Our Readers' Opinions
March 28, 2017
Hail Starlift and Bloc 2000

Editor: St Vincent and the Grenadines premiere steel orchestra, ‘Starlift’, originally from Old Montrose, celebrated its 50th anniversary with a reverential church service at the Methodist Church in Kingstown on Sunday, March 12.

Celebratory activities culminated on Tuesday, March 14 – National Heroes’ Day with a street concert in the Bloc 2000 domain. Starlift has now become a formable institution – being able to transform itself into a cohesive mechanism to bring about a stronger sense of unity and solidarity amongst the people of Bloc 2000 and other geographical areas in Old Montrose is indeed a commendable exercise.

Inducting young and aspiring pannists into its folds was a brilliant initiative that was conceptualized by Errol “Sardo” Sutherland and his wonderful cohorts, and this pioneering effort must also be congratulated.

However, what was really refreshing and satisfying on the occasion of Tuesday, March 14th, was the official recognition that Starlift bestowed posthumously upon the late Walton ‘Tanny’ Peters and other outstanding pioneers of the Starlift steel orchestra. The Street concert, which followed gave persons an opportunity to showcase their talents in what could be described as a “cultural panorama”; moreover, it served as a connecting mechanism of uniting the Montrose community.

Bloc 2000, on the other hand, still enjoys a national legacy of being the first community group to embark on a comprehensive environmental clean-up, resulting in it copping the best village award in 1990, thanks to the indefatigable pioneering work of Baldwin ‘Bal-I’, the group’s inaugural president. Early in its tenure, Bloc 2000 had set a precedent of recognizing outstanding persons in the community.

Both Starlift and Bloc 2000 organization, under the able leadership of Bal-I and his original executive colleagues, namely Norville ‘Trumpet’ Dickson, Cheryl Dickson, Claude Millington, Godwin Culzac and Kert Bynoe, should see the need to work jointly in creating viable community projects that will have long-term benefits to the youths in the community. Undoubtedly, their parliamentary representative, Major St Clair Leacock, will indeed be happy to add his inputs to see the success of a Bloc 2000- Starlift Coalition.

A policy both organizations should adopt is the bestowing of an annual accolade upon a matriarch or patriarch who served the community with distinction, with responsible and committed community-minded persons of the calibre of Marsden ‘Derby’ Burnette, Frank Barrow and others of like mind, pooling their resources collectively,

there will be a brighter future for both Starlift steel Orchestra and Bloc 2000 through the building of socially progressive bridges without any political interference.

Patmos Richards