April 17, 2009
Starlift gives ‘Sardo’ honourable membership

The name Errol “Sardo” Sutherland has been also associated with the Starlift Steel Orchestra, and as one of the foundation members of the band, he became the first recipient of the “Honourable Member” award at a Recognition and Awards Ceremony held on Saturday, April 4, at the Red Cross Headquarters in Kingstown.{{more}}

Sutherland, who has been with the band since its inception in 1967, was lost for words on the occasion, as it was totally unexpected, and tersely said “Thanks”, when called upon to respond to his accolade.

Considered a fulcrum of the band for the past 42 years, another long standing member Garth Williams described Sutherland’s passion for excellence in the organisation as second to none.

Williams spoke of Sutherland’s precocious nature, as he always has a vision of what the band will look like a year before the annual Panorama competition comes around.

Williams credited Sutherland for being one of the persons who initiated the formation of the umbrella pan body, the Youlou Pan Movement, and the timely payment of monies to pan sides, after Carnival celebrations by the then Carnival Development Committee (CDC).

Starlift, one of the oldest cultural entities in the land, whose Motto is “Men will come; men may go; but Starlift remains”, also paid recognition to their existing sponsors.

Among those are Cable & Wireless (LIME), Fast Foto, Gonsalves Liquors, Vinci Clean, and Sea Operations.

The in house recognitions saw Utamo Rose, recently installed as captain of the Starlift Junior Band, named the Most Improved Player, and Ynolde Roberts, the Most Consistent Player. Dubbed “steelband’s best female bass player in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Roberts has been a member of Starlift for 29 years.

Former parliamentarian John Horne, who describes himself as “an unrepentant supporter of quality, class commitment and dedication,” hence his association with the band, and businessman Lennox “Becks” Gonsalves, who was unavoidably absent, were also given special recognition.

Onika Morgan of the Youlou Pan Movement, captain of Starlift’s senior band Kingsley “Hero” Roberts, Horne, and Opposition Senator St. Clair Leacock, gave brief remarks at the ceremony.

Sutherland, who gave some remarks prior to his award, wants to see the band acquire its own home as a crowning moment. (RT)