Arima MP Anthony Garcia and Arima mayor Lisa Morris-Julian have offered their apologies and declared their disappointment that the stickfighting competition carded for Friday night at the Arima Velodrome did not come off.
The stickfighters staged a protest before the competition stating that they were not paid for the previous year. The National Stick Fighting competition falls under the National Carnival Commission.
After the fiasco, NCC chairman Winston “Gypsy” Peters said he washed his hands off the entire competition and it will be cancelled outright.
Contacted on Saturday, Garcia said the Arima Borough Council was facilitating that competition using the velodrome.
“If the chairman of NCC decides that that is the end of it, there is nothing I can do about it. In terms of Arima losing out I think it is unfortunate that situation transpired and in the future we can see how best we can prevent situations like this.”
Asked if the borough will be holding an independent competition, Garcia said that was in the hands of the mayor and the councillors.
“We work together in almost all of our activities. There is collaboration between the MP and the borough council. In the future, Arima will see what it can do to bridge any gap that might occur.”
Morris-Julian said she supported any decision made by the NCC.
“We went out of our way to be accommodating. It is something Arimians look forward to every year. The end result was disappointing. We did not foresee this coming.”
The mayor said she did not know whether the stickfighters had received payments from the NCC for last year.
“I can’t say. All I know is we always accommodate the request and we always want to be part of celebration because the former Carib Queen Jennifer Cassar was in charge of stickfighting. We did not foresee this happening, but I agree with NCC 100 per cent.”
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