King of the 29 Fellows Given Final Honours

He never actually won a crown, but just by his charismatic and always-engaging personality, calypso fans here loved and admired him and treated him like royalty, especially during the calypso tents at carnival time in December.

As a mark of respect therefore, crowds of fans and family members turned out for his funeral service and burial Tuesday afternoon, with tributes flowing from his fellow calypsonians and loved ones.

The King would have greatly appreciated the wonderful tribute in song, delivered by a group of calypsonians, led by the veteran, Pharaoh, who touched the congregation of mourners, present at the service held at the Rivers of Living Christian Centre, Lime Kiln Basseterre.King_of_the_29_fellows_2

Many could have been heard reflecting on the years of entertainment and fun provided by “De King”, as fans called him since that day back in the mid1970s when he went to register for his first calypso contest.  They debated which of his many songs their favourites were but only to come to the conclusion, that such a decision, to settle on just one song, was impossible, because of the classics produced by the former resident of Keys Village.

No one is yet certain why, at a very late age, Alfred Doyling decided to enter the calypso arena. He was not even aware that he had to register and he was equally ignorant of the requirement to have a special calypso name, by which he should be called.

Thus, upon entering the Carnival Office back in the 1970s, Doyling told the carnival officials that he had no name but he asked how many other calypsonians had already registered, and when he was told 29, he simply told them, well I am the king of them all, thus my name is “King of the 29 Fellows. And so it became, and so he was known throughout his life as a calypsonian.

King_of_the_29_Fellows_3His performances with Ellie Matt, Grand Masters and other popular calypso bands at carnival time, will always be remembered, especially for his unique lyrics, controversial topics and graceful but almost motionless gyrations on the stage.

Doyling was eulogized by family member Renisha Dias who traced and highlighted some of the fond memories and moments of his life.

Included amongst those he leaves to mourn his loss are his only two off springs, Hyacinth Dias and Cedric Dias, 24 Grand Children, 53, Great Grand Children, 12 great, Great, Grand Children and 2 Great, Great, Great, Grand Children.

Doyling died on 24th April, 2012, the same day on which another popular calypsonian, Singing Angie also died suddenly.

He was 95 years old, just days away from his 96th birthday which would have been on 10th May, having been born on 10th May, 1916, the same year and month of former Premier Robert Bradshaw, whom he once praised in one of his better known and popular calypso renditions.

 


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