Caribbean Diaspora connects online to say goodbye to Arrow

Antiguan Calypsonian ‘Swallow’(left) waits his turn to chat with ZJB Radio Montserrat hosts Rose Willock and Basil Chambers, who is interviewing Chairman of Antigua’s Carnival Vaughn Walters (right). ZJB and ABS Radio & TV simulcasted Good Morning Antigua and the Breakfast Show with Basil Chambers on Friday morning to celebrate the life of Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell, the soca king.

View pictures of the events, tribute service and concert on the Sprit of Montserrat Facebook page… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-of-Montserrat/103640209673708.

LITTLE BAY Montserrat – Many were not there in body but there in spirit, as thousands of Caribbean nationals spread around the world tuned into ZJB Radio Montserrat and the more than 10 radio stations streaming the tributes and funeral service for the Soca King of the World Alphonsus ‘Arrow’ Cassell MBE on Friday, October 1, 2010.

The government’s media page on Facebook, ‘Spirit of Montserrat’ was busy all day as fans posted comments on the pictures which were added as events happened.

“Thanks to you for posting these pics of the funeral making those abroad feel as if they are right at home. Well done,” said Allen Gladvin, who now lives in the United Kingdom. “…Even though I had to work I was able to see some of it live.”“This is front row seats from across the seas. Thanks,” said author Brenda McCartney, a Montserratian now living in The Bahamas.

We added more than 200 new fans in one day. Everyone was very appreciative of being able to see the photos but also view the tributes, the funeral service and later the impromptu concert by the entertainers,” said Nerissa Golden, Director of Information & Communications for the Government of Montserrat. “ZJB Radio Montserrat did an excellent job with the live radio coverage and the Department of Information Technology and eGovernment Services (DITES) provided the television production which was also carried live by ABS TV in Antigua.”

Estimates are that more than 2000 people came to pay their respects to Arrow on Friday. The crowd empties out of the Montserrat Cultural Centre after the funeral service.

“We’ve received emails from as far away as Germany, letting us know they were listening and watching. The increased demand meant we had to add two additional feeds for people to be able to listen online,” said ZJB Station Manager Herman Sargeant. “Many commented that it felt more like one of Arrow’s concerts and not his funeral at all. There is no doubt he will be missed but he has left us a lot of good memories and music.”

An estimated 2000 people came to pay their respects during the viewing and funeral which took place in the Sir George Martin Auditorium at the Montserrat Cultural Centre. Additional seating was added on the outside and television screens set up so that everyone could see and hear the service.

The commemorative 32-page programme includes messages and tributes from family, friends, and fans around the world.

Calypsonian Sheldon ‘Red Plastic Bag’ Wiltshire presented a posthumous Caribbean Musical Icon award to Arrow’s son Tshishimbi Cassell during the evening reception, on behalf of the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (COSCAP) of Barbados.

Calypsonian Sheldon ‘Red Plastic Bag’ (right) Wiltshire presents a posthumous Caribbean Musical Icon award to Arrow’s son Tshishimbi Cassell (middle) during the evening reception, on behalf of the Copyright Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, Inc. (COSCAP) of Barbados. Also in photo is On Air personality Dahved Levy (left).

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. 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.

View pictures of the events, tribute service and concert on the Sprit of Montserrat Facebook page… http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spirit-of-Montserrat/103640209673708.

ENDS

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