Music keeps ‘party’ alive
THERE WAS RAIN, drenching rain, but not enough to drown out the tradition of Christmas Morning In The Park.
Large numbers braved the inclement weather to make the trek to Queen’s Park in The City for yesterday’s two-hour concert by the Royal Barbados Police Force Band and to show off their Christmas finery.
The morning got off to a slow start with just a few spectators sitting or standing around when the band struck up at 7 a.m. A handful of people stood near the bandstand while others sat around and a few wandered around the fountain below.
This year the fountain, which is always the choice background for the swarm of photographers who descend on the park every year, was not playing. Its still, murky water failed to attract the usual numbers.
As a subdued audience stood taking in the music from the bandstand, the hitherto bright, sunny skies darkened, the heavy clouds broke and umbrellas immediately appeared. There were some spectators, however, so riveted by the music and the atmosphere they did not move, while others scampered to a nearby tent for shelter from the pounding rain as the band played on.
Showers continued to fall intermittently but each time spectators returned to their positions near the bandstand and director, Superintendent Keith Ellis, appeased them with favourite Yuletide selections that warmed the heart.
A particularly special moment saw him handing over the baton to his retired predecessor, Reverend Dr Christopher Atherley, and afterwards to a long-retired deputy director Rudolph Holder, who took the appreciative crowd down memory lane.
Several visitors turned out in the park, some saying it was their first time and “what an experience it was”, while others said they came to Barbados at this time every year and made sure the park on Christmas morning was part of their itinerary.
In addition, there were the regulars, foremost of all the Christmas morning men, a dapperly dressed group who shop for the day and are there in sartorial splendour, led by Irvin “Big Red” Skeete.
When the police band finished its performance, attention turned to Promise, the religious band whose music reached a wider audience of mainly young people but also embraced the older ones.