By Lincoln DePradine
In Trinidad and Tobago, land of masquerade, there’s a saying that “rain can’t stop the carnival’’. Joel Davis and Gerald Augustine have put a new twist to the saying, ensuring that neither rain, snow nor the COVID-19 pandemic will stop the collection and distribution of toys to children this Christmas.
A campaign, which the dubbed “Dis the Season for Giving’’, ended last Friday with entertainment and a final collection and showcasing of toys at Twilight Banquet Hall in Scarborough.
“It’s our way of giving back, wherever possible, to the communities, especially in this pandemic time,’’ Davis told The Caribbean Camera.
It was the first collaborative toy drive between Davis, who is popularly known as calypsonian Connector, and Augustine – better known as Stretch – of Epic Carnival.
“We wanted to do something positive and be a leader of things,’’ said Davis, a singer and songwriter and winner of both the Calypso Monarch and Soca Monarch titles of Canada.
Davis, who performed at last Friday’s gathering, described it as a “very wonderful event’’, adding that he was grateful to the banquet hall’s management for providing the venue free of charge. The event included a guest appearance from veteran Trinidadian calypsonian, Crazy.
Davis said he and Augustine purchased some of the toys “from our own pockets. plus, we got other people to donate gifts. We didn’t go to any businesses.’’
“Christmas is about giving,’’ said Davis, who was named the 2018 “Top Soca and Calypso Artiste’’ at the 6th Annual Caribbean Music Entertainment Awards.
“A lot of us, just like me, never grew up with having toys. But, I know how important it is for children to have something to at least feel the spirit of the season,’’ said Davis. “And, that little gift will put a smile on a child’s face; however small it is.’’
Davis, who regularly streams an online show called “Connector Music’’, said the collected Christmas items are being handed over to the CTV “Toy Mountain Campaign’’ for distribution to children. Toy Mountain has been in existence for 26 years.
Davis promised that the toy drive is something that he and Augustine plan on embarking upon for a second time next year.
“We just do it as a gesture of good faith and good heart,’’ he said.