Last Saturday, a selected few specially invited guests, media and close friends of the HD family were invited to the Chaguaramas Golf Course to share in a special thanksgiving ceremony in honour of Machel Montano HD on his resounding Triple Crown success for 2012. All guests were invited to wear white for the occasion, perfectly matching the beautifully transformed golf course, which was fully decorated in white as well. Guests were invited to have a seat around any of the beautifully decorated tables all facing the head table where Machel sat with those closest to him including his mother Elizabeth Montano, his father, Winston “Monty” Montano, his brother, Marcus Montano, Farmer Nappy and his girlfriend Kavell Keir, just to name a few. The evening got underway with the welcome address given by Machel’s manager and Master of Ceremonies for the night, James Walton, and was followed by a number of inter-faith prayers which set the tone for the evening that would be filled with camaraderie, love and appreciation.
“Behind every great man, there stands an even greater woman, I know this because I have had the pleasure of working with her for the past two years…”, this was how Mr. Walton introduced the first speaker of the night, an apt description indeed for none other than Elizabeth Montano, mother, and a major element in the management team. Lady, as she is affectionately known, proceeded to introduce all the members of the immediate Montano family and as she introduced Machel’s father joked that with the white gown that she was wearing, and all the religious officials present, he suggested that they marry again. Lady spoke of being most proud about seeing her children maintain the values she instilled in them at a very young age and now passing them on to their children. She revealed the first time that she met long time HD member, Farmer Nappy, she found him fighting in the streets, at the tender age of seven.
Farmer Nappy also spoke and thanked Lady for finding him. He was also greatly appreciative of Machel who sat with him under a mango tree and counselled him during the period when he struggled with alcohol addiction, which he has long conquered. Machel’s children, Nicholas and Malaya as well as his nieces Marley and Micha all spoke eloquently and with great affection for their father and uncle. Machel was then surprised by a video message from his eldest daughter, Meledi, who was in Paris on an exchange programme. Machel’s brother, Marcus, stepped up to the podium to reveal that it was really he who discovered HD’s talent at a very early age, long before their mother, and after a heartfelt embrace between brothers, Mr. Fete himself spoke to his eager audience.
With no planned speech, Machel explained that at such a special time in his life he simply wanted to speak from the heart. He described how he never dreamed of being this successful, and explained that he still does not see himself as the great Machel Montano but simply dreams of working hard and making music that the people of Trinidad and Tobago love and enjoy. He said he will continue to work for as long as he can, and joked as he thanked long time friend Tony Chow Lin On for all his support and for advising him not to celebrate 30 years of music, but to celebrate “three-zero” to maintain a young frame of mind.
Machel described his true success as being seen in the success of the people around him such as Patrice Roberts, Farmer Nappy, and of course, Kernal Roberts. He was brought to tears as he thanked team member Eddison Charles for offering him a simple note that read: “Jesus, I trust in you” which motivated him at his lowest point during the season. After all formal thanks and appreciations were made, Machel invited everyone present to partake in the fully stocked bar and well laid out buffet. As everyone ate and drank to their hearts’ content, guests took the opportunity to chat with Machel and other members of the HD team and congratulate them personally on all their success for the 2012 season. It was a chance for fans to interact with Machel like never before. Upon leaving all guests were given copies of the brand new Double M album