San Fernando mayor Junia Regrello yesterday remembered the late president George Maxwell Richards as a man of the arts and a steelband aficionado.
Regrello recalled, the many conversations they shared over the years always ended with Skiffle Steel Orchestra and his desire to see a second San Fernando band win the coveted National Panorama title. Hatters was the only band from the south to ever win the title.
“He always ribbed me, every time we met, about when Skiffle would win Panorama. He said he wanted a south band to win the title but, because we were not giving him what he wanted, he had become an Exodus fan.”
Regrello pledged to dedicate their offering of the Mark Brooks, Odie Gonzales and Kendall Williams arrangement of Kees and Marge Blackman’s Full of Vibes, to Richards.
“We playing this one for Max,” Regrello who is also CEO of the Coffee Street, San Fernando conventional band said yesterday.
If the arrangement brings home the title Richards desired over the years, Regrello said he will be rejoicing in heaven.
Regrello said Richards “was first a San Fernandian, a scholar, an educator and a president who represented his office with dignity and distinction.
“Above all, he was a man of the arts and because of his profound appreciation or the arts, we had a connection. What I admired most about him was his humility.”
He also recalled that his most defining moment as a man of the arts, was one Easter Sunday while Richards served as Head of State, “he invited about six or seven of the top steelbands to perform classical music at an open-air concert held at the Jean Pierre Complex.
“At the end of the concert, he had all of the bands, Phase 11, Exodus, Despers, Skiffle and others, play the Hallelujah Chorus simultaneously, together with choirs including the Lydians, Marionettes and Southernaires.
“That was a moment in time and the highlight of my knowing Max,” Regrello said.