Commissioner Rodney and other ranks of the Police Force are joining with the pan fraternity and the music industry in paying tribute to the passing of renowned panist and former member of the Police Band, Victor “Babu” Samuel Sr.
In 2009, Victor “Babu” Samuel was sworn in as a Special Constable in the Royal Police Force of Antigua and Barbuda and later became a member of the Police Band. Shortly thereafter, he was elevated to the rank of Sergeant and was the assistant conductor and band coach.
He was the first to have introduced the steel pan instrument to the Police Band, and to date, it still remains one of the most highlighted features. Prior to becoming a member, Babu could be seen with band members traveling on occasions to places like Montserrat, Trinidad, and elsewhere in the region, while providing valuable support.
He assisted in composing several pieces of music and was the first to introduce calypso music on the pan, which has helped to enhance the musical ability of the band. He brought a series of new beats and rhythms that are now used on marches and also placed a strong presence of musical culture on parades that can still be heard today.
Sergeant Babu Samuel was also the founding member of Law Enforcement Steel, which is the Police Iron Band that currently holds the title of the reigning National Iron Band Champions.
Speaking on behalf of the Police Force, Commissioner Rodney said, “I am thankful for his insights in bringing the steel pan into our police band. It is an addition that will remain in the band for years to come”.
Rodney also said, “His playing of the pan and his teaching and encouragement was very much appreciated by band members and the entire police force”. He spoke of the ceremony that was held in his honor earlier this year and said he is happy that the Police Force had the opportunity to recognize his contributions.
In March, he was presented with a platinum award for outstanding contributions toward the development of the Royal Police Force Band. The Police Administration expresses sympathy to his family and all those who were closely related to the National Panist.
Sergeant Victor “Babu” Samuel Sr O.M., died on Tuesday 28th June 2022. He will be greatly missed by members of the Royal Police Force Band and the entire Police Force. May his soul continue to rest in peace.