Picton Folk Performing Co. Pleas for Help

Peggy-Ann Edwards, secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company
Peggy-Ann Edwards, secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company

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Recorded: March 06, 2009
Posted: March 10, 2009

PEGGY-ANN EDWARDS: I am the Secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company and I have been around since Picton Police Youth Club. Ms. Carlene drafted me into the Picton Folk Performers and then we moved from there to the Picton Folk Performing Company, so I have been around for a while. My plight is that we have to move on March 31, 2009 and we have no where to house the group or a permanent place for the group, and as Mr. Griffith so rightly said, "We do not want the children to go astray." My main plea is that we get somewhere to house our group so that the members don't have to leave and go astray. I remember at one time when we were just sitting and chatting, when one of the members turned and said, "If wasn't for this group you know how much trouble I would have been in?" It made me feel so good to know that I am part of a movement that can keep a young person off the street and keep them intact. You might loose one or two along the way but we try our best to keep these young people in a line and to keep them in an order and we cannot do that if we do not have a functioning place. We can only try so hard and I believe we might loose more if we do not find somewhere to house our group because our group is like a family. There are many people who have blood related family and they are not as close as how the group members are in our little family here. I myself don't consider my own blood family as much as I consider the members of my group and this is not something I now learn, this is something I learned from Ms. Carlene.

I came into her group one day at a show in the Cruise Ship Complex and since then I never really left her home. I was by her side right through until the day she died. I have to lean on my other brethren and sistren within the group. We became a family and we formed a love, and I do not want to see that love depart because we did not have a permanent structure somewhere for the group to gather. Even if we don't have practice, you will always see members gathering in here. We always have something to talk about or somebody may have a problem and they will come and we will reason and work it out. We try to help one another and everybody has a shoulder to lean on. My main plea today is that we find somewhere to house the group and get the help that we need. We just want people to know that we are not really looking for hand out. We intend to help and we are willing to do whatever it takes, be it a fundraising and so on, to meet them halfway. The group's PRO and dance choreographer, Mr. Carlos Griffith, and the President, Mr. Darren Corridon, already said it all. They laid the foundation. We also have DVDs and other things to show the work our group has done. We entered the Best Village Competition on numerous occasions and we have always, as a young group into the Best Village Theatre, placed within the first ten. We made a name for ourselves within a time that other groups might have taken five or six years to reach, we were able to reach in two to three years; so we are doing something. When people see the kind of credibility we have for the time we have been outside they will know that we were not playing and that we were really working and we just want to keep it intact.

Kelvin Griffith, a member of the Picton Folk Performing Company
Kelvin Griffith, a member of the Picton Folk Performing Company

KELVIN GRIFFITH: My plea is that we get help from wherever we can so that Picton Folk Performing Company would not die. I have personally experienced where this group has changed my life. I came from a family where I don't think I got the support that I really needed. The kind of support that I got from this group when I first joined gave me the courage to go forward and do what I had to do. It kept me off the streets and in a positive manner. I also got a lot of discipline from the group; enough for me to get a scholarship in music, and now I am teaching music at South East Government Secondary School, Port of Spain. I don't want this group to die. I want any help we can get for us to get a place. With something positive like this that has kept me and everybody else to go on and the experiences we have gotten and the challenges we have faced and pulled off successfully, I am asking for anybody to help us in order for us to continue. Since I am here, I have learned to play the drum, the trombone, the guitar and many other instruments. I have the group to thank for my success because when I cannot face home I could face the group. I have found a family here and I seek refuge here. If I need food, shelter or anything they are here for me. I just want this to continue because I could face any challenge that I want in life now knowing that when I turn around, the Picton Folk Performing Company has my back.

Claudia John, assistant secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company
Claudia John, assistant secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company

CLAUDIA JOHN: I am the Assistant Secretary of the Picton Folk Performing Company. I came into this group the same day Mr. Griffith and Mr. Corridon came in. I was a past member of the North West Laventille Cultural Movement when Ms. Carlene asked me to be the music tutor for the group. I have been here with the Picton Folk Performing Company since Ms. Carlene opened her home to me and my son about six years ago. The first time I came here it was love. She opened the group and you felt that you wanted to be in something. I think it is kind of sad to see all that we have done for the youths of this area we now have to leave. The input the youths have here, you see it when we go out and hear people say things like, "All yuh sure all yuh from Picton boy. Nah all yuh could never be from Picton." You see the positiveness that we have them doing. We have dancers, singers and actors. One of our dancers right now is training to be Miss La Reine Rive 2009. Even though she is shy, she is going to make it. Our queen was also placed in the first five. When we go out is togetherness and love. We have everybody behind us like the police service, Hal Graves, Trevor Mc Meo, Ms. Millan from the NADAP Committee in Laventille, Mr. Clay Thomas and Ms. Gloria from the URP office. We have a lot of people behind us. We just want people to know what we are doing.

We are not doing anything negative in Laventille. We are doing something positive and we want people to come out and support us so that we can get a place to rehearse, because it will be sad to see all of this hard work go to waste. Sometimes when we do not have rehearsals people would just come out and sit down in the yard liming and so on. They are now wondering what we are going to do. We have Ms. Merle Corridon, a parent to one of the members of the group who is always there supporting us right through.

People need to know that after March 31, 2009, we do not have a place to rehearse and we are going into Best Village 2009, which has already started since in January 2009 with the Traditions of Carnival and so on. It is sad to see after all of this hard work we have done to get this yard built we have to leave just like that. It is also sad to see all of Carlene's blood and sweat with the love she had for Best Village go to waste. If we had a show for nine o'clock, Carlene would start to quarrel and say, "Why nobody not here yet?" and so on. It will be sad for her looking over us and wondering what we are doing now. I just want people to come out to support and give us strength to help us find a place to rehearse.

Kandy Lewis, member of the Picton Folk Performing Company 
Kandy Lewis, member of the Picton Folk Performing Co.
KANDY LEWIS: I have been a member of Picton Folk Performing Company for ten years now. We are pleading for help to get a place to house our group because we have to be out of here by the end of this month. Although you cannot see it on most of the people’s faces, it is hurting deep down inside to see everybody’s sweat that went into bringing the yard from what it was to how it is now just go to waste and to have the group break up and everybody just go their different ways. To tell you the truth, sometimes I will be at home crying knowing that the deceased president of the group, Ms. Carlene Hendrickson is gone, and after everything we have done over the years, all the effort and hard work could possibly go down the drain. We just want somewhere to house our group and to keep Picton name flying high. We want to show people out there that not only bad things come out of Laventille; we also have positive things as well. I am just saying to people out there, please, we are begging you to give us a helping hand. Even if you do not give us a place, get us through to somebody who can and to do it as soon as possible please.


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