HUNDREDS of masqueraders will be left with long faces as Republic Bank Exodus will not be a part of Carnival celebrations in Carnival City, downtown Port of Spain.
The band has always been an integral part of the Carnival Tuesday Parade of Bands with its sailor mas. The 2019 portrayal is titled No Boarders around the World. But for the first time in 37 years, the St Augustine steelband will not be in the city.
Management got the sad news on Wednesday when the Transport Division, headed by Commissioner Basdeo Gosine, did not approve the trailer Exodus uses for the band and as such was not granted the licence needed to put the trailer on the road.
A member of the management committee said, “We are not going to take on this fight, as we are too tied up in rehearsals for the National Panorama finals on Saturday. It is a disappointment to all our masqueraders, but we are concentrating on winning the prestigious Panorama title.”
Newsday was told that many bands are having extreme trouble getting the necessary licence to put their trailers on the road for Carnival. Some of the things the trailers are inspected for are good tyres, proper functioning brakes (air lines), lights (especially at the back), a proper flooring and there must be no rust spots.
But steelbands use locally-made trailers to fit their instruments, something which has been going on for several years. In Exodus' case the trailer which did not get approval has been used for the last eight years.
Last Friday, Exodus won a court matter against Pan Trinbago over changing its Panorama tune. Now the band is busy refunding potential masqueraders the money they paid for their costumes. “This is a serious source of embarrassment for the band,” a committee member said.