Patrons attending Bishop Anstey High School's fundraising cooler fete last Saturday night requested and chose to sing the national anthem during the closing performance from veteran entertainer, Neil Iwer George.
In spite of recent controversy regarding George's use of the anthem as part of his latest release entitled, "Happy People", the fun-loving audience answered affirmatively when asked if they love their country and wanted to sing the anthem. George said he was pleasantly surprised with the response and advised the audience to stand at attention and keep their hands at their sides while singing the Patrick Castagne composition.
Pandemonium erupted following the conclusion of the anthem and Iwer upped the ante by then suggesting a solution for some of the nation's current social ills. He said:
"All the people who say that Trinidad and Tobago is the greatest country in the world, put your hands in the air for me right now. But we have some problems... and we have to address them... Allyuh ready to address one tonight?
"All the people who want to see the children stop fight in schools, put your two hands in the air and hold them up for me straight... Well I will tell you something: the only how we could address this issue right now is if we offer up a lil prayer for the children... Allyuh ready to offer a lil prayer for the children? Is ah very popular song and ah know everybody knows this song..."
Iwer then led the audience through an abbreviated version of the National Pledge before cutting the music and announcing his impending retirement. George said tjat this would be his last year singing onstage and that he would not be leaving the industry, but would transition to become a DJ instead. He then performed as such for a 5-minute stint in which he cued and hyped and sang snippets of some popular Soca and Reggae songs.
George's performance closed a fun night of musical and revelry, as several hundred patrons assembled and enjoyed the ambience, decor, a variety of delectable food options and brought their own preferred beverages in coolers. Performances from Mical Teja, Nadia Batson, Lyrikal and Iwer got the crowd dancing, jumping and waving, along with music from DJ Duane, DJ Kaotic, Travis World and Penny with MC Ken Simmons. A mix of old and new music was enjoyed by the assembly and the organising committee expressed great appreciation to all sponsors, corporate partners, donors, alumni and supporters for making the event a grand success.