‘Oil and pan shaped us’

TT – Fifty years after he played for a band sponsored by oil giant Texaco (Trinidad Inc), San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello has credited that experience for shaping him into the man he has become.

Regrello said Texaco set the bar high back in the 1960s when it decided to sponsor West Stars, from Springvale, one of the less affluent communities in San Fernando at the time.

He recalled playing his first pan which had a star with a T in the centre representing Texaco and said the players’ interaction with senior company employees, some whom went on to hold political offices, “shaped us.”

“The importance of bringing sponsorship to the community given the societal issues that existed in those days, and probably still exists now, was always critical in helping the youths,” he said.

“Sponsors may not have got value for money because West Stars was not a very successful band in terms of winning competitions. But a lot of people who played with that band ventured out and abroad and on to a better life. All because of the standards Texaco established that set us (players) apart from the rest in terms of quality.”

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