North-West Communities
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Newtown is the smallest of the communities that make up Port-of-Spain. It is bounded by Queen's Park West and Cipriani Boulevard on the East, Tragarete Road on the South, Maraval Road on the West, and the Queen's Park Savannah on the North. Inside these boundaries, there are no public parks and only four streets: Marli, Picton, Warner, and Woodford. Although historically residential, Newtown's boundaries have been busy thoroughfares that have allowed the community to prosper economically with restaurants, cafes, and business offices; both Maraval Road and Tragarete Road were bus routes. Its three churches attracted congregations from surrounding communities, and its three schools served many members of other communities as far as Boissierre and Maraval to the north and St. James to the west. The embassy of the United States of America is located at 15 Queen's Park West in Newtown and the adjoining US Information Service library is a great source of information for those who desire to learn more about American life.


Steelbands: The following is a listing of the steelbands that functioned in Newtown, broken down by type: traditional (pans supported around the neck); and conventional (pans supported mechanically).

Metronomes Conventional Defunct Formed in 1962 with its panyard on Picton Street, this steelband entered the 1962 Steelband Music Festival with a nucleus of panmen from neighboring Woodbrook's two steelbands: Invaders (Earl LaPierre, Winston "Big Jim" McLean); and Starlift (Harold "Bip" Phillips, Gaston "Baby" Pierre, Joseph Pierre, Ronald Emrit). Metronomes was an immediate success when it took 2nd place in the 1962 festival. The band topped all finalists with its choice of tune, Romance in Eb (Anton Rubinstein), but lost out to the eventual winner, North Stars, with its rendition of the test piece, People of The Islands. Many of the players returned to their respective bands after the festival, and Metronomes was not a success on the road for Carnival. It disbanded after a few years.
Pan Vision Conventional 19 Marli Street  
Silver Stars Conventional 56 Tragarete Road Founded in the 1950s with a nucleus of players from St. Mary's and Queen's Royal Colleges, Silver Stars presented the ideal forum for young, middle-class panmen who wanted to avoid the hostile environment that existed with most steelbands of the time. Together with the Dixieland Steelband, Silver Stars provided a safe setting for Whites to join them on the road at Carnival time. Silver Stars remains the only steelband ever to win the Band of The Year title when it took the honor in 1963 with its presentation of Gulliver's Travels. Its leader, Junior Pouchet, left Trinidad in 1970 to lead a steelband at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA; the band flourished until 1999. The band began playing on Cipriani Boulevard, moved to St. James in the mid-1960s, and returned to Newtown in the 2000s.

Other Music Bands: Other music bands that functioned in Newtown were as follows:

Newtown Tamboo Bamboo Band Before the advent of the steelband, Carnival was dominated by Tamboo Bamboo music bands. In 1935, the Newtown Tamboo Bamboo band took to the streets on Carnival Day with metal containers: garbage cans; biscuit (cracker) drums; paint cans; bottles and spoons. That year, the band changed its name to Alexander's Ragtime Band and was led by Carlton "Lord Humbugger" Forde. The band's yard was located at the corner of Tragarete Road and Woodford Street.
Rockerfellas Functioned in the 1960s.

Mas(querade) Bands: Mas' bands that functioned in Newtown included:

Wayne Berkeley Defunct This Carnival band operated from Cipriani Boulevard and won the Band-of-the-Year contest in 1973, 1974, 1980, 1989, and then for 5 staight years from 1990 to 1994.
Masquerade 49 Cipriani Boulevard This Carnival band inherited the services of Wayne Berkeley after he suffered a stroke and was unable to continue operating his own band.
Raoul Garib Cipriani Boulevard This Carnival band won the Band-of-the-Year contest in 1982, 1984, and 1985.


Casuals Soccer Club: Formed in the 1930s, this club campaigned in the POSFL First Division until the 1960s. It remained exclusively White throughout its existence. Casuals players who represented T&T were Joseph Gonsalves (1940s), Rolph Grant (1930s), Gerry Gomez, Patrick Gomez (1950s), and Conrad Tench (1930s). Sports commentator Ralph "Raffie" Knowles also played soccer with Casuals in the 1950s and 1960s.

Midvale Soccer Club: Formed in the 1960s, this club campaigned successfully in the NAFL Second Division and moved up to the First Division within a short time.

Providence Soccer Club: Formed in the 1950s, this club campaigned in the POSFL First Division until the 1960s. Lincoln Phillips, who represented T&T in the 1960s, was the Providence goalkeeper for a short period after leaving Queen's Royal College.

Shamrock Soccer Club: Formed in the 1930s, this club campaigned in the POSFL First Division until the 1960s. It remained exclusively White throughout its existence. Shamrock players who represented T&T included Ken Galt (1937-47), D'Arcy Galt (1930s), William Rodriguez (1960s), and Thor Schjolseth (1920s-30s).

Other sportsmen who grew up in Newtown and went on to represent T&T were Richard De Souza (cricket) and Robert "Bambino" Evans (cycling).

Eating Places

In the 1950s, there were very few establishments where hot food was served; Shay Shay Tien at the corner of Cipriani Boulevard and Warner Street was one such place with take-out chinese food. Students from Newtown Boys' and Newtown Girls' RC Schools would spend their allowances on "ice blocks" from Aleong's parlor, at the corner of Maraval and Tragarete Roads, and snow cones ("snowball," "press") from "Joe Louis" on Picton Street. Another favorite was Mankong's (which was later replaced by Woodford Cafe). By the turn of the 20th century, eating places were in abundance: Tragarete Road - Hong Kong City Restaurant, Monsoon Restaurant, and Woodford Cafe; Maraval Road - Hot Shoppe.

Academic Institutions

Newtown Boys' RC School Primary 14B Maraval Road Roman Catholic Some of Newtown Boys' most famous students were: world renown calypsonian, The Mighty Sparrow; soccer player Alfred Charles, who represented T&T from 1929 to the 1930s; sprinter Ato Boldon, who won two medals at each of the Olympics in 1996 and 2000; and panman David Edwards, who performed in radio talent shows and in school concerts during the mid-1950s while still a student at the school. Choreographer and dance troupe leader Cyril St. Lewis taught at the institution. 730 Pupils in 2002.
Newtown Girls' RC School Primary 20 Maraval Road Roman Catholic 734 Pupils in 2002.
Gaines Normal School Primary 18a Woodford Street AME Gaines Normal graduates who went on represent T&T in sports were Lennox Alfred (basketball), Franklin Rose (table-tennis), Winfield St. Hill (soccer), and Tansley Thompson (soccer). Tansley Thompson was also a jockey and local boxing promoter.

Places of Worship

Roman catholics attended St. Patrick's church on Maraval Road, Anglicans attended All Saints church on Queen's Park West, and methodists attended Gaines Normal AME church on Woodford Street.

E-mail to: Ronald C. Emrit

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