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Former calypso, road march monarch dies

Former calypso, road march monarch dies

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An autopsy report today — Tuesday — is expected to give the official cause of death of former calypso and road march monarch Quintyn “Mighty Toiler” Toby, 73, as rumours say he committed suicide.{{more}}

“It’s a nasty rumour. It’s not true,” Joan Browne, who has been Toby’s common law wife for 30 years, told SEARCHLIGHT yesterday.

“He didn’t kill himself. He was too weak; he was too frail,” she said in response to talk that the 1974 and ‘77 double champion hung himself at his Campden Park home.

Browne said that despite his deteriorating health due to kidney failure, Toby was still a sociable person, who was still active and loved to discuss politics with his friends.

Browne found the father of eight lying on his bed sometime after midday on Saturday, shortly after she had returned from Kingstown on errands.

She said she had last seen him Thursday night.

“I left him on the porch sitting, when I turned in for the night.

“Then, on Friday, I had an appointment at the hospital, so I left early in the morning.

“When I returned I heard his radio on in his room, and when I was on the porch, I heard his voice in his room. He was on the phone.”

Browne said that through an adjoining door, she saw the light on in Toby’s room, which was on all night.

The next day, Brown said that she and her daughter headed into the city, and returned home around lunchtime.

“We heated some food and were sitting on the porch, and his fan and radio were on,” she recalled.

“I had this strange feeling and looked through his bedroom window from the porch, but didn’t see him … I went into his room from the adjoining door, and he was lying on his bed on his back at an angle.”

She said that his bedroom light was still on, so was his radio and fan.

Meanwhile, Ashford Wood, chief executive officer of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC) said in a release yesterday that the corporation was saddened by Toby’s passing.

The release said Toby first made his mark on the calypso art-form in 1965, by winning the Mr Calypso title with his song “Food in Abundance”.

In 1974, he won the calypso and road march titles with his renditions “Me Neighbour” and “De Puppy”, a feat he repeated in 1977 with “Caribbean Community” and “CDC Killing We”.

The release stated that Toby performed across the Caribbean and internationally, and was honoured in 2005 with the Sunshine Award in the United States, for contribution to music in the region.

“On behalf of the entire Carnival fraternity, including the St Vincent and the Grenadines Calypso Association Inc, the CDC takes this opportunity to once again recognize the tremendous contribution and commitment demonstrated by the Mighty Toiler for over four decades to the calypso art form,” the release further said.

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