by Linda Straker
- Irva Baptiste-Blackett composed Grenada’s National Anthem
- Awarded Camerhogne Silver Award during 2009 Independence Celebrations
- National Anthem inspired by walk through Morne Jaloux
Irva Baptiste-Blackett, the composer of Grenada’s National Anthem, has died less than one year after her husband departed this world. Mrs Baptiste-Blackett died today, Tuesday, 8 September, age 96.
“It is with sadness we hear of the passing of Mrs Irva Baptiste-Blackett. Mrs Baptiste-Blackett has made a great contribution to our country, which remains an unwavering reminder of our pride and honour to be Grenadian,” said a statement from the Grenada Cultural Foundation (GCF).
An educator who has taught many outstanding citizens over her career, the release said that as a schoolteacher, she impacted the lives of thousands of citizens who are forever grateful for her contribution toward their foundation in education.
“She has been considered as one of the best primary school teachers of her times. She was also a music teacher. Mrs Baptiste-Blackette took part in the Independence Anthem Songwriting Competition and was the most outstanding contributor with her composition,” the released said.
“Hail Grenada, land of ours, we pledge ourselves to thee.” As she walked through Morne Jaloux, she was enthused by the beauty that surrounded her that stimulated her to write those words. The words of the anthem were carefully chosen to reflect the Grenadian people, their consciousness to God, the strength of a united nation advancing as one family with pride of heritage.
“This and more she expressed within the National Anthem. Mrs Baptiste-Blackett received the Camerhogne Silver Award during the 2009 Independence Celebrations as the writer of the National Anthem of Grenada. The foundation expresses condolences to her family and loved ones. May she rest in peace,” the statement said.
The Camerhogne Award is awarded to any person who has rendered meritorious service to Grenada in furtherance of national prestige or for gallantry. She and her family reside in Barbados. Wynston Leroy Blackett died in November 2019.
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