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Historical Notes

ince 1997, Vincy Mas has been adorned with even greater craftsmanship, artistry, skill and creative imagination of ordinary Vincentians with extraordinary talent. These designers, builders and mas men are now widely recognized for their hard work and dedication. It is necessary to highlight especially, the imagery, originality, and subtlety of Roy Ralph and the Dragons; the Kaleidoscopic splendour of Lennox ‘Scully’ Hunte, Edison ‘Sheggy’ John and the Bad Lads and Lasses, and Adonis ‘Goat’ Hector and the Nelson Bloc. The artistry of Lennox ‘Dinks’ Johnson; the innovations and daring of Lennox ‘Becks’ Gonsalves, Wayne Berkley and Mirage Productions; the determination, persistence and resilience of the Melbourne Artisans, the passion of Avis Yorke and the Walronds. The courage of Sparky and Hairoun Productions in their focus on local; and Blondie Bird and Friends for their new approach to production and portrayal of mas in St.Vincent and the Grenadines. Vincentian mas designers and builders have created images of wonder, images of fear, images of beauty- all dazzling the eyes of onlookers with oceans of colours and sheer artistry in appearance and movement. What started as simple pleasure and enjoyment for many mas designers and builders, has become an obsession, if not a compulsion. For some, it has become an occupation, albeit only seasonal. OF SHEGGIE JOHN’S BAD LADS AND LASSES

agreed to form an organisation to produce a mas band for Carnival 1974. Persons present were: Edison “Sheggie” John, Gary “Gengen” Mc Kell, Anthony “Gripsey” Daisy, Ernesto Spring, Willy Howe, Roland “Scrapie” Dopwell, Keith “Becks” Jack, Bert Browne, Julian “Yard Ah Mouth” Bailey, Woodrow “Keylee” Williams, Robert “Robbie” Jacobs, Allison “Mouse” Murray, Bertland “Zulu” Gloster, Lennox “Duck Tripe” London, Avis Yorke, Agnes De Roche and Charlene “Faye” Cato. At this meeting, it was agreed that the Band would be known as Creative Enterprises Limited (CEL) as no one wanted the band named after them. This name did not last, some members who were into the Black Power Movement and were influenced by the “Shaft” movie insisted that they were the “Baddest” mas men, thus the name was changed to Bad Lads and Lasses. The production for Carnival 1974 “Once upon a Time” failed to continue where “Skully” had left off and did not win the Band of the Year title. In 1977 when the change of dates for Vincy Mas came, the band produced what some persons consider its best production with “Aristique”, however the band did not participate in the Band of the Year competition as one of the Judges for the Queen of the Bands competition in their remarks on the score sheet had stated that Bad Lads and Lasses needed to be judged by “University Professors as the production was too complicated”. This was the first time a mas band had boycotted the competition, in 1978 the band paid tribute to Alston “Becket” Cyrus as a show of appreciation for the work he had done in promoting Vincy Carnival internationally. “Coming Higher, A Tribute to Becket” won the Band its first band of the Year title. This started a winning streak for the Band which apart from 1979 when there was no Carnival, ran up to 1982, with Spectrum 80 (A review of its productions) in 1980, Roots Hairouna (Tribute to our Roots) 1981 and Mas Ah Kno’ Yo’(Tribute to the Mas Men of the Past). In 1983 the Band joined with the other Carnival Bands, who were members of the Carnival Bands Association and boycotted the Carnival competitions for that year as they were dissatisfied with the prizes being offered.

In 1973 following the departure of Lennox “Scully” Hunte, the group of guys who had been the workmen behind most of “Skully’s” winning productions decided that they had to continue their involvement in carnival. Having taken this decision, a meeting was convened at which it was

1984 saw bad Lads and Lasses return to competition but was unsuccessful in its quest to reclaim the title of Band of the Year. Bad Lads and Lasses returned to winning ways in 1987 with Timbuktu. The trend continued in 1988 with Legend of the Cocomaca. Bad Lads and Lasses were never to win another title and in 1993 following the carnival season the band was formally dissolved, however some members of the band continued to be involved in the production of mas bands.

Band of the year magazine2  

This ia a historical document of St.Vincent and the Grenadnes biggest Cultural Festival called Carnival,which is held annually in June/July,...