event, with the last bus leaving Farley Hill at 10.30 p.m.

For patrons using their own transportation, the owners of the adjoining Welchtown Plantation are again opening up their 35 acres to provide paid parking space opposite the venue.

Sunday, the actions starts at midday and is expected to be one of the best Caribbean entertainment packages.

by KATRINA BEND Compliments of the Nation News

IF ALL GOES well for the unattached calypsonians, six of them may make it to the Party Monarch Finals.

Out of the 12 calypsonians who performed at Tim's On De Hiway Sunday, Christine Crystal Eli, the trio of Rameses Browne, Malcolm Malcolm X Small and David Stylz P Jones, along with Andr & eacute; Holder and Kevin Coxy Cox stood out and may get a shot at the Calypso Bowl on July 30.

One of the most familiar songs of the evening, Wine Down Low, came from Rameses, Malcolm X and Stylz P. The up-tempo piece, a sample of Li'l Kim's Whoa, had the small audience, including some of the judges, moving.

One could also relate to Andr & eacute;'s Hott Dogg which has been rocking the airwaves. He is no stranger to the calypso arena, having performed No Violence in one of MADD's compilations a few years back.

His new song was one of the liveliest, and he added to his performance with dancers doing the "Hott Dogg" dance. He was the only one who got an encore, but MC Carl Alff Padmore said it could not be given when judging.

Crystal interacted with the audience and showed them that big women could wine in Come Leh We Party. Her song had a sample of a familiar fun game, similar to the Cooly Man House On Fire, in the beginning.

Coxy is new to the competition but appeared confident in his medium-tempo song, Crop-Over Time Again. He danced and utilised the stage well, but drifted off-key at times.

Other performers were Curtis Winta Winter with Jump If Ya Jumping, Basil Big Food Cumberbatch with Loading, Dave De Original Duck Evelyn with Nuhbody Trouble Muh, Nicholas Nick Man Greenidge with Festival Wave, Malcolm Don Kobe Watkins with Los Barbados, and Arlon Griffith with Bajan Wine.

They were all backed by the Junior Monarch band comprising band leader Anthony Sargeant (guitar), musical director Mark Husbands (trombone), Chrystal Cummins-Beckles (keyboards), Justin Worrell (bass), Shawn Yarde (alto saxophone), Jerome Clarke (tenor sax), Andr & eacute; Blackett (trumpet), Cameron Quintyne (trumpet), Tito Ellis (drums) and vocalists Stephanie Chase and Ria Borman.

The sound system was not the best. At times, it overpowered the background vocalists, the calypsonians and the band. It was especially loud for the Wine Down Low trio.

She's a cut above the rest

Date July 07, 2006 Compliments of the Nation News
Brief She's a cut above the rest
by RICHARD CAESAR

WITH A PERPETUAL SMILE and quiet manner, it would be difficult to perceive the immense strength and determination that resides inside Merla Edwards.

It would be somewhat difficult to picture this small-statured Burma Road, St Peter woman, battling numerous canes and the scorching sun to go on to claim a major victory.

And she has.

She has done more than just claim victory. Merla has copped the title of Queen Of The Crop for 2006, ending a seven-year dominance by former Queen Judy Cumberbatch, interrupted last year since there was no female title awarded.

The 63-year-old labourer at the Rock Hall Farm kept to her strong work ethic and her belief in a day's work for a day's pay. She cut and piled 78.362 tons of sugar cane.This ensured she emerged head and shoulders over her competition to take this year's crown.

Old-time values

These values are the same ones that guided Merla as a young agricultural labourer emigrating from her homeland of St Vincent to Barbados in 1979.

Merla, who struggled to make a living as a single mother of five, admitted that it wasn't always easy, but said: "You have to try your best."

She got through it, she says, by learning to help herself, something she still does today.

"I still do everything for myself; I paint my own house, I weed my garden and I raise animals. I plant for myself and I reap for myself," she said flatly, during an interview with the WEEKEND NATION on Tuesday evening at her home.

Planting and reaping is something that this self-proclaimed ,avid agriculturalist knows a lot about. In her kitchen garden, which she was only too happy show off, Merla plants all types of natural tea plants and herbs.

"When I first come here all the ground was bearing was grass. So I say instead of the ground bearing nothing it could bear something, so I started planting some herbs there in the back."

She knows every plant and can recite, in detail, the healing properties of each.

Good for colds

She pointed to one plant: "This one here was brought over from St Vincent. If you have a cold and you drink this it will go away, or you can drink tea from this one here," she said, pointing to another as she moved from plant to plant.

For Merla, her garden is a source of pride and relaxation.

Merla's love of nature and agriculture puts her right at home in the canefield. She said she first started out in the field in the 1990s bundling and tying canes.

"The first time I wasn't cutting, the men used to cut and I would tie. Then, after the tying, I was piling. It was then that both men and women started to cut and pile for themselves because the women said we can cut the cane too. So we start to cut and pile for ourselves," she said.

Providing for herself

But this posed no real deterrent to Merla, who says she still likes to know that she is working her hardest to provide for herself.

It would have been no real surprise, therefore, when she won the crown.

"I'm very happy about it," Merla said, still smiling widely. Very humble about her achievement, Merla admitted that sometimes it wasn't a challenge at all.

"When you have the cane there good in front of you, you don't study any challenge. You can just cut, cut and go through," she related as she imitated a chopping motion.

After cutting her way to her first title though, Merla seems hardly phased by the attention. She says she is not nervous or anxious at all about her crowning tomorrow before the crowd that will gather at Queen's Park for the Crop-Over BNB Opening Gala.

In fact, she is looking forward to her first crown. And since this mild- mannered lady says she plans to keep cutting until she is not able to do it anymore, she may well have a lot more to look forward to.




 

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