Bernard Velasquez, Harold Glandville, Kenneth Romain & Domingo 'Shortpants' Moreno
Paying Respect to Lewicito 'Cito' Velasquez
Tributes at Wake
April 09, 2006
Uncle Cito was a special craftsman in terms of Mas'. He was also one of the early founders. Barataria has always been my home from since I was a little boy. I always looked up to him when he was with us. He gave me strength in times when I needed it the most. Uncle Cito will always be remembered in my life for as long as I live. He was a great man to this country. I hope the government will take certain steps to honour people like him for their contributions and not wait till they pass away before they are recognized for their good works. I would like the Prime Minister especially, or the Minister of Culture to look into this. I will always honour uncle Cito with great respect.
I have been living here in Barataria for almost fifty-seven years now. To describe Cito Velasquez would be something else. Just talking about him now is painful for me. He was a good Masman. Another wire-bender who worked with Cito was a fella by the name of Zambo Thomas. Cito was the man who used to organize how he wanted all the wire bent for the Mas. He was really good at what he did. I am really sorry about his passing. I was telling a friend the other day how Cito Khan died. He came up here thinking it was Cito Velasquez but it turned out that Cito Velasquez ended up in the hospital. It's very painful talking about him now.
At present I live in Maracas, St. Joseph. I remember when Cito used to visit his family in Maracas. Whenever he was visiting and it was time for him to leave and go home, he would say, "All yuh bury me in that cemetery here in Maracas". Every Christmas Cito would go up to Maracas to visit his family and friends. Everybody in the area knew him. When he was leaving he would always have his bag with his pastels, sweetbread and so on. He was always there with us.
TRINIVIEW: Did you play Mas with Mr. Velasquez?
KENNETH: I never played Mas with Cito because I used to play pan with Silver Stars for Carnival.
TRINIVIEW: What are some of your experiences with steelband?
KENNETH: As a little boy at the age of eight in school, there were some boys from Cascade who taught us how to play pan. They used to work in Maracas, St. Joseph. When we were about eleven years old they brought us into Port of Spain to play pan with them for Carnival. From there I got married and lived on Nelson Street in Port of Spain. I started playing with Highlanders and from there I played with Silver Stars. At one time we had a nice band from Maracas. There were two sisters in the band at the time and they were the daughters of Lancelot Lane. They were the key people in the band back then and when they left there wasn't anybody to hold the fort. The band just died a normal death with thousands of dollars worth in pans. We would like to get back our band. However, it is an important thing that the right people ask the right questions.
TRINIVIEW: Thank you.
Domingo 'Shortpants' Moreno
TRINIVIEW: I have a relative of Mr. Velasquez here with me now. His name is Mr. Domingo 'Shortpants' Moreno. This is what he had to say.
SHORTPANTS: Cito was my second cousin but the way we moved with each other, you could say we were more like brothers. In the Carnival world, I was on one side and Cito was doing his own thing in Barataria. My part was with Harold Saldenah in Belmont. I used to come by Cito to ask him for advice on certain things when I had to decorate costumes. I was very fortunate that he was able to show me a lot of the things I learned about and to be what I am today in the Mas world. I am now one of the top decorators in the country today. I also founded the Malick Folk Performers Groups and Cito became my costume and character help designer. We used to bring everything here in yard and build it with Cito. He was a very jovial fella and he loved to give a lot of fatigue (tease). Everybody liked Cito. The Cultural Fraternity will miss one of the country's top wire-benders. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my friends and Cito's friends who are here this evening.
TRINIVIEW: Thank you.
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