Sunday 29 November, 2020

6 notable Trinis you wouldn’t guess weren’t born in T&T

There is a multitude of national icons who have contributed significantly to our country's legacy, whether it be in the arts, entertainment, business, sports or politics. 

While a number of these notable people have given so much to make Trinidad and Tobago what it is today, you may be surprised to know that some of them are not originally from the twin-island republic. 

Here are six notable Trinbagonians who were actually born outside of Trinidad and Tobago.


1. Pat Castagne 

Every Trini knows the national anthem but does every Trini know that the man who wrote it was not originally from T&T? Born in Guyana, composer Pat Castagne is known as the man who arranged 'Forged From The Love of Liberty'.

His family moved to Trinidad and he attended St. Mary's College. He later went on to serve as a diplomat assigned to the Trinidad & Tobago Embassy in England and worked with the BBC on a weekly radio that showcased West Indian talent.


2. Sir Solomon Hochoy

A highway was named after him so we know that's he has played an indelible part in Trinbagonian history. Interestingly enough, however, Sir Solomon Hochoy has Jamaican roots. He was born in the Colony of Jamaica (present-Jamaica) in 1905 but his family later emigrated and settled in Blanchisseuse. 

Sir Solomon Hochoy later grew up to be a Trinidadian politician, serving as the last British governor of the nation as well as the country's first governor-general after it gained independence in 1962, and non-white Governor in the entire British Empire during the 60s. 


3. Mighty Sparrow 

The Mighty Sparrow has earned an international reputation for himself and the country as one of the best-known and most successful musicians in the genre, but did you know he has Grenadian roots?

Born in Grand Roy, Grenada, he became a Trinidadian citizen a year after his birth when his mother moved to the country.

As we all know, the eight-time Road March winner, eight-time Calypso Monarch and two-time Calypso King of Kings would later go on to make history as the 'Calypso King of the World'.


4. Tubal Uriah "Buzz" Butler

Fun fact: The founder of the trade union movement of Trinidad and Tobago is actually Grenadian. Born in St. George's, he joined the military service and first became active in political pressure groups and workers unions upon his return.

Butler moved to Trinidad in his twenties and was a part of several strikes and marches that preceded the Labour Riots of 1937, playing a vital role in agitating and mobilising for better wages and working conditions. He later started his political career, forming his own party, ran for General Elections and served in the Legislative Council. 


5. Derek Chin 

Business magnate Derek Chin is known as the man behind MovieTowne, the state-of-the-art multi-screen cineplex franchise which has revolutionised the entertainment and cinema experience across Trinidad and Tobago.

He is known as a key figure in the business sector, but did you know he was originally from Guyana? He was born in Georgetown before moving to Trinidad.

Chin most recently reinvested in his hometown, expanding the MovieTowne franchise to Guyana, something he said was an honour to the people given his roots. 


6. Peter Minshall

Peter Minshall's name has become synonymous with Trinidad Carnival, a legend who is world-renowned for his works of mas and large-scale spectacle events and performances.

You know of his achievements and his many contributions to Trinbagonian culture but you may be surprised to know that he also has roots in Guyana.

The famed masman was born in Georgetown but grew up in Trinidad, attending Queens Royal College where he became heavily involved with the school’s theatre productions. 

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