Helen May and Robert Johnstone

Born in England in 1900, Helen May Johnstone (née Russell) came to Trinidad aged 6, when her father, Justice A.D. Russell was appointed to Trinidad’s Supreme Court. Educated in England, May returned to Trinidad in 1921, whereupon she met and married Robert Johnstone. She taught choral lessons at Bishop Anstey High School and in 1941 the TMA was formed under her chairmanship.
To judge the 1950 Music Festival, May Johnstone and the TMA invited an English adjudicator, Dr Sydney Northcote. Deeply impressed by the standard of entries in the Festival but recognising the inadequacy of the venues in Trinidad for effectively staging such concerts, Northcote quickly began clamouring for improved facilities for the hosting of performance events.