A report by Rhondor Dowlat for Trinidad’s Guardian.
T&T’s Cultural Ambassador, the Calypso Queen of the World Calypso Rose (Dr Linda McCartha Monica Sandy-Lewis) was yesterday honoured by Caribbean Airlines (CAL) after a Boeing 737 aircraft was named in her honour.
The name, CR77, was unveiled in an aircraft dedication ceremony that took place at Hanger 10 of the Piarco International Airport.
CAL’s chairman, Shameer Mohammed in his address said the airline was in discussions with Calypso Rose’s management team to gift her with travel benefits which will include complimentary Caribbean Miles for a period of three years and complimentary Caribbean Club membership.
“We also intend to place Calypso Rose’s most recent album “Far from Home” on Caribbean Airlines’ inflight playlist; and include the documentary feature The Lioness of the Jungle on our inflight entertainment playlist,” Mohammed said.
Minister of Community Development, Culture and the Arts, Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly said Calypso Rose being hailed the Calypso Queen of the World was not the story of overnight success, “but one of perseverance, fuelled by passion and imagination.”
“Calypso Rose was born in Bethel in Tobago and began writing songs from as early as 15, and to date she has written over 800 songs. During her professional career, she has broken many barriers and has been pivotal in the transformation of the calypso art form,” Gadsby-Dolly said.
“As a pioneer, she made her own destiny, not conforming or walking within boundaries set by others. Her work has been studied, analysed, dissected and interpreted by scholars, while being loved and embraced by the common man,” she said.
The Minister said that she hopes that one day, her ministry will have the honour of Calypso Rose as a mentor in its Mentoring by the Masters programme, which she said, “aims at bringing together experienced artisans and young hungry talents for the transference of skills and information.”