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Kalicharan makes it seven in a row

Friday, February 15, 2013
Wendy Kalicharan, third left, with sons Aaron and Andrew, left and members of the Kalicharan Mas Camp celebrate their seventh South Band of the Year title at their mas camp in San Fernando yesterday. PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH

South masman Ivan Kalicharan has emulated Brian MacFarlane in securing an historic seventh consecutive San Fernando Carnival large Band of the Year crown. Unlike MacFarlane who claimed the record in north Trinidad, Kalicharan will not be bowing out of competition. His son Aaron said they are already working on their 2014 presentation, which is expected to surpass this year’s offering in terms of quality and numbers. 



Kalicharan also captured the Band of the Day on Carnival Monday and placed second in the Skinner Park Band of the Year competition on Tuesday with his portrayal of Rise of the Olympians. Kalicharan amassed 1,344 points. Fireworks Promotions, which copped the Skinner Park Band of the Year title and the Mack Copeland Trophy with A Drink to Dat, placed second in the large band category with a total of 1,245 points. 


Placing third, with 1,240 points, was Lionel Jagessar and Associates’ 2013 offering Lakota Dream. In the medium category, first-time entrant in the competition, Legall and Friends, secured 232 points to capture the title with Gems of Chakras, beating veteran Owen C Hinds Foundation into second place and The Nation’s People Comanche Uprising in position number three.


Pan Mas traditions was named small band of the year. Responding to the results announced by San Fernando mayor Dr Navi Muradali at a news conference at City Hall yesterday, one half of the Kalicharan team, Wendy Kalicharan, said: “We feel delighted, elated, awesome and I know we will continue in the same vein.” Her husband Ivan was not present, as he was confined to bed. However, members of the band were still preparing for late-evening double celebrations of their 2013 victory and Valentine’s Day.


Muradali said in spite of some challenges, such as inadequate bleachers, public toilets and bins, Carnival 2013 was the most successful ever in San Fernando. He promised the prize-giving would be held in a few weeks and the prize money would be significantly improved as the city had received an additional $2 million this year. Muradali also congratulated the Kalicharans on their outstanding victory and performance over the years, and especially for bringing President George Maxwell Richards and wife Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards to play mas with their band in San Fernando.


The Kalicharans have won the title a record-breaking 20 times in their three-decades history of mas making. “I think this is the first time in history, a sitting president of this country has come to San Fernando to play mas and I want to thank and congratulate the Kalicharans who continue to ensure Carnival in San Fernando stays alive,” Muradali said. “You and your family have done a tremendous job for the culture of the City of San Fernando,” he told Wendy as her kissed her on the cheek and presented her with a red rose in commemoration of Valentine’s Day.


Acknowledging the impact the presence of the President and his wife had on the band and southern spectators, Wendy said they were already working on getting more celebrities to play mas with the band next year. “We were almost sold out before the confirmation (that the President would play with them) was made, but on Carnival Monday it did make an impact,” she said. 


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