Dating back to the 1940s, Belmont produced many residents who made significant contributions in the areas of sports and the arts; these outstanding individuals are documented below.
"Growing-up in Belmont in the 1940s was a pleasurable and memorable experience. At the end of World War II, Belmont, like other parts of Port-of-Spain experienced the resurgence of steelbands. After an absence of more than five years, steelbands took to the streets on VE-Day. Belmont steelbands were Rising Sun and Sunland, and later Stepyard, Dem Boys, Dem Fortunates, Dixieland, Tropitones, Stromboli, Chetniks from Gonzales and Bataan from Olton Road. Rising Sun, was under the leadership of champion soloist Dudley Smith, a member of TASPO, with flagman "Arthur Tramcar"Andrews. Prior Drakes from Belmont was the flagman for Invaders. The first flagwomen were Yvonne "Bubulups"Smith and Mayfield Camps, from"Hell Yard" Steelband at 102 Charlotte Street. I remember the J'Ourvert morning when the revellers in Rising Sun, many waving small tree branches, were chanting an African song as the band proceeded to downtown. On Carnival Monday nights, the boys travelled to Woodbrook to "jump-up"in Invaders, where the girls were. The girls were always chaperoned. Home for the Tropitones Steelband, which included many St Mary's College students, was the Thompson's backyard in Darceuil Lane. Tropitones caused quite a stir when "dem white boys" first appeared on the streets one Carnival Monday. Four of the Thompson boys became captains with BWIA, and five of their sons are qualified pilots. Mas men from Belmont included Harry Basilon, Harold Saldenha, Jack Brathwaite, Wayne Berkeley, and metal crafstman Ken Morris, Fancy Sailor band leaders Jim Harding, and Jason Griffith. Popular Old Mas Bands were William "Sheppy" Shepherd, Keto Rodriguez, John Mollenthiel, the Darceuils with Carl Blackman and Hugh Hill.
"Important personalities included Sir Ellis Clarke, Sir Hugh Wooding.S ir Alan Reece, Albert Gomes, Francis Prevatt, Jim Rodriguez, Dr Steve Blizzard, Harold and Kwailan La Borde, Edric Connor, Monica Barnes, James Davis, Dr George Collymore, Dr Harry Collymore, Ken Julien, Professor Harry Phelps, Dr Ralph Phelps, Anthony Jacelon , Frank Stephens, Kathleen"Auntie Kay" Warner, and Jean Coggins.
"The best-known sports clubs were Colts FC, Dynamos, Summerville, Belmont Dodgers, Luton Town FC, Riversdale, Siwel and the Belmont Orphanage Boxing Gym under JM Douglas which produced Boswell St Louis, Easy Boy Francis and the West Indies champion Gentle Daniel. Sport personalities included JRN.Cumberbatch and Basil Ince in athletics. Shay Seymour of Colts FC.who played professionally in England, Geoff Chambers of Maple Club and coach of Dynamos FC, Conrad Brathwaithe, a member of the only West Indies Soccer Team, Horace Lovelace, Matthew Nunes, Pat Gomez. In cricket: Andy Ganteaume who scored a century on his maiden and only test appearance for the West Indies, Brian Davis, Charlie Davis, Kenny Roberts, Andrew Clarke, and Simpson Guillen who represented both the West Indies and New Zealand, wrestler "Golden Ray Apollon", soccer and boxing referee George Cumberbatch, Harrison Skeete, World's Masters Weightlifting Champion for 18 consecutive years until retirement at age 82, Kanaka the groundsman who prepared matting wickets on the Savannah, Mervyn "Pee-Wee" Wong. a celebrated cricket statistician. Netball playing ladies included, the Bernard sisters, the Williams sisters, Jessica Smith, Dulcie Bowen, and Eileen Clunis. Hockey had the Fernandes sisters, the Richards sisters, Nona Boisselle, Irma Davis, and Vilma Spencer; Table Tennis had Marjorie John. Boyhood activities included the traditional games of pitching marbles, flying kite, and "spinning top". There were roller skating, backyard table tennis, weightlifting, and bathing in the rain. Many boys kept tropical fishes, pigeons or rabbits which were fed with grass called "rabbit meat" and with vegetable skins from the kitchen. An inexpensive method of converting waste into edible protein.
