From Halcyon Steel Orchestra Antigua
By Mr. Baldwin Spencer, Former Prime Minister, Antigua and Barbuda
Funeral Rites, 20th November 2019
It was the Nobel Playwright William Shakespeare who penned these profound lines in one of his masterpieces, “All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely players; they have their exits and their entrances and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages.”
Patrick “Baylay” Worrell, the man who we eulogize and pay homage to, came onto the world stage many moons ago, played his many parts well and has now taken his final exit. Whether it involved playing the greatest musical instrument ever invented, the Steelpan; mastering the tuning of said instrument or spreading the virtues of what the steelpan meant not only to Trinidad, the Caribbean but indeed the world, Patrick Worrell, in his time and in his unassuming, unflappable style and serious mannerism, made an indelible imprint on the steelband movement.
Antigua/Barbuda and in particular the Halcyon Steel Orchestra, which hails from the Grays/Green Community in Antigua and often derogatorily referred to as the “Mud” and the Ghetto, for over two (2) decades from 1986’s to 2006 benefitted from and was inspired by the work of this phenomenal personality, Patrick Worrell, who spent countless hours, not only tuning instruments for Halcyon Steel Orchestra, which he did exemplarity, but also providing guidance, support and advise for the overall enhancement of Halcyon Steel.
His contribution to Halcyon Steel over the years and even when he was no longer coming to Antigua, cannot be gain said. For this, the Gray’s Green community and indeed the Halcyon Steel fraternity will be forever grateful.
Patrick Worell was very much part of the history-making era of the Halcyon Steel Orchestra. He contributed in no small manner in making Halcyon Steel the “winningest” Panorama
Champion Steelband in Antigua during his tenure. Even more importantly, he created history in the Steelband Fraternity worldwide when, together with renowned Pannist Victor “Babu” Samuel as Musical Arranger, piloted Halcyon Steel, winning 6 Panorama including history-making Four-Peat Panorama Championship 1992 to 1995. It is a feat never-before achieved in Antigua and Barbuda and indeed quite rare, I have been told, in the wider steelband community. And just to state for the record, in its 48 year-history Halcyon Steel has won the Panorama championship in Antigua 16 times, two of which were done with the legendary arranger and native son Len “Boogsie” Sharpe, at the helm in 1978 and 1979. This was well before he won his first championship in Trinidad and Tobago in 1987.
As we pay our last respects to one of the faithful and pioneering sons of the Steelband fraternity, Halcyon Steel was pleased to be part of his send off, recognizing that without Patrick’s contribution Halcyon Steel might not have accomplished what it did the during the period 1986 to 2006.
To the family of Patrick Worrell and to the Steelband fraternity in Trinidad & Tobago, the Halcyon Steel Orchestra on its own behalf and that of the Steelband fraternity in Antigua/Barbuda, extend our sincerest condolences.
May his soul rest in peace with and among his ancestors.