ST. AUGUSTINE, Trinidad and Tobago — The University of the West Indies (UWI) joins the national and regional community in mourning the passing of Mr. Winston McGarland Bailey, ‘The Shadow,’one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most prolific singers/songwriters who re-energized the calypso and soca world with his unique rhythm.
Bailey was scheduled to be conferred the degree of Doctor of Letters, Honoris Causa for his contributions as a musical composer at tomorrow’s morning Graduation Ceremony, at The UWI St. Augustine. Earlier this year, Bailey was nominated and graciously accepted the UWI’s offer for the conferral of the degree, which will be presented at Saturday’s ceremony, in special tribute to him.
“There is no doubt that ‘The Shadow’ was superbly gifted with an ability to extract from the base of society extraordinary creativity and intellectual energy,” said Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles. “He returned to source with; an endless supply of ripping social justice lyrics and a compelling baseline that bombarded the base of the belly.
“The apparent ease of his effort speaks to the integrity and purity of his performance as an art-form derived from communities living the hell of poverty. No one who knows the hard issues facing these communities could claim ignorance of his public musical conversation. We celebrated The Shadow in life as he illuminated the darkness around us. Now, we shall sing him songs of gratitude.”
Expressing condolences, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal of The UWI St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland said, “The country has lost yet another super creative citizen, one who re-energized the calypso and soca world with his unique rhythms, nicely woven into his cleverly crafted commentaries on so many aspects of life and living.
“I was proud to have witnessed his historic entry into the local arena in 1974 – his timing could not have been better. I am so very sad and disappointed that he passed before he could collect his Honorary Doctorate scroll himself on Saturday. May he rest in peace.”
The ceremony for the conferral of the honorary degree will be streamed live on UWItv via www.uwitv.org beginning at 10:00 a.m. (Eastern Caribbean time).