Bassy - Love Vine
March 5, 2010
SVG TV celebrates thirty

Ah want to congratulate SVG TV and Vinlec Potential Steel Orchestra as dey celebrate dey thirtieth birthday. Ole people got ah ting dey does say “me nah talk wid water in me mouth” meaning dey nah mamaguying yuh. Well me ah write ah lickle bit bout de celebrants but “me nah write wid water in me pen”!{{more}}

Thirty or forty years ago ah weird fellah from T’n’T name Alves introduced de Snow Cone carts here in SVG and got de nickname “Snow Cone”. Before dat he had introduced ah deadly cockroach powder dat killed de roaches instantly; and of course he got his first nickname “de Cockroach Man”. Is like his mission was only to introduce ah new product, den he would sell de franchise and when yuh miss him he gone again. Sometime in de mid 1970s he showed wid ah very ambitious plan to set up ah TV station. We laughed at de I-dare because other folks including ah group ah Vincies living in de USA had announced big plans foh ah Cable TV station, got started but foh want of support didn’t last. In our minds was only major US companies like ABC or CBC had de means to set up ah TV station. Meanwhile, folks on de east course were getting TV reception from Bo-bid-us, but basically Vincentians were starving foh TV.

Ah remember my colleague, Val Cotter ah surveyor, assisting Alvis in finding ah site wid adequate conditions, elevations and control points. Alves set up his tower and antenna in town way NBC Radio station is now, but de signals were not good. Next he bought ah tiny piece ah land at Dorsetshire Hill approximately ten feet square, enough to hold his antenna and transmitter and Voila?! Or is Eureka! One evening at six o-clock, our man Snow Cone was broadcasting live on TV from Dorsetshire Hill . Folks didn’t wait, dey start ordering dey TV sets from de US, but Snow Cone’s sole interest was to turn his ‘invention’ into cash and go. Exit Snow Cone, enter Paul Mc Leish and company (SVG TV). As was expected, Snow Cone sold out his franchise and disappeared. Today, thirty years after, SVG TV wid its one channel, Cha 9 and three sister stations, (2 FM and ah AM) has not only grown but has done Sin-Vin-Sin proud. What is commendable is dat it’s ah free service to de nation, de only fees we pay is ah $100. 00 license when we purchase ah TV. Yes we have other TV companies now, cable and what-have-yuh, offering 99% foreign channels, but good ole SVG TV remained faithful and reliable over de years. How can we not be proud of dis group ah Vincentian investors, and not want to big dem up foh having delivered over those years, an excellent and reliable service: News, local and international; Sports, Live International Cricket, tennis, World Cup soccer; Culture, Carnival, Drama and Gospel Fests; Religious Programs, de Guv-ah-mint API, Debates etc. etc. Yes, there is room foh more local programming, but foh ah local company to have come from such ah humble beginning wid ah staff of three and only three hours ah night broadcasting, and increase to forty wukers and twenty four hour service, ah think we should be both proud and grateful and say Thank Yuh SVG TV.


And in very much de same spirit, we could also be proud ah Potential Steel Orchestra. Potential coming out of Calliaqua might not have as colourful and successful ah history as its strongest rival, Starlift now in its 44th year; but Potential, led by de indefatigable Patrick “Grey” Baptiste, supported by de ever faithful Pest Llewellyn, de band’s tuner, have been ah force to recon wid at all Pan Competitions and Concerts. Ah doh ha no water in me mouth when ah say dat during de 80’s-90’s de mission to spread de Gospel of Pan via Concerts thru-out SVG, rested squarely on de shoulders ah Potential who were proudly sponsored den by Vinlec (Potential). De band over de years has lots to boast about, in terms ah development there’s de Potential Youths, De “A” Team or Hotel band and de full size festival Band; also ah permanent home or Pan Yard (ah think Louis Jones might have assisted dey) but de band’s greatest accomplishment however, was the introduction in SVG of an annual Summer Training Camps foh de youths, dis has been de nursery bed foh future Panists started some twenty years ago and still going. Come dis Sunday afternoon, de Band will celebrate its birthday wid ah concert at de Calliaqua Met-dis Church. Dey have been preparing foh dis special occasion and expect all pan lovers to come and enjoy de very best in pan music. Ley we Go hear dem! We salute you Potential.


Ah was telling Lie-Za that ah have no problem wid de Dis-ability study being done here by Cuban Doctors, only dat in SVG de Disabled is not de problem, is de so-called “Abled”, we de socalled smart and normal. We treat our disabled folk, even loved ones like reject Bananas, ashamed to be seen with dem in public. So really de Survey should be about us and our terrible attitude towrds Disabled people. Having said all ah dat, Lie-Za ask me if is true dey’s ah list ah people to be tested, de Talk-Show Hoarse, Columnists, de Commissioner ( how he behaving lately) and dem pull-ah-trickans. Wid dem kind ah talk. is gone I gone eh.

One Love Bassy

Bassy Alexander is a land surveyor, folklorist and social commentator.