Category Archives: Passed on

D’Prive who was a King

By Raffique Shah
March 05, 2024

Raffique ShahWhen I was informed last week of the passing of the man known universally as D’Prive—ex-Private Winston Nurse—I went into an introspective mode for just about a minute, and then my mind drifted to The King. Not Charlo or any other monarch. This king is the lead character in the author James Clavell’s novel, King Rat.

D’Prive and I had shared a private joke over my observation that he shared similarities with Corporal King, the main character in this epic novel set in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore. King Rat was one of Clavell’s most colourful creations. He—not the generals and other high-ranked personnel, some of whom were of royal stock, and all of whom were of the officer caste—called the shots in almost every way, the exception being that he could not leave.
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Karen’s foibles

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
January 16, 2024

Dr. Selwyn R. Cudjoe“Ah did tell Karen, at least in my dream, not to storm de people fete (ah mean de funeral). I told her, don’t go where you are not wanted and most of all, never make yo’ self a pappy show among Trini people. They will never let you forget it. Consumed with self-importance, Karen responded: ‘Ah have to show respect and honour Panday’s remarkable career, so ah going.'”
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No HOPE, only disappointment

By Raffique Shah
January 16, 2024

Raffique ShahTrust Trinis to set the stage for another type of public misbehaviour. It’s as if the near-collapse of good manners and social graces that have led to a behavioural pattern that span the spectrum of classes from young miscreants and criminals, to parliamentarians and holders of public office, have become the norm.

At the state funeral last Tuesday for former prime minister Basdeo Panday, we witnessed some spectacles that would cause shame and disgrace in the ­average society anywhere in the world. Here in Trinidad, though, we have once again managed to make everything into a joke.
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Pillars of Brinsley Samaroo’s achievements

By Stephen Kangal
July 17, 2023

Stephen KangalIn an attempt to assess and conceptualise the varied life, exciting times and indeed the unique legacy and saga bequeathed to us by the late Prof Brinsley Samaroo, I can think of his odyssey of life as a solid platform that was supported by four event-filled but interlocking pillars.

The first pillar, in some chronological order is his Naparima–Presbyterian foundation and pillar that coloured, expressed and energised his entire odyssey from Ecclesvile, to San Fernando, St Augustine and to the rest of the world.
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Rituals of grief

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
September 26, 2022

“The glories of our blood and state, Are shadows, not substantial things; There is no armour against fate, Death lays his icy hands on kings. Sceptre and crown must tumble down, And, in the dust, be equal made with the poor crooked scythe and spade.”

—James Shirley

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeI didn’t expect to spend so much time looking at the funeral of Elizabeth II. I was intrigued by the spectacle made of death (a display put on for its visual effect and impact) and the ritual of grief (a solemn ceremony performed according to a prescribed order) that was enacted before millions of people.

It took 20 years of planning to stage this event. It was the responsibility of Edward Fitzalan-Howard, who inherited the role of Earl Marshal of England when his father died in 2002. He “descended from the same family that has planned royal funerals and coronations since 1672”. He takes his responsibility seriously. He did not earn a cent for the tireless work he did for the Queen’s funeral.
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The Queen and I

By Raffique Shah
September 12, 2022

Raffique ShahIt’s incomprehensible that I, whose generation had every reason to dislike the British monarchy and wish for its early demise and for it to be replaced by something more modern, early in my life, became indifferent to the Windsors’ lingering presence as a symbol of Britain’s once inordinate prowess, and more than that, one woman’s mesmerising presence that defied all odds for almost 100 years.
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Tribute to Horace Hollister Broomes

Stephen KangalTribute Delivered by Stephen Kangal at the Funeral Service held for the Late Horace Hollister Broomes on Tuesday 6th September 2022 at the Seventh Day’s Adventist Church on Stanmore Avenue, POS

Presiding Pastor Clive Dottin, Members of the bereaved Broomes Family, Other Distinguished Speakers, Ladies and Gentlemen.
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Selwyn Ryan and T&T’s intellectual tradition

By Dr Selwyn R. Cudjoe
March 28, 2022

“Death is not an interruption of Being, but a necessary part of it, and the condition of our immortality… We shall die, but we shall not perish.”

—Charles W Warner, “The Fear of Death”

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeIn the preface to his semi-autobiographical Beyond a Boundary (1963), CLR James informs his readers that his book poses the question, “What do they know of cricket who only cricket know? To answer involves ideas as well as facts.” (James’ italics.)

I have always interpreted this injunction to mean that the significance of cricket to West Indian people lies in our over-standing (to use a Rastafarian idiom) of the social and cultural milieu out of which this inspiring game comes, and how well it speaks to our possibilities as a people.
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‘The Other Selwyn’

By Selwyn Cudjoe
March 22, 2022

Dr. Selwyn R. CudjoeWe fondly called each other “The Other Selwyn”, in terms of friendship and endearment. Although I never knew Selwyn Ryan, the other Selwyn, as well as others did, over time we grew to admire and respect each other’s work, and genuinely liked each other a lot. Sadly, he died a week ago.

I suspect our mutual admiration came from the fact that we both received our doctorates from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. When I arrived at Cornell in 1972, I could not get over the fact that another Trinidadian had attended Cornell and wrote his dissertation on nationhood in Trinidad and ­Tobago.
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