Home / View Point / Letters to the Editor / Dear Editor: Let’s do right by Kitch and give him the ORTT he richly deserves

Dear Editor: Let’s do right by Kitch and give him the ORTT he richly deserves

“[…] In 1993, for very spurious reasons which do not bear repeating, Kitch and Sparrow were denied the nation’s then highest national award, the Trinity Cross, although both were clearly deserving of the honour. They were both offered the Chaconia Medal (Gold), which Kitch refused—having regard to the aspersions cast on his character, among other things.

“[…] Thankfully, when the UNC-led administration was in office during the 2010 to 2015 period, the situation was rectified with respect to Sparrow, and the ORTT was bestowed on him. However, Kitch was still left out in the cold…”

The following Letter to the Editor, which calls for bestowing the nation’s highest honour on Lord Kitchener, was submitted to Wired868 by Louis W Williams of St Augustine:

Photo: Aldwyn Roberts, the ‘Lord Kitchener’, performs in England in 1951.

April 18, 2022 marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Aldwyn Roberts (aka Lord Kitchener or Kitch or the Grandmaster).

Kitch is deserving of our nation’s highest accolade, the Order of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago (ORTT).

Bestowing the ORTT on Kitch posthumously this year would indeed be a fitting tribute with which the nation can show its sincere appreciation and thanks for the sterling contribution Kitch has made to the cultural landscape.

I do not intend to adumbrate Kitch’s numerous impressive achievements. I am confident that the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians’ Association (TUCO) will do so when it nominates Kitch for the ORTT this year.

Suffice it to say that, apart from being a genius of a calypsonian (as his numerous Road March titles and virtual Panorama musical test pieces attest), he was quite an entrepreneur as well, as evident from his very successful Revue Calypso Tent.

Photo: Calypso icon Aldwyn ‘Lord Kitchener’ Roberts.
(Copyright TNT Island)

Moreover, the impact of Kitch’s music on attracting tourists to our shores for Carnival in his heyday as well as the spawning of Trinbago-style carnivals around the globe is beyond question.

Kitch gave so willingly of his time and talent. He took so many young and aspiring calypsonians under his wing. Having benefited from his mentorship, many such individuals have gone on to have successful careers in the field of music.

In this regard, we all can no doubt recall Scrunter’s 1982 selection, ‘The Will’, which so epitomises the impact of Kitch’s mentorship on the lives of his mentees/protégés.

In 1993, for very spurious reasons which do not bear repeating, Kitch and Sparrow were denied the nation’s then highest national award, the Trinity Cross, although both were clearly deserving of the honour. They were both offered the Chaconia Medal (Gold), which Kitch refused—having regard to the aspersions cast on his character, among other things.

Understandably, Kitch was emotionally hurt and angered by this sordid affair and reacted in the manner that he did.

Photo: Late Harvard cricket coach Lenny Kirton (left) and iconic calypsonian and Road March Grandmaster Aldwyn ‘Lord Kitchener’ Roberts.

Thankfully, when the UNC-led administration was in office during the 2010 to 2015 period, the situation was rectified with respect to Sparrow, and the ORTT was bestowed on him. However, Kitch was still left out in the cold.

It could not have been because of his earlier refusal of the Chaconia Medal (Gold), as Makandal Daaga had done the same thing, and subsequently had the ORTT bestowed on him when the same administration was in office.

It also could not have been because Kitch died in the year, 2000, as Mr Adrian Cola Reinzi died in 1972 and he was deservedly awarded the ORTT, which was collected by his son in 2012.

It has been said that politics has a morality of its own.

We cannot change what happened in the past but we can certainly seek to rectify the grave injustice that was perpetrated against the Grandmaster by bestowing on him, albeit belatedly, the ORTT.

May God forgive us and bless our nation.

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2 comments

  1. It is long overdue!