Tony Hall

HEART ATTACK: Tony Hall

One of the key people responsible for the cultural revolution that led to a greater appreciation for local theatre, music, dance and the arts in general has died.

Tony Hall passed away yesterday morning, having suffered a heart attack at his home in Tobago. He was 71 years old.

Members of the cultural fraternity, including Hall’s close friends Robin Foster, Rhoma Spencer, Nikki Crosby, Franka Philip, Penelope Spencer, Dawad Phillip and others, took to social media expressing shock and grief over his sudden death.

Hall, born Michael Anthony Hall, was a playwright, screenwriter, actor and director. He was born in San Fernando in July 1948. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in drama and education from the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada, and obtained a diploma in film and advanced television production at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology.

In the mid-1980s, Hall teamed up with Chris Laird, Bruce Paddington, Errol Fabien and others to create the Gayelle television series, which provided a platform for all local cultural expressions and the arts and entertainment in general.

Hall is considered to be a pioneer in community television in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as the wider Caribbean and Caribbean communities in Canada, London and the United States.

Through the video production house known as Banyan Ltd, Hall and the many people he worked alongside created a host of popular soap operas, sitcoms and current affairs programmes over the past four decades.

The Trinidad Theatre Workshop (TTW) yesterday issued the following statement: “It is with sadness that we join the theatre and national community in mourning the passing of theatre stalwart, Tony Hall. His pioneering work on local television and theatre, both here and abroad, is recognised. He worked with the TTW to present the Playwrighting Workshop since the Belmont days. To his family and friends in theatre, Gayelle The Caribbean and The Trinidad and Tobago Film Company and wider creative industries, we at TTW offer our sincerest condolences. Rest in Peace Tony Hall.”

RECOMMENDED FOR YOU

Taxpayers now have to foot close to $10 million in damages to 20 former employees of the Security Intelligence Agency (SIA) who were dismissed by the Kamla Persad-­Bissessar regime.

The Industrial Court, in a ru­ling handed down on Wednesday, minced no words, with the panel describing the dismissals as “patently egregious” while, at the same time, slamming the Ministry of National Security under the former administration for not tendering a defence despite being ordered by the courts to do so.

Fifteen more people tested positive for the Covid-19 virus yesterday and are now in hospital. The Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 updates yesterday indicated that it was still unknown how 12 of the newest cases contracted the virus, as epidemiological investigations were being done. Three of the patients contracted the virus from recently positive Covid-19 patients, the Ministry noted.

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley is demanding that the Opposition United National Congress (UNC) remove an advertisement which, he said, likened black people to monkeys.

The Prime Minister was referring to a “Trinity’s Triangle” ad, in which an Afro-Trinidadian woman begs for food.

Opposition Leader Kamla Per­sad-­Bissessar has promised no one would lose their job because of race.

And she is urging the population to remain united and assured that if elected, her Government would not discriminate against anyone based on race or gender.

“As we hit the final few days, there are many who would seek to plant the seeds of fear and stir up ethnic doubts in your hearts. To me, the biggest challenge is to ignore those who do not believe in our resplendent possibilities as a people and our common destiny as a nation,” she said at a United National Congress (UNC) virtual meeting on Thursday.

United National Congress (UNC) St Ann’s East candidate Kenya Charles has called on Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi to explain his wealth and why his family has a number of buildings throughout the country rented to the Government.