J’Ouvert City International announced the results of the Brooklyn J’Ouvert 2018 judging and Roy Pierre & Associates was named the first the prize winner in Fancy Mas for their portrayal of “All Hands On Deck (A Sailor is a Sailor).” This marks the 17th time that Roy Pierre & Associates has taken first place.
In the 1940’s, during the post-war days, the sailor was a regular sighting around Port of Spain and environs, the American naval base down Chaguaramas being a very active installation and very much connected to the fabric of society. Mostly at night, in varying stages of inebriation, sailors frequented the nightclubs and other places of entertainment, including so-called houses of ill repute.
It is no wonder then, the sailor costume became one of the most popular in Trinidad Carnival celebrations, from the disciplined ranks of servicemen as portrayed in bands like All-Stars, known to this day for their dedication to that brand of mas, to the drivee sailors of bands like Sunland from Belmont, bent on poking fun at the way sailors looked after a few drinks- red noses, their drifting, sea-legs walk, uniforms in disrepair, or made of cheap fabric such as flour bag, famously carrying a notable item of women’s undergarments. And, of course, out of all of this grew the King Sailors, produced by bands like Fascinators and (probably the most famous one) by Mas Man Cito Velasquez, with his Fruits and Flowers.
This year, Roy Pierre & Associates is proud to have presented “All Hands On Deck,” a reflection upon this mas, in tribute to one of the great pioneers in this tradition — Jason Griffith, whose King Sailors have been a source of pride for Belmont, in creativity, in display, and in dance. As is always their intent, Roy Pierre & Associates put their own twist to the sailor, presenting all things nautical, from the First Sailors, the Vikings, through different ranks of Servicemen, including Deckhands, Seabees, Firemen and FireBirds, to the modern Yachties. Among their characters, the costume band included Men and Lady King Sailors and other individuals all in keeping with with the theme “a sailor is a sailor.”