Trinidad & Tobago Honors Sparrow and Minshall | 2014

Sometimes you will be damned for your actions regardless if it is good, bad or indifferent; this may be the case with decisions made by the government of Trinidad and Tobago regarding the honors/gifts bestowed to Mr. Slinger Francisco and Mr. Peter Minshall. If the government did it because it is the right thing to do (and it is) then kudos to the administration because it was long over due. If it was politically motivated... who cares, these men deserve these honors and gifts awarded to them!

Honors and Gifts:
Today we got news that the Government of Trinidad and Tobago have decided to honor two of great ones who have left indelible marks on the culture landscape. The Mighty Sparrow will receive the nations highest honor "The Order of Trinidad and Tobago". Mr. Peter Minshall, one of our most creative carnival band designers, will receive the deed for government property that he now resides in at Federation Park. Mr. Peter Minshall was very thankful to the government and people of Trinidad and Tobago for “putting a roof over my head".

The Mighty Sparrow's Medical Bills:
The fact that the government will also take care of "The Birdie's" medical bills is, to me, one of the most gratifying announcements made by the government. Regardless what you may think about "Sparrow" and the life he lived and the monies he earned one cannot put a value to the tremendous gifts he gave to us from 1956 as a singer, artist and a driving force for carnivals past. I am so pleased that this financial burden, for his medical bills, have been lifted. For those who don't know "The Mighty Sparrow" was in a diabetic coma in a Brooklyn hospital in NYC. He is here with us and we should be thankful!

Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar Comments: 
“As Prime Minister of our land, I am very pleased to announce today in your very distinguished presence that I have advised his Excellency the President, Mr Justice Anthony Carmona, to confer on you, Dr Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, the prestigious Order of T&T, the highest recognition and honour which can be awarded to any citizen".

“Your words have inspired, reflected, caused serious introspection and at times have just provided sheer musical and lyrical delight. Sir, you are literally one of a kind, emulated but never imitated".

Sparrow's Comments:
“I want to thank the people for their love and kindness and I only hope I will be around to give you more and more".
After singing excerpts from a few of his songs Sparrow went on to add the following comments:
“I feel very good about the Prime Minister’s gestures. I think I could only show my appreciation by composing and singing a nice song about national awards. 

Something like this enables the public to see that if government gives more jobs to people it helps citizens to help themselves.”

I have heard many people bemoan the fact that many past administrations did not properly honor Slinger Francisco aka 'The Mighty Sparrow'; let's hope that this puts that discussion to rest. It was not simply the right thing to do, it was just and long over due. It was simply the right place and right time for this to happen!

Credit: Trinidad Guardian for the information sourced for this posting:

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