tears: Krisson Joseph consoles his sister Kerissa at the funeral service for their father calypsonian Seadley "Penguin" Joseph at the St Charles RC Church, Tunapuna yesterday. At left is their mother Roslyn Joseph. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

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'He lived what he taught'

Funeral service for 'Penguin'

By Verdel Bishop

The calypsoes of the late calypsonian, Seadley Joseph (Mighty Penguin), spoke directly to his life's philosophy.

Speaking at Joseph's funeral service yesterday, at St Charles RC Church in Tunapuna, his son, Krisson Joseph said his father was easy to eulogise – he told how the calypsonian eulogised himself through many of the calypsoes he wrote while he was alive.

Through his calypsoes, the younger Joseph said, his father paid homage to God and his religion; he celebrated life and taught his children to always remember where they came from.

He said while Joseph's calypso, "Deputy Essential" was criticised in some circles as destructive to society, his real intent in the song was to show that if you don't like what you see in the mirror, get to the root of the problem. While delivering the eulogy Joseph sang verses of some of the memorable songs which he said spoke highly of his father's personality.

"While it is relatively easy to speak highly of my father, I still have to use the right words. The man is a well-renowned wordsmith. But he made it easy for me by writing his own eulogy. Through his songs daddy taught us to always remember where we came from. He didn't have much but he had love, ambition and self-respect. He was a solid family man who lived what he taught," Joseph said.

During her husband's eulogy, Roslyn Joseph cried a little and laughed a little, while she sat close to her daughter Kerissa Joseph and other relatives.

Winston Henry (calypsonian Explainer) during his tribute sang "When Basil Come" a song written by Joseph which spoke about getting yourself prepared, for when death comes.

There were also tributes from Errol Ince who gave a beautiful rendition of "Oh My Papa" on the trumpet; President of the Trinbago Unified Calypsonians' Organisation (TUCO) Lutalo Masimba and former principal Clive Grayson.

During his homily, Father Reginald Hezekiah used Joseph's song, "When Basil Comes" as the basis for his eulogy.

"That calypso "When Basil Comes" is the entire sermon. I don't have to say anything more. Will you be ready when Basil calls you? When God says, I am ready for you you have to go. You cannot say no. We prepare ourselves for any occasion that is important to us and so to we must be prepared for when Jesus calls us," Hezekiah said.

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