Unable to attend last September's National Awards Ceremony, American Ray Funk, Trinidad Carnival aficionado extraordinaire, finally received his Chaconia Medal SILVER at the President’s House yesterday.
In what was dubbed a mini National Awards Ceremony, Her Excellency Christine Carla Kangaloo ORTT, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago pinned the medal on Mr. Ray Funk.
Also present were His Excellency Kerwyn Garcia SC, First Gentleman, Acting Prime Minister the Honourable Colm Imbert, as well as the Chief Justice, Mr. Justice Ivor Archie ORTT and Mrs. Denise Rodriguez-Archie.
According to the citation read out by
Ethan-Jude Trestrail, Head Prefect at Fatima College, Mr. Ray Funk is a retired Judge; a US national, who has dedicated his life to preserving, documenting and producing works on Trinidad and Tobago culture, by faithfully visiting Trinidad almost every year since 1995 and writing a number of articles and books on the history of Carnival, steelpan and calypso.
He has been described as a living encyclopedia of our culture, working globally to promote our culture.
Mr. Funk has made many presentations on the Steel Pan, Calypso, Extempo Calypso, Masquerade and other aspects of the culture. He did all of this while a practicing Judge in the State of Alaska.
He faithfully attends almost every type of public cultural show from calypso tents, chutney shows, traditional mas, pan whenever he visits every year, sometimes going straight to shows after landing from a long flight.
He has an encyclopedic memory of our arts and cultural history and icons and is now digitising tens of thousands of works for preservation.
Congratulations Mr. Funk.