Former carnival bandleader dies in Mississauga at 81


Arnold A. Hughes

Former Toronto carnival bandleader, Arnold A. Hughes, died at the Credit Valley hospital in Mississauga on Thursday. He was  81.

Hughes whose mas’ presentations won “band of the year ” twice at the Toronto Caribbean carnival, was taken to hospital last week after he fell at his home and suffered a head injury.

Kathleen Noel, his daughter, told The Caribbean Camera that he was first taken to the Etobicoke General hospital on Sunday April 19 last for treatment and discharged the following day.

But on Wednesday last he was rushed to hospital in Mississauga where he was found to have “massive  bleeding of the brain” and  he “slipped into a coma,” she said.

Hughes started playing mas’ in Marabella in his native Trinidad and was described by many in  Toronto’s mas’ making community as a talented carnival artist.

Before migrating to Canada in 1969, he worked in Trinidad and in several islands in the Caribbean as an instrument technician.

For many years he worked with a Toronto company as a shipper/receiver.

Mas’ aficionados recalled that his first carnival band in Toronto was launched in 1987.

Apart from mas’ and steelband music, Hughes had a keen interest in hockey and soccer, his friends recall.

Hughes was the husband of  the late Jean (nee Jack) who died in 2008, and the father of Stephen, Kathleen, David, Andrew and Sheryl. He was the grandfather of 17.

A funeral service for the late Arnold A. Hughes was held on Tuesday at St. John’s Dixie Cemetery & Crematorium in Mississauga.