INVADERS

Oval Boys (1940s)
1949
Early 1950s
At Queen's Hall (1960)

147 Tragarete Road (1967)
2000 World Steelband Music Festival (Conductor: Dr. Jeannine Remy)
Francis Wickham (Founding Member) 2008
At the Queen's Park Oval (May 2007)
Invaders began as the Oval Boys in Woodbrook, Port-of-Spain, in the late-1930s when the steelband was in its infant stage. Early band members included Elliott "Ellie" Mannette, Francis Wickham, and Stanley Hunte, its first leader. The Oval Boys held practice at the Queen's Park Oval before moving to 147 Tragarete Road, opposite the Oval and in Mannette's backyard, where it changed its name to Invaders on VJ Day in 1945. The band's name was taken from the 1943 American movie "The Night Invader." Mannette led Invaders from the late-1940s until 1967 when he migrated to the USA and his younger brother Vernon "Birdie" Mannette took over the leadership of the band. During the 1950s, the music and unique sound of Invaders attracted fans from all over the island. Among its panmen during this period were Emmanuel "Kobo Jack" Riley and Ray Holman. It gained the sponsorship of the Shell Oil Company in 1960 and became known as the Shell Invaders. However, in 1963, the band suffered a setback when several of its leading panmen left for the neighboring Starlift Steelband. Since 1960, Invaders was sponsorsed in succession by Shell, Trintoc, Petrotrin, BWIA, and then Caribbean Airlines. In 1996, Invaders received the Trinidad & Tobago Chaconia Medal Gold for its cultural contributions. In 2003, it remained the only steelband in Trinidad that continued to function at its original site for more than 50 years. In October 2007, original member and noted ironman Francis Wickham was inducted into the Sunshine Awards Hall of Fame. After many years of struggling to hold on to its original home, the band gained ownership of its property at 147 Tragarete Road on November 1, 2007. Invaders finished among the top three steelbands in the following significant competition:
YEAR EVENT RESULT SELECTION ARRANGER
1960 Steelband Music Festival 2nd In A Monastery Garden (Albert W. Ketelbey)  
1962 Steelband Music Festival 3rd Waltz from Serenade for Strings (Tchaikovsky) Lennox Pierre
1970 Panorama 3rd (Tied) Margie (Lord Kitchener) Mackie Boyce
1971 Panorama 3rd Mas in Madison Lord Kitchener) Mackie Boyce
Compiled by Ronald C. Emrit