The work passes for an amateurish,almost pedestrian attempt at chronicling vignettes of the many people who ,in the opinion of the author,Nasser Khan and his main sponsor (a commercial bank), have fashioned the destiny of this tiny country ,Trinidad and Tobago.The book is a hastily arranged forced marriage between what passes for ''patriotism'' and ''propaganda''.
The author ,publishers and sponsors,possibly borrowing a clue from the nomenclature of the work,did not see it fit and proper to include pictures on the cover of three former prime ministers,viz.Basdeo Panday,George Chambers and Patrick Manning.
The author also did not think that it was important to tell readers that Patrick Castagne (1916-2000)was really a Guyanese who later became a naturalised citizen of Trinidad and Tobago,or that the national anthem wasn't originally written for Trinidad and Tobago,but for the West Indian Federation of 1958.Or that after the demise of the Federation in 1961,Castagne was asked to rewrite the anthem for Trinidad and Tobago.
Edwin''Crazy''Ayoung managed to get a paragraph while the great pianist of yesteryear,Winnifred Atwell and two great masmen Wayne Berkely and George Bailey were mentioned.Max Murphy and Archbishop Finbar Ryan each managed two lines.We learnt in a line and a half that Walter Darment(1821-1868) was a civil engineer and oil pioneer who headed the effort that first discovered oil in 1866.One might have imagined that more might have been written about this oil pioneer especially since the Trinidad and Tobago economy has been so heavily dependent upon oil.
Makandal Daaga's birth details were listed as ''not available'' which appeared enclosed by two great walls of parentheses,possibly because it might have been on a need to know basis as it probably constituted a matter of state security/secrecy.
Maybe Randolph Burroughs got five and a half lines because his once feared Flying Squad is about to be resurrected by Minister of National Insecurity Jack Warner as his major ''Strike Squad'' against the crime bosses of Laventille.
Possibly as a warning to Ancel Roget,former O.W.T.U President Comrade George Weekes,a man who led thousands of workers in marches all over the country for better pay and working conditions,was afforded 5 lines; one for each day of the working week.
To add some credibility to his book,the author borrows St Lucian poet Derek Walcott and makes him a hero and role model of Trinidad and Tobago.Walcott won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1992 for his ''Omeros'' which was a rewrite of Homer.The three beauty queens Janelle Penny Commissiong,Giselle La Ronde-West and Wendy Fitzwilliam are given their due in this publication but there are notable omissions,particularly among the business elite that supported the former administration.
Causes enoch john Supports
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