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Tributes To ‘Paba’ Continue

Image: Monsignor Patrick Anthony, Dame PearletteLouisy and Minister Belrose take in the festivities last Wednesday evening. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)

NATIONAL cultural icon, Monsignor Patrick “Paba” Anthony, was paid a fitting tribute last Wednesday evening at the National Cultural Centre in honour of his extensive contribution to the arts in Saint Lucia, especially the advancement of kwéyòl.

Image: Monsignor Patrick Anthony, Dame PearletteLouisy and Minister Belrose take in the festivities last Wednesday evening. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)
Monsignor Patrick Anthony, Dame PearletteLouisy and Minister Belrose take in the festivities last Wednesday evening. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)

Dubbed “SwayéPaba: A Night of Kwéyòl Poetry, Storytelling, Drama and Music”, the event was filled with music from the Ave Maria La Marguerite Group, Monchy La Rose Group, Cecilian Rays, and Manmay La Kaye; kwéyòl poetry by George Goddard and George “Fish” Alphonse; storytelling by Hilary Laforce and Augustin “Charley” Julian; and dancing by Les DanceursTraditionel de Ste.Lisi.

Video excerpts were also shown on a large screen during the event, highlighting Monsignor Anthony’s journey through the priesthood and public life. Speaking candidly, Anthony explained how crucial his role was in the development of the language in Saint Lucian society.

Image: The Cecilian Rays lit up the evening with their cheerful voices. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)
The Cecilian Rays lit up the evening with their cheerful voices. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)

He said that buoyed by creative geniuses such as Derek and Roderick Walcott, Harold Simmons and Dunstan St. Omer, he tried to embrace his cultural heritage tighter by ensuring that the people, too, saw the significance of it.

Anthony, who turned 70 on August 6, founded the Folk Research Centre (FRC) in 1973 and the George Odlum Fund for Creative Artists. In 2000, he was awarded the Saint Lucia Cross (SLC) by the government of Saint Lucia. Three years ago, he was declared a National Cultural Hero by the FRC. This year, the Folk Research Centre was renamed the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre in his honour.

Les Danceurs Traditionel de Ste. Lisidemonstrate some smooth dance moves. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)

Regarded by many as a champion for the people, Anthony has spoken out on many issues, namely crime, social decay and the environment. He has often been the broker that quelled many political fights. Ordained a priest in 1972, Anthony has used his background in the Catholic Church to bridge divides that cross even religious denominations.

Scores of attendees congratulated Anthony on Wednesday evening during and after the event, including Governor General Dame PearletteLouisy; Minister for Culture, Fortuna Belrose; Harold Simmons’ daughters, Anthony’s relatives and members of the diplomatic corps.

George “Fish” Alphonse reciting his kweyol poems. (PHOTO: Stan Bishop)

The event was organized by the Msgr. Patrick Anthony Folk Research Centre, Cultural Development Foundation (CDF) and Events Company St. Lucia (ECSL).

Stan Bishop began his career in journalism in March 2008 writing freelance for The VOICE newspaper for six weeks before being hired as a part-time journalist there when one of the company’s journalists was overseas on assignment.

Although he was initially told that the job would last only two weeks, he was able to demonstrate such high quality work that the company offered him a permanent job before that fortnight was over. Read full bio...

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