Arrow, whose real name was Alphonsus Celestine Edmund Cassell, died on Wednesday 15 September, at his home in Montserrat, after a year-long battle with cancer. He was 60 at the time of his passing.
The service will take place at the Montserrat Cultural Centre, in Little Bay, located in the safe zone of the island’s northern portion.
Though his service has not been designated “an official funeral” by the island government, many are anticipating that it will have all the trappings of a funeral for royalty. Arrow was perhaps one of the most well known and beloved citizens of the 39.5 square mile British colony, situated in the Northern Leeward Islands, between Nevis and Guadeloupe.
Scores of calypsonians from other Caribbean countries, including Trinidad & Tobago, Antigua, St. Kitts and Dominica, have already confirmed that they will be making the journey to the Emerald Isle, to pay their last respects. Included among them are Antigua’s King Short Shirt and Trinidad’s Mighty Gypsy, who is also the current Minister of Culture of that country.
The people of Montserrat and the many visiting for the occasion will have the opportunity to view Arrow’s body, which will lie in state, allowing everyone to bid farewell. He will then be laid to rest at his home in lime Kiln Bay.
Since his death, tributes have been pouring in from individuals, governments and organizations throughout the Caribbean and further afield.
The Caribbean Tourism Organization, in its tribute, described Arrow as an icon of the entertainment industry. CTO said that Arrow was a trailblazer, a visionary, a leader, and a Caribbean ambassador.
The Mighty Sparrow, while expressing sorrow over Arrow’s passing, described the Montserratian, as the “Bob Marley of Soca”.
Arrow eventually succumbed to pneumonia, developed recently as a complication from his brain tumor, the source of his cancer.
Arrow shot to international stardom in 1982 when he released his hit tune, Hot, Hot, Hot, which went on to become the biggest soca song ever known to the calypso industry.