The town of Layou took on a Carnival-like atmosphere last Monday as residents danced in the streets to welcome home one of their own, Dr Alston ‘Becket’ Cyrus, the recipient of an honorary doctorate from The University of the West Indies.
When the motorcade that had travelled from the Argyle International Airport (AIA) arrived at the west coast town, the dozens of waiting residents danced for over an hour to hit after hit from Becket’s vast repertoire, recorded over his almost 50-year career.
Orando Brewster, parliamentary representative for Central Leeward, which includes Layou, congratulated Becket and welcomed him home.
“I want to congratulate my good friend, my family,” Brewster said, adding that Layou was proud of Becket.
“Our very own, our very own home boy. On behalf of myself, my family, those who are here, abroad, on behalf of the constituency of Central Leeward, Alston Becket Cyrus, the Doc, we love you, we are proud of you,” he said.
Becket, before singing hits like “I Love to Party”, “Teaser”, “Nanny Revival” and “Tone Up” thanked Vincentians for the welcome he had been accorded.
“I want to thank everybody for showing me such a wonderful time today. Today was the icing on the cake. From the airport, all the way to Layou and I am truly grateful to all who have helped me to get this far,” the veteran soca artiste said.
On Saturday, October 8, Becket, arguably one of the Caribbean’s most celebrated calypsonians added the title of Doctor of Letters (D-Litt) to his extensive collection of awards and accolades.
He received the honorary doctorate at a ceremony in Antigua and Barbuda hosted by The University of the West Indies Five Island Campus in recognition of his contribution as a soca artiste and composer.
On his return to St Vincent and the Grenadines on Monday, he was greeted by representatives of the Ministry of Culture and partners of the local entertainment sector.
There were speeches by the CEO of the Carnival Development Corporation (CDC), Ashford Wood; former Minister of Culture, René Baptiste; President of the Calypsonian Association, Earl ‘Cabba’ Bennett; Minister of the Public Service, Consumer Affairs & Sports, Frederick Stephenson and Cultural Officer, Maxine Browne.