Port Maria 1884

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In Port Maria




Christmas in Port Maria, 1884


Colonial Standard,  December 30, 1884, page 2




(From our Special Correspondent.)


Never before have we witnessed in this town, such a happy, pleasant, and joyful Christmas as 1884 brought forth, and we sincerely trust that the promoter of the whole of the amusements, the respected Superintendent of the St. Mary’s District Prison, may long be spared to repeat his noble and in every way successful effort to give wholesale amusement to all in Port Maria. Mr. William Speck was indefatigable in his exertions to amuse the great gathering and on this bright Christmas Morn our “Parade Ground” was decorated with huge trees, flags, and banners, bearing appropriate Mottoes, bannerets, orange trees, swings and a handsome Castle with “Welcome” over the archway, a greased pole on the top of which was a fine Ham, while over the River was another greased pole laid, with in a handkerchief suspended at the end. The Race Course was a great attraction and no less than 11 Races were run for. The boys and young men who competed dressed in gay bright colours, gave a fitting charm to the scene. At 2 o’clock p.m., the sound of the bugle proclaimed the commencement of the sports, and by 4 the Parade was packed with Pedestrians, Equestrians and Coaches, while the happy smiles of Ladies and Gentlemen as also of the entire population present testified to the general pleasure felt by all. After the Races were run, many and many a shout rent the air as one after another the boys unsuccessfully attempted to reach the ham overhead, but when the trials on the river pole failed, and the poor fellows fell one by one headlong into the river, the climax was reached and laughter prolonged and loud rent the air in peal on peal, until at last one young fellow did get the coin. At a late hour the whole affair was concluded with a fine display of Fireworks, ending in the “Shower of Pearls” and as a hearty cheer burst from the lungs of the entire audience, there could scarcely have been a prouder or happier individual than our friend William Speck, to whom we are indebted for as enjoyable a Christmas as could be passed in Port Maria.

Climbing the greasy pole, as seen by Trinidadian artist Dermot Louison

Click on the picture to go to the artist's website.

Dermot Louison is one of Trinidad & Tobago's national treasures and is acclaimed for his work as an artist. Mr. Louison has an avid preference for painting Trinidad as he remembers it in 'the old days'; depictions of the American soldiers during the World War II as seen by the eyes of the locals are no mystery subjects to him. So too, the rugged countryside houses and simple life characters, the obeah scenes and the 'old mass' dances. His works are varied in context; his medium mainly acrylic on canvas. He is also a prolific water colour artist.






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