The Mighty Sparrow Promotional Photo
Lasting tribute was paid on July 22 2001 to the Mighty Sparrow (Dr Slinger Francisco), Calypso King of the World, when a life-sized statue of the charismatic entertainer was unveiled.
Location of the monument is the St Ann's roundabout at Queen's Park East in Port-of-Spain which has been transformed into an appropriate shrine for honouring the many significant achievements and contributions to the artform of the world's most acclaimed calypsonian.
Behind the initiative was Errol Peru, the person responsible for a similar tribute paid in 1994 to the late Grandmaster of Calypso Lord Kitchener (Aldwyn Roberts), whose statute overlooks passing traffic in the vicinity of the Harvard roundabout on the Western Main Road in St James.
The Sparrow project, titled "Hail The King,' was embraced by CL Financial which gave full financial support to the undertaking.
A committee under the chairmanship of Neil Jones, Colonial Life Insurance Company's (CLICO) well-known and most successful agent and lifelong friend of Sparrow, was formed to plan and and execute the project. Other members included Peru; store owner and record producer, Earl Crosby; entertainment journalist, David Cuffy; comedian and radio show host, Dennis "Sprangalang" Hall; and Paula Jones.
At the launch of the exercise at the CL Financial Stand in the Queen's Park Oval, Woodbrook, Lawrence Duprey, the company's executive chairman, pledged his organisation's support for similar worthwhile concepts that would pay tribute to the country's cultural and sporting heroes.
Internationally acclaimed sculptor Madan Gopal was commissioned to fashion the statue of Sparrow.
Gopal, a native of India, has been living and
working in central Trinidad for many years. Among his notable works are the
sculpting of a statute of Indira Ghandi in India and a bust of Dr Jaoe De
Havelange at the Centre of Excellence in Tunapuna.
The Mighty Sparrow is an 11-time National Calypso Monarch and eight-time Road March Champion.
With a career that spans over 45 years and counting, "The Birdie," as he is affectionately referred to, is a calypsonian par excellence who has entertained audiences around the globe.
He is the holder of an Honarary Doctorate Degree
from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and an honorary Chief of the Yoruba
tribe of Africa.
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