Glendon Morris Speaks

Belmont Original Fancy Sailors - Boss Production
Belmont Original Fancy Sailors - B.O.S.S. Production

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How the B.O.S.S. was formed Reporters
Interview Recorded: April 25, 2005
Posted: May 15, 2005

My father and other bandleaders worked with each other before he started bringing out his own band. If a bandleader wanted something done that was not in their field, they would seek an artist to do it. For instance, my father had to make a breastplate for a guy by the name of Valman, who played 'Nero'. That was an individual whom a lot of people will remember after a certain age because Valman was fat, and 'Nero' was supposed to be a fat man. So you can just imagine this guy with the wreath around his head and a big breastplate. But what was funny about that, I remember when my father was making the breastplate for Valman in the backroom here in this same old house, and my cousin Sandra, who was petite at the time, couldn't be found. The breastplate was finished and my father had put it on the ground in the room, and Sandra went inside and was sleeping under the breastplate. Valman was a fat man so she was able to fit under the breastplate. We always remember that.

The only band that we were not affiliated with at all, and that was because of the type of costuming, was George Bailey. George Bailey stuck to mas using more materials. He would go with a lot of cloth, but his presentation was good just the same. The bandleaders at some point in time would have worked with each other. Bobby Ammon, who was not only a bandleader, but was also a dentist, was the first person when the band was formed. After that they were all like a committee. It was Bobby Ammon, Edmond Hart, Tiny Cross, John Danielle, Ralph Gomes, the Terpins, and the Macs. It was one team. Lil' Hart was the designer in those days and she was very good with the designs. Then Bobby went away and Edward took over the band. As a matter of fact, nobody wanted to take over the band because being a bandleader in those days was a lot of stress, so they say let us give it to Edmond, and he said, "sure", and they were relieved. So Edmond took over the band and he carried it for a long while.

Then my father started bringing his own band and his first presentation was in 1966. The band was "Court Jesters". They were costumes with little pom poms like a clown. Then he played Heralds, which had a mixed section with Vikings and different people from different parts of the world. He just played mas. His final years he played with Peter Minshall. He used to be in an exclusive section in Peter Minshall's band - the band that you had to be a doctor or a lawyer to play - you had to have the money. He was able to maintain the copper and the metal type of thing in Peter Minshall's band. In those days when you talk about a costume costing sixteen hundred dollars or two thousand dollars, it was considered big money. In those days it was a lot of money just to play mas. Now people pay that for bikini and beads. The band made a transition and they broke away. Even now it is still happening for instance Barbarrosa came out of Poison. Bands split and they go different ways.

I did not continue my father's style of mas. I spent seventeen years in Canada, but I would come back every year for Carnival and make mas with him. We used to play with Jason Griffith, but we had a problem with the music. I never understood what happened, but we used to tell him that the music was breaking down all the time and our masqueraders were leaving us, and we want to upgrade the music. He said it was all he could have afforded at the time. We gave him an ultimatum whereby the section leaders will take three sections and we would seek the interest of the bands, like make a sort of committee. He did not like the idea, so he wrote us a letter saying he appreciated what we wanted but he couldn't facilitate us. We decided to bring out our own band, and this is how the B.O.S.S. was formed. We remained friendly, but he still says it is his band although he is out of mas now. That was about twelve years ago. The band is a Belmont band because we wanted to keep that tradition. When we left Jason, we did not bring out another kind of mas; we kept the old Fancy Sailor tradition. Jason doesn't play anymore, he is finished with mas; he stopped years ago. He is going down in age, and you can only deal with that kind of stress up to a particular age.


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