Local popular entertainer Edwin Yearwood was the toast of his alma mater, Parkinson Memorial Secondary School, this morning, when students and staff there surprised him with a tribute.
Music teacher Randy Eastmond told Barbados TODAY that the idea came from the school’s group Sing Up Sing Out, which came out of a vocal training programme initiated at the institution.
He said during a brainstorming session while they were preparing for the school’s annual Independence concert, the students thought it would be a good idea to honour Edwin, one of the most famous Parkinson alums.
Principal Orson Alleyne during his tribute to the soca singer said: “It is not every day that we meet and I am pleased to acknowledge one of our own. Edwin would have sat here in this hall and just like you would have enjoyed the performances of other students, but then he would have aspired in himself to do even greater things.
“[W]e, not just in Barbados but throughout the world are now privileged to enjoy the wonderful music. Today we want to acknowledge you as a son of the Parkinson School, but beyond that a son of the world, a person who has made considerable contribution to the development of music but especially to the development of culture in Barbados,” said Alleyne.
An overwhelmed Edwin told students the honour came as a surprise to him, even as he accepted a plaque from drummer in the school band, Matthew Trotman.
“I wasn’t expecting this. Everywhere I go in the world, Parkinson comes first, regardless. When you leave here, when you get out of school, make sure nobody disrespects your school. When I was growing up in this school, every other school was disrespecting Parkinson wherever I went. Do not let nobody disrespect Parkinson Secondary School. I want to thank you very, very much, this was a surprise.”
The singer who had returned to Barbados just a day ago, revealed he would be leaving the island again shortly. Moments before the school band and Sing Up Sing Out had delivered a rousing performance of Voice In My Head, led by Akhnaten Burrowes and Naciah Brathwaite.
While Edwin made his exit, the talent of the school continued and several students, including fellow alumni Alff Padmore, made presentations in song, drama and poetry.
There were also appearances from noted performers Mikey, Blood, Omar McQuilkin to name a few. (LB)