D Boro of Oil and Music: Point Fortin Borough Day

3 06 2008



Honestly ah was looking to take a break from work and was looking to go St. Maarten fuh dey “Carnival”.  Now I eh trying to shit dem up or nuttin eh…….and ah go keep it short in order to stay on task wit d original topic………but dey doing ah piss poor job of promoting dat “Carnival”.  Website had limited pictures of past Carnival and the Even Calendar included NON-SOCA acts…………NO NO NO.  Carnival=Soca/Calypso………….NUTTIN ELSE.  Ok ah dun vent…….on wit d show.


History of Point Fortin and Borough Day

The 1783 Cedula of Population was ultimately responsible for the naming of Point Fortin, since the area took the name of a Frenchman, Fortin, who settled there under that law.  When the British arrived in 1797, they did not disturb the functioning of Fortin’s sugar-cane estate.  With the abolition of slavery, the agriculture industry went into decline and so did the whole region, until the late 1800s when crops like cocoa and coconuts revived the industry and the Point Fortin area.

More changes were to come, however – in 1906, a geologist, Arthur Beeby-Thompson, found oil at Guayaguayare and the rest, as they say, is history.  Point Fortin grew into an oil town.  It rode the wave of opulence during the 1990’s oil boom and withstood the economic ravages of the subsequent recession.  The area still shines brightly today as an oil and natural gas hub, home to the Atlantic LNG plant as well as other oil and gas company headquarters.


The Borough Celebrations started somewhere around the mid-eighties. It came at a time when Point Fortin was in an economic downturn. With the removal of Trintoc from Point Fortin, there was a great call-out in the society for job opportunities. At that time, the then council adopted a rather radical move to try to use culture as a means of creating economic activity in the area, and so was born ‘Pan on the Move’. The Borough Day Festival is one of the biggest festivals in Trinidad and Tobago. We also have a very educational aspect to it.


Ok enuff ah all dat long talk…….on wit d show.  PRESSURE………ah reach HOME……….but is like EVERYBODY……come home wit me.  In meh 15 years of travelling back to Trinidad I eh never see so much people waiting to clear Immigration……not Even fuh Carnival.  Now it takes a special person to be ah government worker in sweet T&T………now as long as dat frikken line was and it bend all how, dat damn immigration officer never speed up he pace and he eh even raise he head up when d gal next to meh “faint”.  D good news was afer she “faint” dey decide to turn d AC on and dey was even kind enuff to let people wit children and pregnant women skip ahead.  But d move of d day was dat dem dumb dumbs finally realize dat it was time to open some more entrance booths. 

Well its Friday and me and meh pardna jus gaping bout d place since meh bredder say we go reach down Point fuh like 2 a.m…………which mean we leaving Town arrung midnight.  So we gape bout we area den went down Woodbrook side to see wat going on.  Pass by Legacy Mas Camp ad yuh could see dem busy still dealing wit costumes.  Chocolate City not too far from dem and dere Camp had some life in it also.  We go by El Picos and grab some food……….Cro Bar closed fuh renovations……..eh relly feel like dealin wit d madness in d games……..so we head back to home base.  Call meh bredder back he push d departure time back to 2 a.m.  But like dis man name go have to change to BWEE.  No scene, go home take a nap and get back up at 2.  We leave town arrung 2:40 a.m. and is PRESSURE.  Once we get off d high right b4 La Brea is all kinna traffic and amateurs hitting dey peak TOO early.  Wat ah mean by TOO early.  Car running off d road like is a tight rope dey walking on 1 foot.  If yuh cah drive and yuh cah drink…………….leave both up to d professional.  So after dodging chupidess on and off d road we finally reach point arrung 4:30 a.m. 

 PRESSURE………………Traffic and no wey to park.  But Trinidad is a place where big events gives birth to entrepeuners…………….there is a woman charging $40 to park fuh d whole day in she yard.  She eh care bout d peas that growing “drive over dat”……….back ah d house, side and front……….she parking everybody.  Next year ah feel she go charge more, because she coulda charge $100 easy and people woulda pay it.  So we load up we rum pouches and we on d way.  As we walking ah tinking to mehself we relly stick boy.  Trucks pumping music and d bands organized and ready to roll.  I havent been a spectator during a Carnival in Trinidad since 2003 and swore never it let it happen no where in d world again.  But yuh snooze yuh lose.  Being a spectator to me is not fun and sucks.  So in short as a result of our lack of planning we were left to wander about the place like some gypsies.  And for the most part that is what most people were doing.  There were no real set base where you would find a solid contingent of people liming and having a time.  Thh thing that I did appreciate with the sidewalks and streets jampacked was that people were well behaved.  Although there were later reports of violence, we did not witness any.  My brother did say that the uniform police presence was less than pass years though and from the looks of things it looked like the same cops you would see patrolling fetes fuh Carnival, were the same ones in Point. 


There is a moment of clarity dat I does get during every Carnival or Fete, I think weed smokers does get it and describe it as their time of meditation.  Well I doh smoke, but maybe its dat Johnny Walker dat does put meh into dat state of meditation where things start getting like d Matrix.  As ah was standing on d streets ah started seeing Carnival in a pure and not commercialized state.  Children, women and men enjoying being part of the festivities although they were not active participants.  There was a distinct difference between the energy that was coming from these onlookers as opposed to the folks in Town.  Revellers were able to make their own costumes and galavant around the streets without any prohibitions.  And yes, there was Mud, Oil and Powder.  I fella was dressed in a suit and had a sign saying “D PM Say I Is Ah Wajang”……….in reference to the recent firing of Keith Rowley by Prime Dunce Patrick Manning, and Manning saying Rowley was getting on like a Wajang. 


Overall I was satisfied with the effort I saw by Jouvert bands and all masqueraders.  The bands appeared to be well organized and their members looked as if they were having a time.  I know that there was online information on Saucy Blog and Point Alive for band registration, but I would like to see more information available via the internet.  I doh have a clue what happen wit d pretty mas, but God willing next year ah go know, 


God willing next year I will be better prepared and have more to share.  And b4 ah fuhget.  When yuh go down Point fuh Borough Day yuh have 2 options.  Yuh either leave by 8am to beat d traffic heading back out or stay d entire day.  We made d biggest mistake and leave arrung 11.  We eh reach town till after 3.  PRESSURE.  So next time we going to jus make it a weekend trip.  No jus dipping in and dipping out.


Enjoy these handful of pics that I was sober enuff to take.  I know I suck because I dont take enuff pics but ah getting better.









2 responses

5 06 2008

WOW …. this is really interesting …… well not de borough day really ….. but the fact that you flew in for it …… I have NEVER been to borough day ….. and I live in Trinidad! ….. actually I’ve been to Point Fortin like maybe twice! :-0

7 06 2008

Meh best fren tell meh d same ting when ah tell him ah coming down for Borough Day. And it was pressure to convince him to go down dey. But by d time we left he was already making plans for next year. That was my first time in Point since I is a town man. Honestly it wasnt meh only reason for coming homeat dat time…….it was really a rejuvenation trip at d same time. D odder ting dat was funny was dat I saw people not only from foreign up dey but also people I eh see since meh teenage years too.

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