View pictures of the day’s events on our Spirit of Montserrat Facebook Page.
LITTLE BAY Montserrat – The Soca King of the World Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell MBE will be laid to rest today after hundreds pay their last respects throughout the day here on Montserrat.
Dignitaries from throughout the Caribbean, former members of Arrow’s Multinational Force Band and radio and television broadcasters have traveled to the island to pay tribute to the artist, who put Montserrat on the musical map.
The Honourable Minister of Culture, Carnival & Independence Eleston “Namba” Adams, Mr. Vaughn Walters, Chairman of Antigua’s Carnival, and the Hon. Minister of Art & Multiculturalism Winston “Gypsy” Peters from Trinidad & Tobago are expected to pay tribute to Arrow along with the Hon. Chief Minister of Monsterrat Reuben T. Meade.
Hundreds turned out on Thursday night to participate in a motorcade from one end of the island to the next followed by an all night celebration at The Lyme to honor the life of Arrow, who took Montserrat and the Caribbean to the world through soca music.
The body in a coffin befitting this entertainer arrived at the Montserrat Cultural Centre at 10am this morning following a private church service for the family at the St. Patrick’s Roman Catholic Church in Lookout. One onlooker remarked that the coffin, which is a 3D conceptual arrow, was similar to coffins built in Africa which are often vibrant in color and reflect the life of the occupant. The coffin was built by Vincentian Garfield Brown who said he was honored to have been able to build it for a man who was instrumental in helping him find work when he first moved to Montserrat in the 80s. Brown said the coffin which is painted in Arrow’s favorite colors of red and yellow is made from local Cedar.
A steady stream of well-wishers have been coming to view the body as organizers continue to prepare for the massive turnout expected for the funeral, which begins at 2pm.
A live radio and television broadcast will begin at 1pm with veteran news journalists Rose Willock, with Dave Payne of Antigua & Broadcasting Services (ABS TV) and several featured guests. The live stream of the funeral services can be found at www.zjb.gov.ms. Other stations around the region carrying the live feed are ChoiceFM and WINNFM of St. Kitts & Nevis, Voice of Barbados and ABS Radio.
Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell MBE passed away at his home in Lime Kiln, Montserrat on the morning of September 15, 2010. He was 59.