IN THE GROOVE: Soca, Groovy and Road March Monarch title holder Machel Montano with his girlfriend Kavelle Keir at the thanksgiving reception at the Chaguaramas Golf Club on Saturday evening. —Photos: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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Machel gives thanks

Reigning International Power Soca Monarch and Groovy Soca Monarch, Machel Montano on March 24 held a thanksgiving service and celebration at the Chaguaramas Golf Course. Montano thanked everyone who worked alongside him this past Carnival to ensure he retained his Power Soca Monarch title, claim the Groovy Soca Monarch title and retain his National Road March championship. Montano also thanked everyone who has worked with him over the 30 years since he began his entertainment career.

Everyone was asked to wear white to signify the thanksgiving. It began with prayers offered by people representing various faiths including, Reverend Deacon Lennox Toussaint (Roman Catholic), Pundit Lutchmidath Persad-Maharaj (Hindu), Abba Haile Mikael (Ethiopian Orthodox), Brother Wendell Allan (Muslim) and Dr Valerie Hackshaw (Unity of Trinidad and Tobago).

James Walton served as the master of ceremonies and introduced the people who spoke on Montano's behalf. Of course Montano's mother and longstanding manager, Elizabeth Montano then began the proceedings and she was followed by several family members and others considered as extended family members.

Daryl "Farmer Nappy" Henry who is the longest standing member of the HD Family having been there from the days of the Pranasonic Express and Xtatik revisited his experiences of being a member of the band and also how he met the Montano family. Montano's children; Malaya Moses-Montano, Nicholas Montano, Marley Montano, Micha Montano also greeted and spoke of their father.

A video, featuring his daughter, Meledi Montano greeting him from Paris was also shown.

Montano's elder brother, Marcus who played guitar in the band for several years before leaving to pursue a career as an airline pilot spoke of how he was the one that actually discovered his brother's talent for music.

When Montano finally took the podium he spoke of the journey he's experienced to get to this point in his career as well as the amount of work that went into the success he and the HD Family achieved in 2012.

Montano revealed that his personal watchwords are: Dream, Faith and Success.

Winston "Monty" Montano, father of Machel and Marcus, expressed his joy over seeing his family, especially his sons succeed and also hearing them speak of having faith.

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