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UK

Published on August 14th, 2016 | by David Kalloo

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Arthur Peters – Master Wire Bender/Carnivalist

Arthur Peters was laid to rest at the Old Paddington Cemetery on the 11th of August 2016 after a farewell service at All Saints Church, London. Many of those who knew Arthur Peters described him as a warm, caring and more importantly, a genuine person and, a man with extraordinary carnival costume skills- a master wire bender.

Dexter Khan from Cocoyea Mas Band reflecting on Arthur said. “Arthur Peters was one of our great, great wire-benders, which is the art-form from Trinidad and Tobago.”  It was with Cocoyea that Arthur started creating costumes in London.  According to Arnim Boucaud, “Arthur started making mas with us for Cocoyea when we were in a small room in Ledbury Road with no heating.” His designs for Cocoyea won them the Queen of Carnival in 1985 with Destroying Angels. Arthur took his craft and designs to Trinidad and worked alongside Peter Minshall who himself had costumes at Notting Hill Carnival.  Arthur returned to London where he continued designing and making carnival costumes for Ebony, Mangrove and Cocoyea before finally committing himself with Mangrove.

Arthur Peters was a dedicated and respected mas maker in Notting Hill Carnival and crafted his art with great diligence and many people in the carnival fraternity in London believed that Arthur should have remained with Peter Minshall in Trinidad.  Returning to London, he designed and made several winning costumes including seven King costumes for Ebony, six of which won them the King competition.  Raa Hendricks, a veteran carnivalist of 40 years said. “Arthur Peters was one of the iconic figures in the carnival experience in London and, knowing he brought all this talent from back home, it is one of the ways our Caribbean homelands have exported their talents.”  Arthur’s skills and talent inspired and guided several mas makers and designers in London, most notable of those is Carl Gabriel.

At the grave side, Winston Finlay kept his promise to Arthur and played sombrely on his tenor pan to bid farewell to one of Trinidad and Tobago’s gifted sons in the Diaspora and, a man who carved his name into the history books of the Notting Hill Carnival.  Carl Gabriel, a protégé of Arthur Peters produced a costume piece in his honour and danced for Arthur on his final journey.


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