Sat | Feb 27, 2021

St Lucian cultural icon Charles Cadet dies after prolonged illness

Published:Tuesday | January 19, 2021 | 12:11 AM


One of St Lucia’s most revered cultural icons, Charles Cadet, died on Sunday after a prolonged illness.

His death was announced in a statement by Fortuna Belrose, minister in the Ministry of Tourism, Information, and Broadcasting, Culture and Creative Industries with responsibility for culture and creative industries, who described him as a “gem”. Belrose recalled that Cadet dedicated much of his life to preserving St Lucia’s culture through music. She noted that his popular songs included Poinsettia Blossoms, which is described as a cult classic.

Many Other Works

Among his many other works, Cadet collaborated with Roderick Walcott on the musical The Banjo Man. The musician graced the stage of CARIFESTA in Guyana in 1972 and also featured in other Caribbean countries. Cadet was officially a National Cultural Icon, but he also received a number of other awards. They included the Order of the British Empire in recognition of his work and the St Lucia Cross. Cadet also was the first recipient of the M&C Fine Arts Lifetime Achievement Award.

Belrose expressed deep regret at his passing. “It saddens our heart because we all know him – we got to love him,” the minister told reporters. She described Cadet as having been a perfectionist. “In visits to him ... the conversation was always about being the best that one can be,” Belrose shared. “He is truly a gem that has gone to the great beyond,” the minister declared. She said Cadet gave of himself for his country and worked exceedingly hard. As a result, Belrose asserted that he was a great model for others.