National Carnival Commission chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters – Photo by Sureash Cholai
DR CHARLESTON THOMAS, technical adviser in the THA Division of Tourism, Culture, Antiquities and Transportation, has categorically rejected criticism by National Carnival Commission (NCC) chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters of the organisation of this year’s Tobago carnival.
During an interview in Scarborough on Sunday, Peters said the commission again had no part in organising the festival.
“The NCC did not really help with the production because nobody asked us to help,” he told reporters.
“We are the National Carnival Commission of the country of Trinidad and Tobago. But our input into Tobago carnival is very, very, very minute, really.”
Peters believes last year’s carnival was better organised.
But speaking to Newsday on Monday, Thomas said although Tobago carnival belongs to Trinidad and Tobago, “The responsible hands for executing the Tobago carnival is Tobago, not NCC and certainly not Gypsy.
“We are one country, and whatever happens in any island is a representation of the country. But you may have more immediate responsibilities, in this case the immediate responsibility for the Tobago carnival is Tobago’s.”
Thomas said Tobago sought assistance from the NCC for both carnivals to no avail.
On this year’s festival, he said discussions took place between Peters, culture secretary Tashia Burris, NCC deputy chairman Davlin Thomas, another member and himself.
The NCC, Thomas claimed, agreed to help with road management and getting large costumes across to Tobago.
“Mr Peters promised in the meeting to work with us and get those things done for us.
“None of them happened. He did not have the nerve, decency or the respect to respond.
“I was the one who kept reaching out to Davlin Thomas with respect to road management.”
He said the division met to discuss the Trinbago Unified Calypsonian Organisation show with its president Ainsley King.
Thomas said at that meeting he again asked the NCC deputy chairman about the road-management training.
“We had that meeting on a Wednesday, (Davlin) Thomas said he would get back to me by the Friday. That never happened.”