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Carnival pioneer Cupid honoured at Canboulay

By JULIEN NEAVES Saturday, February 6 2016

GLOWING tribute was paid to regional Carnival stalwart, John Gladstone Cupid, yesterday morning during the re-enactment of the Canboulay Riots to kick off Carnival 2016. Lennox Tousaint, chairman of the Regional Committee of the National Carnival Commission’s (NCC), spoke at the start of the re-enactment.

“Canboulay as you will agree is turning out to be one of the more powerful shows on the Carnival calendar,” he said.

He thanked Cupid, and noted that he was the pioneer and one of the live-wires behind traditional mas and regional Carnival for a number of years. He described him as a stalwart, pioneer, researcher and historian. He noted that special tribute would be paid to him for his contribution during the traditional Carnival characters parade later that day.

Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly, presented a plaque to the 80-something Cupid.

In her brief remarks said “it is a great thing to be here in the wee hours of the morning to celebrate our heritage.” “This is it - we are the cusp of Carnival 2016, and we are kicking off in grand style in this Canboulay festival this morning,” she added.

Gadsby-Dolly said the presence of the patrons showed commitment to our culture and heritage “and I just want to salute you and thank for keeping this part of our Carnival alive,” she said. The re-enactment was written and directed by poet and storyteller, Eintou Pearl Springer. Springer thanked the NCC, Yuille-Williams, under whose administration Canboulay began, and the cast and crew.

“We have to celebrate our mas if we talking about diversifying the economy,” she said.

She stressed that we have to look into our culture for diversification.

She also made a brief commented that “moko jumbie is mas”, likely referring to criticisms of Peter Minshall’s Carnival king costume “The Dying Swan”. Springer was also part of the cast and played the wise “Edna the Elder”. Scores of people attended the reenactment, and one man grew impatient when it had not begun at 4 am.



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