Time to pay attention to appropriate honours
Julian “Pilling” Pollard
June 18, 2024

Time to pay attention to appropriate honours

The sudden passing of cultural icon Julian “Pilling” Pollard has, quite naturally evoked an outpouring of grief and a flood of tribute to the legacy of the late artistic giant. The passing was even more poignant as it came as the 2024 Carnival season begins to move into high gear.

The ancient Greeks used to speak of their “pantheon of the gods”; we have our own pantheon of the departed in the fields of culture, the arts and entertainment. “Pilling” has joined a band in which he was preceded by Winston Soso and “Lexie” Joseph in the kaiso field; Mas giants of the calibre of Roy Ralph, “Sheggy” John, “Scully” Hunte and Ms. Sylvia Wilson-DaSilva; pan builder and tuner “T-Man”; and entertainer “Randy” Dopwell to name a few.

Now that he has passed, we run the risk that the glowing tributes will also pass, so how are we to cherish and nurture the memories? Over the years this paper has time and again raised this issue. We have made suggestions ranging from an appropriate honouring system to a local Hall of Fame expanded to include outstanding contributors in other fields such as sport (Rudy Boucher, “Babs” Jones and F.O. Mason). When are we to go past this emotive “now-for- now” approach?

The problem goes deeper than that. As time progresses our lack of proper record collection leaves us in a situation where it becomes difficult to properly record and assess the tremendous contributions of our early nation-builders, especially in such fields as sport and culture. People will remember the late John Horne as a former Minister of Government but his contribution in that field is dwarfed by what he contributed to the arts and sport.

We are now not just a developing nation but a nation which is attracting more and more international attention, we must begin to behave in a way that can assist in this growth in international stature. A Hall of Fame with the appropriate mechanisms will not only greatly assist in this direction, it will also leave a legacy for future generations, Just as our petroglyphs remain important markers of our development, so too must our historic achievements in the fields of culture and sports have important milestones and guidelines for the future.

Can we not let “Pilling’s” passing nudge us in that direction? Surely, it is more than time to lift our game.