Trinidadians & Tobagonians USA Hosts Seventh Annual Christmas Dinner & Dance

Seema Seegobin Frank (c) receiving posthumous award on behalf of her mom, Shandai Seegobin past VP, T&TUSA from Professor Michelle Batchu (r). Shamela Karim (l) revering the moment.

By Dr. Ashford Maharaj

Dr. Ashford Maharaj

Trini Christmas is the best as they say and the Trinidadians and Tobagonians USA, at their Annual Christmas dinner and dance held on Saturday December 8, 2018 held at the Starlight Pavilion, Richmond Hill had the evidence to support the truism about the Trini-people.

Steve Seelochan receiving the posthumous award on behalf of his dad, Ramdeo Seelochan from Shamela Karim. Salema Namdeo (l) also celebrating the moment.

With much fanfare, gaiety, laughter and splendor the Trinbagonian guests know how to party as the wide spectrum of music, Christmas-time lyrics, Parang and Chutney filled the hall as bouts of merriment and splendor fumigated the atmosphere in the open dancehall pavilion. And fun they had with swings of Spanish “parranda” backed by the lively and colorful performances by well-known local and foreign artistes and the vivacious, but very soothing DJ setup by the very popular Trinidad-based and world renowned Bacchanal Radio,, peppered the wintry evening to remember. For those of us who are not aware, Bacchanal radio is the very popular disc jockey’s construct that revolutionized Indo Caribbean culture and music since its inception some ten years back, as they combined the very best in Chutney, Soca, Bollywood Remixes, Bhangra, Dancehall, Reggae, Hip Hop and at Christmas time – Payol Parang and Chutney Parang ambiances.

Mr. Hafeez (r) of Rockaway Car/Roti Shop receiving the award from Grace Ragoonath, on behalf of Imran Ahamad.

As is customary also, the organizers used the occasion to pay tribute to noteworthy members of the Caribbean community especially from the Queen’s neighborhoods of New York City and as such six awards were bestowed at the event. Notably recipients were the very versatile and musically talented – the late Ramdeo Seelochan, leader and founder of the Western Hemisphere’s very popular orchestra- the Gemini Band, posthumously.

Well known radio and TV personality Imran Ahamad was also honored for his years of dedicated service to the Caribbean community in the artistic fields of audio and visual communication and presentation.

Carl Gookool (r) receiving award from Naomi Rambally

Among the other awardees were Ralph Tamesh and Carl Gookool. Both of these celebrities are very well known in the local Caribbean circles the former being the celebrated leader and current president of the Indo-Caribbean Federation, while the latter is characterized as the dedicated community social worker and executive member of the Trinidadians & Tobagonians, USA.

Ricky Lall (l) receiving award from Sangeeta Seetaram

To complete the evening’s celebration and paying dues where dues are due, special awards were also earned by the very popular and well known master of ceremonies Ricky Lall and the selfless, impresario and memorable Shandai Seegobin, the now deceased Vice-President of Trinidadians and Tobagonians USA. Both of these members of our
community deserve our wholehearted tribute and commendation. We all hope that Ricky would continue to provide his excellent service to our community – a service of which we have grown to rely on event after event. Way to go Ricky!

Ralph Tamesh (r), President of the Indo-Caribbean Federation, receiving award from Geeta Brown.

Spending quality time together and exchanging season’s greetings were entirely part of the Trini family assemblage. Despite being a closed family, Trini people do simultaneously welcome fellow brothers and sisters from other Caribbean territories including local born and bred Tri-staters. Trinidadians & Tobagonians, USA has once again in 2018 delivered yet another grand Christmas and end-of-year bash. As always, the message from the organizers seemed unambiguous and with a sense of purpose, which is a love for the homeland Trinidad &Tobago, a passion for multiculturalism and togetherness of the families. This year’s event, like the previous ones, was well attended and the organizers owe a special thanks to all guests for showing up on such a cold wintry Saturday night. Congratulations are in order once again to the organizers – Anoop, Capil, Noel (and the entire Brown family of families), Bill, Tallboy, Allison, Sangeeta, Prakash, Geeta, Bob, Carl, Grace, and so many other dedicated members of T&T, USA.

Honoree Imran Ahamad

As always, kudos are in order for members of our local Caribbean business community who stood with us through thick and thin. May the new 2019 year be the brightest and best ever for you, your families, and friends and well-wishers.