I have been doing some work at the National Archives relating to (JER) Jerome Ewart Rampersad (1917-1978) who did a daily column in the Evening News "In the Courts Today by Mc Gee" from 1947 right through to the 1960's. Rampersad was Chief News Editor at Radio 610 for most of the 1960's till he was purged (along with others) by James Alva Bain in 1975. I have been told that he and some colleagues including Napier Thompson (deceased) founded a short-lived newspaper called The Sun in 1961-62. There are many gaps in the information about JER and I am trying to discover if there were breaks in the McGee column, or if there might have been times when JER was not with the Guardian but somebody else was ghosting the McGee column (stylistic analysis and info re: Rampersad's employment history). The column was brilliant and showed JER to be a witty, humorous, inventive and serious-minded master of modified dialect. JER limed with Sam Selvon who was one of his buddies, and he interacted with Seepersad Naipaul. Of course, I would be grateful for any information or anecdotes relating to JER. It is well-known that JER was the father of the distinguished scholar Arnold Rampersad with whom I am in correspondence. But there is a major issue. I do not think that there is an electronic copy of the Evening News anywhere in the world although Prof Rampersad thought he had found it via Google; and I am pretty sure that the only hard copies are to be found in the National Archives in Trinidad. Some of the bound volumes are in such bad condition that you are not allowed to look at them; some are so fragile that you know they too will be withdrawn before long.
The Evening News is important as having content that was more Trinidad and Caribbean than the established daily organs, and the perspective of the writers like Thomasos, Giuseppi, Mathurin, O'Neil Lewis, Canon Ramkeeson, to name only a few was strongly cultural nationalist. In this sense, it was in the 1930's, 40's and 50's the most culturally significant and wide-ranging local paper. I believe it was the paper most read by the ordinary people of the island.
So: we need the Evening News, A MAJOR SOCIOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL HERITAGE DOCUMENT to be microfilmed immediately.MONEY IS NEEDED. Secondly, by the way: I am willing to supervise at no cost to any person or institution any researcher or a team of researchers committed to doing a two-year project on The Evening News and the Trinidad Guardian Weekly.
Professor Kenneth Ramchand
Chairman, Friends of Mr. Biswas