BRADES, Montserrat – Officials are estimating that over the course of the coming week, Montserrat will be flooded by more than 800 people coming to pay their last respects to the Soca King of the World ‘Arrow’, who passed away on September 15 at the age of 60.
On Wednesday, the Honourable Chief Minister Reuben T. Meade travelled with Protocol Officer Doreen Chambers and Director of the Montserrat Tourist Board Ernestine Cassell, to meet with tourism officials on Antigua to discuss the plans to facilitate the transition of passengers from the airport to the ferry port.
Montserrat is serviced by two airlines but has limitations on aircraft size and no night flights. A ferry from St. Kitts is expected to make frequent runs starting on Sunday, September 26 between Antigua and Montserrat until the extra transportation is no longer needed.
Montserrat will be placing protocol officers and tourism representatives at the VC Bird International Airport to assist with travel arrangements for funeral goers. A standard rate for taxi service has also been agreed upon with the Antigua & Barbuda Taxi Association for travelers needing to get to the ferry port from the airport.
Meanwhile, the Montserrat Tourist Board is asking persons who have homes or rooms which are available for rent should contact them to share the details and contact information.
Wendell Johnson, Interim Manager for MONAIR, which handles flights for WINAIR says all flights in the coming week are fully booked but at present there are no plans to add additional flights. Fly Montserrat has not yet confirmed if they will be increasing their daily flight schedule but the airline is available for charter services as well.
Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell MBE was diagnosed with cerebral cancer in early 2009. Arrow or “Phonzie”, as he was referred to by close friends and family, is responsible for taking the Soca genre to the international music scene with his 1982 smash hit, Hot, Hot, Hot.
Having won the local Montserrat Calypso Competition on three occasions, the talents of the proud son of Montserrat were spotted by former Beatles manager, Sir George Martin, who worked with Arrow to turn his focus to his recording and touring career.
Arrow recorded no less than 22 studio albums with other notable hits including Long Time, Dancing Mood, O’La Soca and Groove Master. He has performed at concerts, music festivals and gala events across the globe.
He will be laid to rest on Friday, October 1, 2010 after a ceremony at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
For assistance with travel arrangements or on-island accommodation call (664) 491 2231 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.