Chris Gibbs is honoured by the Barbados people

Gibbs’ brother Roger Gibbs is a well-known calypso musician in Toronto

 By Stephen Weir

Chris Gibbs

It is only fitting that news about a recent honour bestowed upon Barbados’ Chris Gibbs should come to people from the words of calypso great The Mighty Gabby (Anthony Carter). On November 30th when his friend received the Order of the Republic from the Barbados government he wrote a poem in his honour.

“Chris received an honour

That was Long Overdue!

Our Country’s Highest Honour

Most Honorable Chris Gibbs

I am so Proud of you”

Chris Gibbs is a name that has become legend in Barbados. A champion swimmer, Gibbs once swam the English Channel, just to say he could do it.  He is also the founder of the island’s most successful band.

He is a founding member, bassist, and a vocalist with the very popular Caribbean calypso band the Merrymen, having a five-decade long

The Merrymen

career as a professional musician.

The Gibbs name resonates in musical circles here in Toronto too.  His younger brother, Roger Gibbs, lives in the city and is a calypso singer, writer and performs in the group Shak Shak. He is also a member of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes, and a past board member of the Toronto Caribbean Carnival.

“It is with immense pride I share with you the news that my oldest brother Chris has been awarded the Order of the Republic”, Roger Gibbs told the Caribbean Camera. “for his lifetime achievements as an athlete and entertainer.”

“As the oldest of five boys (sister Judy was the oldest), Chris has always been someone we looked up to and tried to emulate,” said brother Roger “We all attended the same high school; Chris was a champion swimmer and captain of the water polo team. He went on to win many national and regional marathon races and represent Barbados numerous times at the Pan-American

Barbados Water Polo Champions (1964)


Mighty Gabby writes that the award is long overdue, and he may be right. The title was presented at a devastatingly sad time for the Gibbs family, due to recent loss of his wife of 52 years, Lawrie.