by Howard Campbell
KINGSTON, Jamaica – August, 1962 was momentous for the Caribbean countries of Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. They both gained independence from Great Britain.
Lord Creator, the Trinidadian calypsonian, traveled to Jamaica as part of a Caribbean contingent to celebrate its big day on August 6. He also wrote Independent Jamaica, a song marking the historic occasion.
On August 6, it was announced that Lord Creator (real name Kenrick Patrick) will receive the Order of Distinction, Jamaica’s sixth-highest honor.
The 82 year-old singer lives in Hanover, a rural parish in western Jamaica. He stopped doing shows after suffering a second stroke in 2007.
In a 2009 interview with the Jamaica Observer newspaper, he spoke about the love for his adopted country.
“I spent more time in Jamaica than where I was born. My wife, children and grandchildren were all born in Jamaica. Jamaica is very special to me,” said Lord Creator.
Produced by Vincent “Randy” Chin (the VP Records founder), Independent Jamaica was written by Lord Creator at Chin’s Kingston home, days before the handing-over ceremony at the National Stadium in Kingston.
Along with Derrick Morgan’s Forward March, it became the soundtrack for Jamaica’s independence.
Lord Creator had been a star in his homeland prior to coming to Jamaica. But he stayed in Jamaica after independence celebrations and scored other hits with Evening News and Don’t Stay Out Late.
After suffering a stroke and career slump in the 1970s, he returned to Trinidad and Tobago in 1984. Five years later, British band UB40 covered Kingston Town, a song he recorded in 1970.
It was a strong enough seller to give Lord Creator financial stability and he returned to Jamaica permanently in the early 1990s.
Kenrick “Lord Creator” Patrick will receive the Order of Distinction in October during the National Honours and Awards ceremony in Kingston.