Vere Bird III pleads to government to aid ailing calypsonian

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A friend of renowned calypsonian, Rupert “Mighty Swallow” Philo, wants the government to do more to financially assist the ailing musician who was hospitalised overseas.
Two GoFundMe campaigns were started last month with a goal of raising U.S. $111,700 to cover expenses. But, Vere Bird III said the fact that these campaigns had to be created is a national embarrassment. He believes that the government should step in because Philo has been a cultural ambassador representing Antigua around the world for many decades.
“If the government has not looked into helping our king, then I suggest that they do so now,” Bird said yesterday. “It is embarrassing that the Mighty Swallow has to rely on crowd funding to pay his medical bills. I am saying to the people in government and the powers that be, King Swallow has done too much for Antigua and Barbuda, and, in particular for the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, for them not to go look about him.”
Bird visited the calypsonian twice in September while in the U.S. He described their interaction on September 12 as very engaging and upbeat.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
You can find the GoFundMe page here.
According to Fulton, Philo flew from Antigua to Brooklyn, New York to perform for the West Indian American Day Carnival Association, Virgin Islanders United and the 43rd annual Fulton Street Festival in August when he fell ill.
The calypsonian was taken to King’s County Hospital where “a life threating medical issue” was detected.
He underwent surgery and was subsequently released from the hospital after several weeks, but was unable to travel. Philo remains in the U.S. awaiting further medical treatment.
Reportedly, the money being sought will be used to repair his rent-free apartment.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)
 

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