"Saturday morning activities included cycling to Blue Basin in Diego Martin or to Dean's Bay in Carenage. During the "mango season" it was visiting upper Belmont Valley Road "for mango". Another weekend activity was catching "millions" and "jumping guabines", in the upper unpaved section of the St.Ann's River. A Saturday alternative was the 9.30 am or the 1.30 pm show at Olympic Cinema. Admission fee was one penny.
"During school vacations children were given a "clean-out", using a "bitter-tasting"brew made from senna leaves, worm grass and other medicinal herbs." (Trinidad and Tobago Newsday, March 26, 2014)
In the 1950s, when many Trinidadians still cooked with charcoal, Belmont residents purchased 'coals' from Flora on Willis Street. In the 1960s, the HiLo grocery chain opened a store at the corner of Myler and Norfolk Streets. Gonzalez is one of the communities of Belmont.
Belmont is the place where comedian Tommy Joseph grew up.
Cinema: Belmont had one cinema operating from the 1950s to the 1970s - Olympic on Erthig Road.
Calypso: Calypsonians who were born in Belmont include Lord Caresser, Mighty Shadow and David Rudder.
Steelbands: The following is a listing of the steelbands that functioned in Belmont, broken down by type: traditional (pans supported around the neck); and conventional (pans supported mechanically).
|STEELBAND||TYPE||LOCATION IN 2002||HISTORY|
|Bar 22||Traditional||35 Roslyn Street|
|Belmont City Kids||Traditional||Defunct||Founded in 1956, and operated from 17 Farrell Lane.|
|Belmont Fifth Dimension||Conventional||St. Francois Valley Road|
|Casablanca||Conventional||31 Belmont Circular Road||Click here for details.|
|Classy Sounds||Conventional||Belmont Secondary School, Circular Road|
|Dem Fortunates||Conventional||Best remembered for its rendition of "The Teddy Bears' Picnic" in the late-1950s.|
|Dixieland||Conventional||Click here for details.|
|Fifth Dimension||Conventional||St. Francois Valley Road|
|Gonzales Sheikers||Traditional||Excalier Government Primary School|
|Harlem Syncopators||Traditional||63 Quarry Road, Gonzales|
|Hi Larks||Traditional||79 Belmont Circular Road|
|In Focus||Conventional||Jerningham Avenue|
|Pan Vibes||Conventional||St. Francois Valley Road|
|Pandemonium||Conventional||3 Norfolk Street|
|Players Symphony||Conventional||Davis Street|
|Super Sonics||Traditional||St. Francois Valley Road|
Conventional Music Bands: Conventional music bands that functioned in Belmont included the following:
|Bert Bailey and the Jets||Functioned from the late-1950s to the 1960s on Baptiste Lane.|
Mas(querade) Bands: Mas' bands that functioned in Belmont included:
|MAS' BAND||LOCATION IN 2002||HISTORY|
|Burrokeets||22A Belle Eau Road|
|De B.O.S.S.||107 Belmont Circular Road|
|Trotters Football International||Observatory Street|
|"Big" Wilfred McLean||Defunct||Operated from Industry Lane.|
Cricket: Cricketers born in Belmont who went on to represent the West Indies in Test Cricket were Ellis Achong, Ian Bishop, Bryan Davis, Charles Davis, and Andy Ganteaume.
Soccer: The Colts soccer club was based in Belmont and competed in the First Division of the POSFL into the 1960s. Residents Andy Ganteaume and Gerry Browne represented Trinidad & Tobago.
|Belmont Boys' RC School||Primary||119 Belmont Circular Road||Roman Catholic||This school was originally a church that was built in 1888; 545 pupils in 2002.|
|Belmont Girls' RC School||Primary||119 Belmont Circular Road||Roman Catholic||574 pupils in 2002|
|Belmont Government Primary School||Primary||Non-Denominational|
|Belmont Government Secondary School||Secondary||34A Belmont Circular Road||Non-Denominational|
|Belmont Boys' Secondary School||Secondary||Roman Catholic|
|Maryland RC School||Primary||Upper St. Francois Valley Road||Roman Catholic||226 pupils in 2002|
|Providence Girls' Secondary School||Secondary||146 Belmont Circular Road||Roman Catholic|
|St. Francois Girls' College||Secondary||St. Francois Valley Road||Non-Denominational|
|St. Martin's RC School||Primary||34B Belmont Circular Road||Roman Catholic||430 pupils in 2002|
|St. Martin Girls' High School||Secondary||59 Bel Eau Road||Roman Catholic|
|Bat||Kelvin James||Famous for cracking open green and dry coconuts with his forehead.|
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