Port-of-Spain, Feb 19: The highest award Trinidad & Tobago can bestow on its citizens, Order of Trinidad & Tobago, will be bestowed on Grenada-born Dr. Slinger Francisco known worldwide as The Mighty Sparrow. Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar made the announcement at a carnival school event attended by The Mighty Sparrow who recently returned to Trinidad & Tobago after a long hospitalization and rehabilitation stay in New York.
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar proclaimed that Sparrow’s very high medical expenses will be paid by the Government of Trinidad & Tobago.
The Prime Minister stated that she was happy to make the announcements in the presence of The Mighty Sparrow. Addressing Sparrow at the event she said with the approval of Cabinet “ I recommend to His Excellency, President Anthony Carmona, to confer on you, Dr Slinger Francisco, the Mighty Sparrow, the prestigious Order of Trinidad and Tobago, the highest national recognition and honour which can be awarded to any citizen.”
Prime Minister Kamla Persad Bissessar continued “like so many citizens from all walks of life, I have long admired and enjoyed the impressive work of the Mighty Sparrow whose unparalleled contribution to our music and our culture has been hailed all over the world.”
“The Prime Minister told him “Your work , Sir, has been studied, analyzed, dissected and interpreted by scholars, academics, musicologists, but above all by the multitude of ordinary people not only here in our twin island, and all over the Caribbean, but in so many other parts of the world. Indeed you have justly earned the title — the Calypso King of The World.”
As the crowd and children applauded the PM said “It is a fitting tribute to the contribution you have made to Trinidad and Tobago, and to the World … I am sure the national community will agree this is a richly deserved honour. I am also very pleased to announce that the Cabinet has further agreed to cover all the medical expenses incurred by your recent illness, from which by the Grace of God, you successfully recovered … you have entertained our senses and challenged our sensibilities. Your words have inspired, reflected, caused serious introspection and at times have just provided sheer musical and lyrical delight.”
Prime Minister Persad Bissessar also saluted Guyanese-born but Trinidad raised Peter Minshall. The renowned carnival costume designer who also designed the opening and closing scenes of the Barcelona and Atlanta Olympic Games was given the deed to a State owned property that Minshall occupied for decades.