The family of the late calypso icon, Rupert “Mighty Swallow” Philo, fulfilled one of his dying wishes when they presented new steel drums to the Nelvie N. Gore Primary School in Willikies.
Family member, Randy Baltimore, said the instruments were purchased by Philo in Trinidad before his death in September, 2020, but due to his poor health at the time, the presentation was delayed.
Two years later, Sir Rupert’s family is fulfilling the calypso master’s final wishes.
“The pans constitute all the pieces needed to start a full steel band with the various drums and a drum set.
“The pans have been in Antigua for some time, and we lost some because they were exposed to the elements,” Baltimore explained, adding that the pans were cleaned up ahead of the presentation to the school.
Attending the handing over ceremony were MP for St. Phillip’s North, Sir Robin Yearwood, Senator Shawn Nicholas, Nelvie N. Gore Primary School alumnus, Ministry of Education representative, Marion Byron, members of the Philo family and well-wishers.
Vernon “Solo” Benjamin, a managing member of Swallow’s Calypso Pepperpot which was founded by Sir Rupert, represented the calypso fraternity at the presentation.
Principal of the school, Allison Spencer, accepted the steel drums on behalf of the school.