In an interview, Duke’s son, Wendell Ramsden, yesterday said the “logistics” were still being worked out and relatives from abroad were expected in the country.
Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs Marlene McDonald yesterday extended condolences to Pope’s family.
“The career of this national calypso icon spanned over four decades during which he made an invaluable contribution to TT Calypso heritage. The national community will not only miss his gentlemanly demeanour, but also his unique sartorial elegance,” McDonald said in a release.
Duke was born in Pt Fortin in 1932. Mc Donald said the area was known for its extraordinary number of entertainers and was an “oil town where his social conscience was formed”.
She said Duke grew up in a home where calypso was a staple and it was only natural that he joined the calypso fraternity as a prolific composer. Duke wrote his first song in the 1950’s. Mc Donald said Duke was regarded as “on par” with calypso stalwarts like “Kitchener”– Aldwyn Roberts. She said Duke’s early contemporaries were Maestro, Stalin, Power, Ras Shorty I and Composer.
In an interview on Wednesday at the Ellerslie Private Hospital, Ramsden said of his father, “He’s fought a good fight. I actually witnessed his last couple of breaths.”
Dr Hollis Liverpool who was also at the hospital said, “Duke was one of the best in the business. They have none better than him.
Last year we paid a tribute to him in a show and Professor (Ken) Julien was saying he did not know the breadth of his work.”