THE shortest street in San Fernando and possibly in Trinidad has been named after celebrated panman Ken “Professor” Philmore, who died last year from injuries he suffered in a road accident.
San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello, who unveiled the sign between High Street and Harris Promenade at Library Corner, on Monday, said size in this case did not matter, as research would be done to establish whether the six-foot-long Ken “Professor” Philmore Street is indeed the shortest in the world.
He said a street in Scotland called Wick Street currently holds that distinction. Regrello said if Wick Street is longer than six feet, then efforts would be made for the TT data to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records, so the international recognition Philmore received during his lifetime would continue even in death.
“And if we investigate and find that Wick Street is six feet, we shorten this somewhat to make sure we qualify for that record. So wherever you are, my friend, we will continue to get you in the international records.”
The unveiling of the street and the launch of an exhibition in Philmore’s honour at San Fernando City Hall took place under two white tents, placed in the middle of the street in front of the Carnegie Library, on the day after Panorama semifinals, where Philmore would have been carving out his niche.
MC Dawad Phillip told the audience, which included Philmore’s widow Sophia and other family members, it was weird, because at this time the pan giant would have been celebrating with them. “But it is good, because we hear Ken in our consciousness in a different way. In a deeper and more profound way we get to celebrate him every day.”
The event marked the start of the Cultural Icons Week, celebrating the legacy of Philmore and other southern artistes who also died last year, such as masman Roland St George, pannist Steve Achibar, Composer and Brother Superior. The highlight of the week will be a Ken “Professor” Philmore calypso competition on February 24, in which 11 contestants will vie for a $10,000 first prize.
Regrello, addressing the audience after a performance by Keston Philmore of his father’s iconic Pan by Storm on the tenor pan, said what touched him in the panman’s passing was the outpouring of love around the world, from Japan, China, other parts of Asia, Australia, North America and the Caribbean.
“That tells you the man had an impact and touched people across the globe, and in this regard, we have to understand that charity begins at home. I am saying this against a background of politics and other issues. We in this country have a way of tying up things. We would say, ‘Because the mayor is a panman he put Ken Philmore name on the Promenade.’ It has nothing to do with that. The street was named purely on his contribution and our appreciation.”