Pan extraordinaire Lennox ‘Bobby’ Mohammed has passed away. He died at the San Fernando General Hospital around 2 am yesterday.
As word of his death spread, social media was flooded with glowing tributes for Mohammed who was considered an icon in the fraternity.
Mohammed led the San Fernando-based steel band Guinness Cavaliers to victory, capturing two Panorama titles in 1965 and 1967.
He also made history as the youngest arranger, at age 22, to win the Panorama title.
Two years ago the San Fernando City Corporation renamed a street near Harris Promenade in his honour.
Expressing profound sadness over Mohammed’s passing, San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello said, “I don’t know how to find words to describe the loss of Bobby and the contribution Bobby made to San Fernando as a steelpan leader.”
He recalled that Mohammed had a unique style that was feared by his opponents.
“Up to this day bands still have difficulty coming to terms with. Each contribution will forever be etched in our archives as a game changer, a trail blazer, a master. When you consider that Panorama started in 1963 and by 1965 south was able to make their mark through Bobby Mohammed and the Cavaliers Steel Orchestra. Within that era between 1965 to 1968 Bobby was first in 65, second in 66, first in 67, People’s Choice and second in 1969, that is a phenomenal record when you consider the force of the Port-of- Spain bands…”
In a Facebook tribute by Pan Trinbago noted that Mohammed was introduced to pan at age 15. It read, “Bobby describes himself as an innovator and trendsetter in that he was the first person of East Indian descent to succeed at the highest level as a steelpan arranger. He stated, that in those days steelbands were dominated mainly by Afro- Trinidadians from Port-of-Spain, so it was a surprise and shock that when his relatively unknown south band won Panorama titles.
“Bobby’s innovative style on Panorama music left a permanent footprint on Panorama music today.”
Thanking him for his contribution, Pan Trinbago noted that Mohammed was the recipient of the national Hummingbird Medal Gold Medal and was presented with the Republic Day Award from the non-governmental group Citizens for a better Trinidad and Tobago in 1992.