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Local music icon passes at 95

Local music icon passes at 95


One of St Vincent and the Grenadines’ most versatile and talented musicians has passed away — almost two weeks after celebrating his 95th birthday.

After a brief illness, Leopold Anthony passed away at 12:20 a.m. on Monday, September 26, at the Clare Valley residence of his daughter Angie Anthony.

Born in Troumaca on September 15, 1921, Anthony is widely regarded as a man of “tremendous talent” — having been a top scholar at the St Vincent Grammar School (1933 – 1938), a farmer, a member of several music bands in SVG and abroad, and eventually retiring in 1975 as head teacher of the Troumaca Government School.{{more}}

However, it was his musical ability that propelled him to national and international acclaim — he having performed music across a wide range of genres, including calypso, reggae, local folk song and classical.

In a feature published in the 2008 SVGS Centenary Magazine (‘In the footsteps of those who came before…’), Mr Anthony was described as a “jovial and quick-witted 86-year-old,” who commanded a wide range of musical instruments — including the violin, guitar, quattro, saxophone, piano, flute and drums.

In the feature, he was quoted as having said: “Music turns people on and I like to turn people on! I like to see people get crazy for the music I play.”

And not only did his prowess extend to music, he was also well-versed in the languages — fluent in Spanish, French, Dutch and Papiamento.

In 1980, the Government honoured the musical icon for his contributions to the music arts by issuing a postage stamp in his likeness.

Anthony is survived by 11 children (seven daughters and fours sons) and several grandchildren.

Some of his children include director of Planning Laura Anthony-Browne, former chair of the National Sports Council Jules Anthony, veteran journalist William ‘Kojah’ Anthony, educator and musician Linda Allen and senior civil servant in the Ministry of Finance Deidre Anthony.

Laura Anthony-Browne relayed to SEARCHLIGHT that the day before his death, her father had been visited by members of the Troumaca Methodist Church and was in very good spirits, despite his illness.

“Everyone thought that he was on yet another bounce back,” she explained.

“Around midnight, Angie said that he was breathing faster than normal.”

Anthony-Browne and her daughter rushed to his bedside; however, upon arrival, he had already passed on.

A funeral service for the late Leopold Anthony will be held on Saturday, October 1 at the Kingstown Methodist Church.

SEARCHLIGHT expresses deep condolences to his family and friends. Although his death is a loss, his memory will continue to live on through his music.