‘Mister Carnival’ no more

His wife Rebecca, son Wendell and close friend and well-known calypsonian Hollis Liverpool (Mighty Chalkdust) were at Pope’s bedside when he breathed his last. The four-time Calypso Monarch died at 1 pm.

Through her tears, Mrs Pope said her husband suffered with the disease Myelofibrosis and his condition took an irreversible turn for the worse around lunchtime on Tuesday. Despite receiving a blood transfusion that night, doctors could not save him. “He is at peace. I am looking at him right now, as we speak,” Mrs Pope said during a brief telephone interview. She said her husband had already made plans for Carnival having written “a few calypsos” among them “Dying Art” which he intended to perform this season.

Songs such as “Black is Beautiful”, “Thunder”, “How Many More?”, “One Foot Visina” and “Melvie and Yvonne”, put Pope firmly on the calypso map and established him as a legend in the artform.

Calypsonain Original De Fosto Himself called Mighty Duke the “spirit” of Carnival. “Duke and the late Kitchener were very close and he (Duke) chose to die the same month as his mentor. Kitch died on January 10,2000 and Duke died today, January 14.”

Reigning Road March queen Faye Ann Lyons-Alvarez described Pope as one of the greatest and praised his style of dressing. “Duke was one of the greatest and besides, he was the best dressed. The country has lost an icon.”

She then begged the powers that be not to wait for icons of the artform to die before honouring them. “Don’t wait for them to die and then to pay respect for them. Do it while they are still living.”

Trinbago Unified Calypsonians Organisation (TUCO) President, Eric “Pink Panther” Taylor described Pope as a jewel.

The calypso fraternity is in deep sorrow at this time. Duke was one of the jewels on the calypso crown,” Taylor said.

“The fraternity has lost a true calypsonian and icon, the country has lost a great cultural ambassador and I have lost a personal friend. Duke and I go way back. He will surely be missed,” was how calypsonian and Mayaro MP Winston “Gypsy” Peters chose to remember Pope.


"‘Mister Carnival’ no more"

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