On August 26, Nelson Street between Duke Street and Prince Street will be cordoned off and be free from traffic as the executive of City Sun Valley Steel Orchestra honours its heroes in an award ceremony.
According to chair of the committee, Gerald Mendez, "We intend to show off all the good that came out of this so called ghetto or hot spot. The media only reports on the negative coming out of Nelson Street, like they did during the State of Emergency. I challenge the media to come to Nelson Street and record the good and beauty of the area.
"The block from Duke Street and Prince Street will be decorated to suit the occasion of our 50th Anniversary of Independence with a stage in the middle and tents. VIP parking will be afforded at Eastern Girls and All Stars car park and the street will be brightened up with additional lighting."
The ceremony is carded to start at 4 p.m. when Fr Clyde Harvey will bless the proceedings which runs till 10 p.m. The awards are in six categories. There will be entertainment for children from 4-6 p.m. After which there will be live performances from All Rounder and Superblue.
The steel orchestras from the area will also perform and this includes Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars, bpRenegades, Desperadoes, Free Lancers Pan Groove, Sapophonics, La Famille United with special guests Playboyz and Phase 11 Pan Groove along with host City Sun Valley.
The City Sun Valley awards ceremony is supported by the OLEP Division of the Ministry of National Security, the Port of Spain City Council and Pan Trinbago.
The band was formed in the late 40's but "crashed" and only revived eight years ago. There are still two original members in Fitzroy "Popo" Glaude and Michael Alexander. The committee consists of Glaude (Popo), Lance Lashley, Hackeem Pope, Jamal David, Rickiesha Providence and Gerald Mendez.
City Sun Valley is located at Riverbank, 74-76 Nelson Street, almost centre of the block and many members of the community along with the Minister of National Security, the Mayor and deputy Mayor, John Noel and Muhammad Shabbaz have been invited to be a part of the event.
Mendez said this awards ceremony belongs to the people of Nelson Street and environs and they are celebrating those who have contributed to the development of Trinidad and Tobago over the last 50 years.
People like former commissioner of Prisons John Rougier, Guy Boldon (Ato's father) Penguin, Arthur Lock Jack, John Sandy and former chief justice Clinton Bernard are all associated with the area.
Mendez continued, "We have been trying events especially around Father's Day because we believe that fathers play a great role in the lives of their children.
"It was City Sun Valley who revived "Pan in The Hollows", we did it for two years (2007/8) when we got the Hollows free from the Ministry of Agriculture but by the third year they charged us $15,000 and we could not have a bar. That was the end of that."
"We will continue to promote events to eradicate the negative stigma that is associated with the area and hope things can change around one day," ended Mendez.
The awardees for the occasion are:
Politics: Martin Joseph
National Service: John Sandy and Roy Augustus
Culture: Seadley Penguin Joseph, Bertram Thomas, Dane Gulston, Senor Gomez, Trinidad All Stars, Renegades, Desperadoes.
Education: Angela Pierre and E Prescott.
Sports: Denzil Theobald, Gally Cummings, Daniel David, Russell Tesheria (posthumous).
Commerce: John Noel, Mama's Ice Cream. Red Box, Chee Mooke Bakery.