The birdsong Family mourns the passing of Francis Ragbirsingh, a long-standing member of birdsong who has made a significant contribution to the establishment of birdsong steel orchestra. FRANCIS was birdsong’s first regular, resident Truck Driver and though a non-playing member, he played an indispensable role in promoting our new steelband and establishing birdsong as a household name, by faithfully and reliably transporting the band to “play-out” engagements and birdsong’s Pan for de People Concerts throughout the length and breadth of Trinidad and Tobago for many years, until he migrated to the United States in the mid-1980s.
Francis was “ah true birdsong,” who contributed wherever and whenever there was a need for his services. He went to collect drums from Van Leer and NP to take to and from the Tuners, went for Ice, Drinks and Catered Food for our fund-raising events; transported steel orchestras who performed at our popular Blockoramas (Steelband Concerts); organised and participated in Cooks; assisted with the construction of temporary structures and the welding of Pan-Racks and in so many other ways, where, as a newly-formed unsponsored, self-supporting steel orchestra, there were so many things to be done and the contribution of all willing participants meant so much and helped to build the institution that birdsong is today.
Francis was joined by Patrick Ward in providing Truck Transportation Services. They worked well together, servicing the transportation and mobility needs as birdsong expanded as an organisation They responded at short notice and oftentimes at ungodly hours that required them to make personal and family sacrifices in the service of birdsong. These were loyal, responsible, reliable, birdsong members who performed their duties and responsibilities with limited direction and always with distinction.
Francis returned to Trinidad around the time that birdsong was establishing its first Social Enterprise, Daily Environmental Services Limited (DESL) as a CEPEP contractor, in 2002 and immediately joined the DESL Teams and helped to establish another successful birdsong endeavour. He remained with DESL until his retirement.
Francis has gone to meet his birdsong colleague Patrick who passed away before him. Those in the birdsong family who knew Francis and Patrick know the heroic role they have both played in the establishment and development of birdsong steel orchestra into the institution and brand that it is today. birdsong SALUTES FRANCIS RAGBIRSINGH AND PATRICK WARD
birdsong SOLDIERS REST IN PEACE!