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Friday, 10 June 2011

Wayne Berkeley dies

Masman Wayne Berkeley passed away at 7.35 pm last night at his Clifford Street, Belmont, home.
Berkeley, 70, suffered a stroke to his right side two weeks ago and was taken to the St Clair Medical Clinic. He was discharged six days ago. According to his brother, Oswald, his condition was not improving. As a result, Oswald who lives in Hamilton, Ontario, flew in on Monday to be with him. Berkeley is survived by two other brothers—Claetus who lives in Chaguanas, and Eldon, who also lives next door at Clifford Street. Funeral arrangements are tentatively set for Tuesday. In 2000 Berkeley also suffered a stroke on his right side (his “writing/drawing” side).
Berkeley won nine Band of the Year titles and produced 18 mas bands. In 1974 he was awarded the Humming Bird Gold Medal for his contribution to the development of Carnival. Berkeley first attracted national attention in 1965 when he designed the costume for the winner of the then Jaycee’s Carnival Queen contest. It was in 1973,  as leader of a large band, he burst onto the scene with the first of his nine winning Band of the Year productions, “Secrets of the Sky” (along with Bobby Ammon). His other eight winning productions—from a total of 18 bands, spanning 1973 to 1997, were in 1974, 1980, then six consecutive victories from 1989 to 1994, surpassing George Bailey’s beaver trick from 1959-1963. He placed second on five occasions and third on three. In 1998, he designed yet another winner “Amaranth—The Secret Garden”, this time for bandleader Earl Patterson.

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