Former secretary of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes dies at 87

Arlayne Margaret Shepherd

Arlayne Margaret  Shepherd  (nee Walker), a former secretary of the Organization of Calypso Performing Artistes (OCPA) who was well known in mas’ making circles in Toronto’s Caribbean community, died on Saturday. She was 87.

Carnival aficionados recall that she sewed costumes for the first Caribana parade in 1967 and played mas’ that year.

Calypsonian Cosmos (Henry Gomez)  said that  Shepherd  who was born in Canada, was ” a  dedicated  community person  with a  passion for calypso, carnival and the Trini way of life”

“Considering her many visits to Trinidad and Tobago, she could be regarded as a Trini as well,” he  added.

Shepherd  who was an office administrator, became a member of OCPA in 1984, and served two terms as secretary of the organization. Her late husband, Preston, after whom a scholarship is named, served as Chairman of OCPA.

She was predeceased by her son, Bryan, and husband, Preston.

She is survived by her daughter, Jan McCusker, grand-children Kylie and Keegan McKusker, and life partner, Leslie Carabon ( Calypsonian De Carra).

A Celebration of Life service will be held for Arlayne  Shepherd  on Sunday at Pine Hills Chapel, 625 Birchmount Avenue (north of Saint Clair Avenue East).

She will be interred at the Pine Hills Cemetery.