Arrow whose real name was Alphonsus Cassell, died at his home in Montserrat on Wednesday 15th September, 2010, after an 18 month battle with pancreatic cancer.
Practically the entire 4,000 population of the 39.5 square mile and volcano ravaged British colony, made the pilgrimage to the island’s Cultural Centre in Little Bay, to pay their last respects to the man who gave so much for his island and the Caribbean generally.
Ironically today in Montserrat turned out to be one of the hottest days so far this year, but that did not prevent the large gathering of the faithful who wanted to get their last glimpse of the 60 year calypsonian, who came to international stardom in 1982, following the huge success of his hit tune, Hot, Hot, Hot.
Calypsonians from Trinidad, St. Kitts, Antigua, Anguilla, St. Maarten, Dominica and many other regional states, travelled to the Emerald Isle to attend the funeral. The vast congregation also included the Cabinet of the island’s government, the Governor, business leaders, school children and members of various community organizations.
Following the service at the Cultural Centre, the body of Arrow, along with a small group of mainly family members and very close friends, then made their way to Arrow’s home in Lime Kiln, the site of the singer’s final resting place.
Many charter flights with Arrow’s extended family, friends, the media and fans from all parts of the world, became a frequent spectacle at the small airport, situated in the northern part of the island. Numerous boat charters with musicians and artistes also made the trip across to the Montserrat.
The service was carried live on regional radio stations, including St. Kitts and Antigua. It was also beamed live on ABS Television in Antigua.
Arrow leaves to mourn three children; two daughters and a son.