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Musicians’ union pays tribute to Calypsonian Lloyd Simmons

Keeping the music alive: Calypso artist and union leader Lloyd Simmons (Photograph supplied)

Tributes have been paid to a former head of the Bermuda Entertainment Union, who has died at the age of 88.

Lloyd Simmons was president of the union – formerly known as the Bermuda Federation of Musicians and Variety Artists – during “a challenging period” for the island’s entertainers.

But Mr Simmons, who was also a successful Calypso recording artist, managed to keep the organisation financially afloat during his tenure as president.

Last night musician Wendell “Shine” Hayward, another former president, credited Mr Simmons with keeping the union alive.

Mr Hayward said: “Brother Lloyd served as our president during a challenging period, that saw the start of a decline in the entertainment industry.

“A decline in work among local musicians resulted in a decrease in their ability to maintain their local membership dues and likewise, a decline in international artists coming to work in Bermuda resulted in a decrease in travellers’ dues.”

Mr Hayward said that, as a registered trade union, the organisation had financial commitments to the Government and the Bermuda Trade Union Congress.

He said: “It should be known that membership dues is what keeps any union alive.

“For more than 15 years, as the union became almost non-existent, the records would show that Brother Lloyd single-handedly kept the union in good financial standing with both entities, thus giving us a voice around the BTUC table and sustaining us as a registered trade union.

“For this, we salute our late brother in recognition of and appreciation for his contribution to keeping our union alive.

“May his soul rest in peace as he joins our other three past and late presidents: brothers Ghandi Burgess, Hubert Smith and Leroy Simmons.”

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Published December 10, 2022 at 7:40 am (Updated December 10, 2022 at 7:40 am)

Musicians’ union pays tribute to Calypsonian Lloyd Simmons

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