Where we stand‎ > ‎News & Comment‎ > ‎


posted 21 Jul 2013, 17:50 by Gerry Kangalee
Ian Teddy Belgrave died on July 19th 2013. He was ailing for a while. Belgrave, the author of the book DARE TO STRUGGLE, a history of the Communication Workers Union, was involved in the famous occupation incident at Sir George Williams University in Canada in 1969. This event impacted strongly on the insurrectionary movement that erupted in April 1970.

On his return to T&T he became involved with the National Joint Action Committee (NJAC) during the 1970 uprising. He was influential among certain sections of revolutionary youth who had rejected the cultural nationalist position after the split in NJAC and were searching for a revolutionary theory and path forward.
Under his influence many revolutionary youths adopted a Marxist perspective.

He was deeply involved in student politics at the University of the West Indies in the early seventies and was the leading figure in the formation of the Birdsong Steel Orchestra. Belgrave was a leading researcher and commentator on the Steelband movement and was involved in the formation of Pamberi Steel Orchestra.

He was  Hylanders to the bone and delivered a eulogy at the funeral of Bertie Marshall. He was involved with the Wood Trin (Woodbrook Secondary and Trinity College), and Arima Secondary Steelbands.

He served as Chief Education and Research Officer of the Oilfields Workers Trade Union (OWTU) in the mid 1970’s. He was involved in the movement from COMFUT to Trinidad and Tobago Unified Teachers Association (TTUTA) and served as Chairman of the Port of Spain District Committee, the General Council and Central Executive of the Teachers Union.

He also served on the Industrial Relations Committee and as Study Circle Coordinator in TTUTA. Probably his most longstanding contribution to TTUTA was his authoring of the first Staff Representative manual.

Teddy Belgrave was an executive member of the United Labour Front in the 1970’s until Basdeo Panday hijacked the party in 1977. He served on the executive of the Committee for Labour Solidarity/MOTION in the 1980s-1990’s until it imploded under the weight of its internal contradictions. At the time of hid death he was the Education and Research Officer of the Movement for Social Justice (MSJ).