On Tuesday we celebrated the life of Colin Benjamin, who passed away on November 8th in Toronto.
The Caribbean Camera spent the day with Colin’s family and friends, first at the viewing where members of the community gathered to pay their respects to Colin’s wife Iscenty, his children and grandchildren. That was followed by a private funeral, which was live-streamed just ahead of “a celebration of life” at Tropical Nights restaurant.
There was good food good, good cheer and great entertainment featuring some of the top calypsonians in Toronto. Performances by Susan G, Structure, Connector, Rodger Gibbs and Macomere Fifi celebrated a man who had done so much for calypso in this country, and as expected they all came with their A game to send Colin on his way “calypso style.”
Speeches were made by distinguished members of the community – Angela Pierre, Rita Cox, Herbert Boland, and Colin’s brother Leroy Benjamin. They spoke of a friend, a man that they could depend on, and one who “had their backs.”
Several calypsonians spoke about their trips to England on which he not only accompanied them, but showed them around a country with which he was quite familiar. He was the perfect tour guide.
They praised Colin for introducing them to life on the big stage and spoke of his devotion to his family and the community. He was tireless and a willing supporter when called upon. And it seemed that nothing was beyond his interest or capability; from supporting a local daycare to the Calypso Performing Arts Organization, an organization he nurtured when the organization fell on hard times.
They all agreed that Colin was a special breed, hard to replace. He will not be soon forgotten.