The Virgin Islands’ Carnival Committee mourns the loss of our beloved Chairman, Kenneth Blake, Sr. aka “Lord Blakie”. Chairman Blake worked at what he loved most, which is the love of his culture and the people of the Virgin Islands.
As Chairman Blake traveled across the calypso pathways, he planted seeds that he knew would later spring up into trees upon which generations to come would climb and be nourished with tasty fruit. Seeds, such as the infamous song "Card Proof" and others are mirrors of measured lines, apt melodies, and above all, properly pronounced lyrics that underscored our search for identity and brought laughter to many. He not only composed for himself, but he helped others to flourish. Being a Cultural Pioneer and mentor in his journey, he replanted the seeds of hundreds of calypsos for many calypsonians. He simply loved entertaining and making people laugh.
At one point, he called on Governor Charles W. Turnbull in the crowd at the annual Heineken Calypso Revue where the activities include lyrical jousting, hip swinging, knee slapping and lots of hand and flag waving. The Governor had left his seat, so Blakie launched into his lyric citing the Virgin Islands Code on how the committee should disclose its spending. As he performed extemporaneously on the right side of the stage, the Governor entered the stage on the left and stood beside him. When Blake swung around, there was the Governor, smiling at him. Blake finished his lines, then shook the Governor's hand. Governor Turnbull snapped a salute and exited the stage.
Chairman Blake contributed immensely to the world of calypso and calypso music. "The words that we rhyme and sing, is only half the thing. I could tell you that calypso is more than a work of art. It is a feeling which comes from deep within; a tale of joy or one of suffering. It's an editorial in song of the life that we undergo; that and only that is true Calypso." - Mighty Duke
If we appreciated his life, let us all honor his contributions and strive to bring the art form to the children by opening a music school with the calypso genre for children. Exposing the youths of the U.S. Virgin Islands to this musical art form was close to his heart.
As he entered the doors of church faithfully every Sunday morning and received Jesus as his personal Lord and Savior, he kept reiterating to those close to him, and anyone with an ear to hear: “To forgive”; “Don’t worry about that.”; “God is too good”. We can therefore confirm that he is with God. He used to say, “I was born, a son, called a Lord, and made a Calypso King of the World in 1971. We can now complete the sentence as follows: “I was born, a son, called a Lord, made a Calypso King of the World in 1971, and died the son of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.”
His love for calypso and love for God coincided as he sang his last song on earth which he will continue in Heaven. May the angels lead him to Abraham's bosom. May God, who has summoned him from this earth, grant him his eternal reward in heaven, where, I am sure, he will continue to compose and sing hymns of praise to his creator. Farewell my brother. The committee is saddened, but we are strengthened by the words of Charles Dickens: "The pain of parting is nothing compared with the joy of meeting again." We thank and salute you, Chairman Kenneth “Lord Blakie” Blake, the Cultural Pioneer.