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10 to battle in Police HIV calypso finals

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Come tonight, Friday, February 13, these are some of the songs that will be sung by ten calypsonians chosen to take part in the AIDS Calypso Competition, at Heritage Square, at 7 p.m.{{more}} The calypsonians are Anando “The Man Cross” John, Shernelle “Skarpyon” Williams, Sharlene “Sharlene” Glasgow, Michael “Bosault”Daniel, Ronald “Ron B” Browne, Kijah “The Goddess Kijah Gani”Gani, Eldon “Soca King” Delpeshe, Glenroy “Sulle” Ceasar, Quintyn “Mighty Toiler” Toby and Phylicia “Phylicia” Alexander.

They will be judged on Lyrics 30 points, melody 30 points, rendition 20 points, presentation 10 points and originality 10 points. The first-prize winner will receive $5,000, 2nd place $3,000, 3rd place $2,000, and all participants will receive an appearance fee of $1,000.

Commissioner of Police Keith Miller on Monday, February 2, held a press conference at the police conference room to announce their plans for the calypso competition.

Police Superintendent Artis Davis, spokesperson for the committee, said that in January of 2008 they were invited to join in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The calypso competition should have been held in December to coincide with World Aids Day, but was postponed for various reasons. The other appropriate date was February 13, as this is close to Valentine’s Day. Davis said they are hoping to sensitise, not only their own members in the organisation, but also the general public.

Commissioner Miller expressed his pleasure in working along with the AIDS Unit and Ministry of Health in putting the competition together. He said: “As a Police Force we have a responsibility. National Security is one of our main responsibilities and we have to ensure as a police force that our men and women are fit to do work.” The Commissioner made mention of South Africa where the issue of HIV/AIDS has taken a toll on law enforcement officers, where the cries of the Commanding Officers are being heard, in respect of their officers’ inability to perform their duties because of HIV/AIDS.

Miller went on to state that here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, police personnel must be educated about their being responsible persons because of the nature of their job. He said: “We cannot afford to have our men being irresponsible. From time to time people have to work throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and we need fit men to do that. We do not want our men to inculcate a certain habit out there. We do not want them to go down that road.”

He commended the distinguished calypsonians who came forward and took part in the audition. He expressed his respect for these men and women, as they do human service in the field of calypso to St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and have once again come forward to help in spreading the message of HIV/AIDS.

The competition will commence with the singing of the National Anthem, welcoming remarks by Commissioner of Police Keith Miller, brief remarks by the Prime Minister, Minister of National Security, and Dr. Douglas Slater, Minister of Health. The Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band will provide music and back up for the calypsonians.

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