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The Mighty Terror is Remembered

Members of the Calypso Fraternity
Members of the Calypso Fraternity Reporters
Event Date: March 19, 2007
Posted: March 21, 2007

The late, great Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry 
The late, great Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry 
The funeral of the late Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry took place on Monday 19th March, 2007, at the Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral in front of family and friends, including those from the Calypso community. The funeral, which began at half past nine, celebrated the contribution of this notable Calypsonian who succumbed to his long battle with cancer on March 14, 2007, at the age of eighty-six. He was born on January 13, 1920. Canon Dean Knolly Clarke conducted the service under Anglican rites and the eulogists were Mr. Clifton 'Mighty Bomber' Ryan, Publisher Director of COTT, Mr. Alvin Daniell, and TUCO President, Mr. Michael Legerton.

On that quiet Monday morning, many had come to the cathedral to mourn the passing of Mighty Terror, but more than that, they had come to celebrate his life work and his many achievements.

Among the people who attended the funeral service were the Minister of Community Development, Culture and Gender Affairs, Senator the Honourable Joan Yuille-Williams, Mr. Makandal Daaga, Mr. Eddie Grant, Mr. Mark 'Contender' John and Mr. Winston 'De Original "De Fosto" Himself' Scarborough, just to name a few. Some of them gave brief interviews with, expressing what they felt about Mighty Terror's passing and the voluminous work that he had done.

The first to present his eulogy, Mr. Clifton 'Mighty Bomber' Ryan said that Mighty Terror, the man with the golden voice, was his friend and that he was saddened by his passing. He prayed that he rests in peace and bid him goodbye.

Mr. Alvin Daniell on behalf of COTT also reflected on the life and career of the Mighty Terror in his eulogy. He began by stating, "Fitzgerald Cornelius Henry, was born on January 13, 1920. More importantly, blessed with a rich baritone voice, the creativity to compose and an imposing stage presence, he was born to sing Calypso." Mr. Daniell very descriptively highlighted the contribution of Mighty Terror and analyzed this history as well as his status as an icon. He also mentioned, "Terror had a fetish for composing tunes for the Pan as evidenced by his many compositions in that vein, such as 'Pan Talent', 'Steelband Jamboree' , 'Pan in Tune', 'Sugar for Pan', 'A Tribute to Solo Harmonites' and 'Chinee Panorama'."

TUCO president, Mr. Michael Leggerton also shared a few words with the audience about the late Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry. He spoke directly to Mighty Terror because he believed that he was listening. He expressed to "Big T" as he was lovingly called by him, that he is missed by Calypsonians the world over. He confessed that although they have had disagreements, they would always solve them by having discussions. He ensured him (Mighty Terror) as well as the rest of the gathering as president of TUCO, that he would do his best to continue to honour his legend. He ended by singing a Calypso in tribute to Mighty Terror:
"Go enjoy yuh self up there,
Yuh have no reason to stay with us down here.
Kitch and Pretender, they waiting...
Bradley will conduct the orchestra...
From now till resurrection morning."
After Robert 'Mighty Trini' Elias' did a reading from the Bible, Canon Dean Knolly Clarke conducted his homily. He thanked TUCO, COTT and the family of the late Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry for giving him the opportunity to celebrate the life of the Calypso legend. He expressed that Mighty Terror had contributed magnificently to the development of Calypso and Pan as well as the general culture of Trinidad and Tobago and the world over. He affirmed that Mighty Terror is indeed an icon and must be remembered for his work. 'Icon' was used in the religious sense of the word meaning one who was given gifts by God and who used these gifts in the interest of, and for the betterment of God's people. This definition, according to Canon Dean Knolly Clarke, is clearly defined and used by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and is quite legitimate when describing Mighty Terror.

He also spoke of Mighty Terror's contribution to Pan which helped it to become the excellent instrument that it is. This excellence was exemplified by Pannist Len "Boogsie" Sharpe who played 'A Bosom Friend' quite wonderfully during the service.

Clarke also stated that Mighty Terror called for an ethical approach to the art form and challenged Calypsonians to be careful about what they sang. Some songs in which he did so included 'My Suggestion' (1977):
"Too much smut in the Calypso.
That is a bad blow.
The more we keep away from vulgarity.
And think of a decent community
We would be better off socially."
and 'Keep Calypso Clean':
"We can make songs much cleaner
And we can still be jocular
Forever and ever
Children growing day by day
Repeating everything we say
So let's keep Calypsos the clean way..."
Cannon Dean Knolly Clarke also called for the unity and solidarity of Calypsonians in Trinidad and Tobago. He said that there was no use for them coming to say goodbye to an icon and leave the fellowship at the funeral to backbite and hate, which he understood had increased following the results of Dimanche Gras 2007. He demanded that the Calypsonians have fraternal relationships and honour the memory of Mighty Terror.

Lastly, Canon Clarke intimated that although we miss Mighty Terror, God had called him at the right time.

Fitzgerald 'Mighty Terror' Henry received a Trinidad and Tobago Humming Bird Medal (Silver) for his contribution to Calypso in 1985 and a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Copyright Organization of Trinidad & Tobago in 2004. He has a huge repertoire which includes:

1947 - Negroes Know Thyself
1950 - Chinese Children
1951 - Tiny, Tiny Blow The Trumpet for Me
1965 - Pan Talent; Keep Calypso Clean; Callaloo Tonic
1972 - Pan in Tune
1973 - Tribute to The Solo Harmonites; That Woman Could Lie
1977 - Forgetful Panmen; My Suggestion
1978 - Gouti Dance; Madness; Give The Youths A Chance
1979 - Soca Special; Welcome Foreigners
1980 - Don't Change Calypso; Steelband Boycott
1982 - What Is A Disco; Mostly Women Playing Mas
1986 - The Greatness in Mankind; Sugar for Pan
1988 - Any Time Is Party Time in America
1991 - Money Good, Money Bad; Panmen Jamming Pan
1993 - Calypso Teacher
1995 - No Bail for Criminals; Back With The Pan
1996 - Chinese Panorama; Miss Colombia
1997 - Reply to Big Belly Man

Song list compiled by Ronald C. Emrit.

Mighty Terror leaves behind his wife, Gloria Henry, his four daughters and his many fans and friends who miss him dearly.

Eulogy for Fitzgerald Henry aka 'Mighty Terror'
By Alvin C. Daniell : March 21, 2007

Interviews at Mighty Terror's Funeral
By Reporters : Recorded on March 19, 2007

Mighty Terror's Funeral in pictures: