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Honouring stalwarts

Honourees Red Plastic Bag and Mac Fingall after receiving their awards.

Stalwarts Red Plastic Bag and Mac Fingall have been honoured for their near, collective 60 years of contribution to entertainment in Barbados.

Last Friday, the St. Philip Parish Ambassadors hosted an award ceremony at the Princess Margaret Secondary School which chronicled the life of the two men.

Accompanied by their family and hailed by their supporters the two at times seemed overwhelmed by the accolades.

In the first half tribute was paid to RPB, real name Stedson Wiltshire, who was remembered by Historian Trevor Marshall as a gangly cricketer turned calypsonian who has taken the art form by storm.

Fingall, who was Bag’s manager early in the calypsonian’s career said Bag has surpassed Trinidadian Kaisoman Chalkdust.

“Plastic Bag has gone into an area that Chalkdust has never touched, has never shown that he can handle and that is the ragga ragga, soca area and the master of melody. Having won the ragga soca competition last year with the Once Upon A Wine song, having given us Something’s Happening which he did at the stadium and won a crown with it, he’s gone into something completely different.”

Fingall continued: “He came second in the Party Monarch competition, he’s won the Sweet Soca and he’s won this [Pic-O-De-Crop] 10 times. Chalkdust has only stayed in one particular area. This man is diverse and therefore has surpassed Chalkdust, simple as that.”

Bag was grateful for the recognition. “I’ve received several awards in my time but awards from your own people [are] always very special…to me this is very special. I want to say that I’ve received from the people of Barbados lots of love over the years and I want to thank you for that. It is through you that I continue to produce, for 30 years. Hopefully I can continue for another 30.”

Veteran entertainer, Richard ‘Dick’ Stoute lauded Bag for his commitment to family and joked that out of the 39 weddings he has sung at Bag’s is the only one which is still going strong.

In the second half of the show, Marshall said Fingall’s dedication and commitment to excellence were nurtured at The Lodge School and his comedic skills honed there as well.

“That is the Mac Fingall that people have seen at the stadium, accustomed to seeing Lodge School winning, accustomed to seeing The Lodge School boys put out perfection, nothing other than perfection…”

David and Marcia Weekes, the producers of the Hush movie said Fingall played an integral role in the series as well the soon to be released Chrissy. After showing clips from the movie Hush they said he was disciplined and kept the set lively with several of his jokes. Across the world, they said his role as coach in Hush was well received.

Past students Anderson Blood Armstrong, David D2 Davids, MC for the evening Andre Wharton said Sir, or Mr. Fingall, was key in motivating them and instilling the attributes which have led them to success.

But it was Michael Crawford, the grounds man at The Lodge School turned teacher who became most emotional while giving his testimony, he said it was Fingall who insisted that he pursue qualifications up to the masters level.

Other performances for the night included Lilian Lorde who won the 1995 Caribbean Song Contest with Caribbean Beat penned by Bag; budding calypsonian B-Minor; Cherish Maynard; dancers from Ace Dance Centre who have formed part of Bag’s presentation while he competed on the calypso and soca stage over the years and former Road March king Ras Iley.

During the intermission supporters Marcia Padmore, John Brathwaite and Bobby Forde presented Bag with a cake in honour of his 10 calypso crowns and 30 years in the business. (DF)

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