President of the National Carnival Bands Association (NCBA) David Lopez yesterday said the death of veteran mas man Edmond Hart marks the end of an era in Carnival.
Lopez reminisced that Hart, one of the founders of the association and pioneers, produced bands which showed creativity and design at a time when there was no money in making mas.
“The late George Bailey, Neville Aming, Bonaparte, Hart, those guys did it for the love of the mas and to express our creativity. They did not do it for money. That era has ended and I don’t think we would see that again. There is a lot of work to be done for it to return to those days. Focus has to be on development, not on the single event if there is to be a turnaround,” Lopez said.
He expressed condolences to the Hart family who are continuing the mas legacy of the five-time band of the year winner and national award recipient. Hart, 94, who had been ailing for a long time, died at San Fernando General Hospital on Friday morning.
He is survived by his wife Judy, children, Karen, Maritza, Thais, Aixa, Luis and Gerard, grand-children and great-grands.
Asked about any tribute to Hart and Aming, 94, who also died last week, Lopez said he believes in honouring icons why they are alive. “Suffice it to say, during my stewardship as president of the NCBA, we honoured both Aming and Hart. There is also a competition in the NCBA which is named after his wife, Lil Hart. We will continue to lift the NCBA and do the work to honour the great mas men and women who contribute to the Carnival, despite the odds and challenging times we face at this time.”
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, in offering condolences, recalled fond memories of Hart who gave him an opportunity to parade in a king of Carnival costume at the opening of the 1987 Pan Am Games in the United States.
“I knew him on Jerningham Avenue, Belmont, but he was a member of the prominent Hart family of Circular Road, San Fernando. I toured with him as a masquerader and Skiffle Bunch (which Regrello founded), also played pan for his band every year on Carnival Tuesday during the 1980s. So there is that connection and his commitment to San Fernando. I have very fond memories of him and on behalf of the San Fernando City Corporation, I extend my condolences to his family and friends.”
Aaron Kalicharan, speaking on behalf of his parents, well-known San Fernando band leaders Ivan and Wendy Kalicharan, said the passing of the legendary icon was truly a loss for culture in Trinidad and Tobago.
Funeral arrangements are yet to be made.