‘Elvis’ has entered the building

By Gerald V. Paul

Elvis tribute artist Travis Persaud is all about unity. Photo by Gerald V. Paul
Elvis tribute artist Travis Persaud is all about unity.
Photo by Gerald V. Paul

So when the Eyes guy heard that 100 souls were turned away at the Heartbreak Hotel, oops, packed Elite Banquet Hall last Saturday at The Caribbean Children Foundation 14th Anniversary Gala, I was wondering how many came for the signature entertainment, Travis Persaud – Elvis Presley tribute artist.

Toronto-born of Guyanese heritage, Persaud sees the mission he is on as building bridges and making the world a better place: Unity is his watch word.

“It all started as a childhood source of enjoyment and I never thought it would become a tribute calling,” Travis told Eyes. The impressive young man was encouraged by his fans, family and friends, in 2009 and the rest, as we say, is history.

He performed at Collingwood Elvis Festival in Ontario, the largest tribute gathering in the world. Then, he graced Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, in homage to the King. Each August fans and tribute artists alike from around the world gather for Elvis Week.

Also, he makes a delightful entrance among Toronto notables, performing at the annual Elvis Festival at Stage West Hotel and, of course, he has enjoyed performing for diverse audiences in Canada and Mexico at corporate, private and fundraising events.

Yes, Eyesers, be it Travis or Elvis the watchword is unity.

And that is what Eyes pondered at as I was watching Travis paying homage to Elvis.

Unity, as in “Regardless of race or ethnic origin, let us consolidate our forces, win new support and march forward to victory … Racism is the greatest curse of our land … anyone who spreads racial propaganda must be severely dealt with. Such a person is an enemy to himself and his country.” All of this as stated by Dr. Cheddi Jagan, former president of Guyana.

Jagan stressed that unity of the working class regardless of race is vital. He said if we are to go forward, the party must have the backing not of one race but of all races. We must take the offensive. We must combat racism mercilessly and build a disciplined party.

What’s the alternative?

Guyana Minister of Finance Dr. Ashni Singh said, “Bolstered by our unswerving commitment to task, our government ensured the preservation of a policy environment that remained conducive to economic growth and social development. The result was a seventh consecutive year of real growth in our economy and associated strong macroeconomic performance, continued diversification of the productive sector, substantive progress on catalytic infrastructural projects, further strengthening of our social services and visible improvements in our regulatory and institutional environment.”

Singh stated that the government’s policy agenda continues to be aimed at building a Guyana that is truly a land of opportunity and prosperity for all, and it will remain undaunted and unfazed in the quest to realize the vision.

“To this end, we will continue to be guided by the seven prerequisites, namely: a strong democracy, reliable and efficient institutions of state, long-term macroeconomic stability, economic diversification expand physical infrastructure, high quality social services, and environmental responsibility and sustainability, as reflected in the budget.”

And like Travis Persaud, unity is their watchword.

Oops, say wah … Elvis has left the building?

To contact Travis (“I have always been and will be an Elvis fan forever.”) phone 416-992-7874.

Gerald V. Paul
Gerald V. Paul