THE?NEW?king of calypso, Ian Ricardo Webster, has dedicated his victory to his hometown fans in Deacons Farm and his alma mater, Ellerslie.
The six-footer, still walking tall after his impressive triumph at the recent MQI/BANKS/LIME Pic-O-De-Crop Finals held at Kensington Oval, said he was pleased that Deacons Farm could land two men in the finals with Dale Rudder (Mr Dale), being the other.
“I grew up in Deacons Farm and I still reside there. The win means a lot to the community that has not always had positives. I?am happy for the people in the Farm.
“For the Ellerslie old scholars, this must be heartening. I don’t know if there has ever been anyone from Ellerslie that has lifted the crown and if I am the first, it certainly is a good feeling to know that I have done my alma mater proud,” he said.
Webster grew up in Madison Terrace and Beach Path in Deacons Farm, but also resided with his grandmother for some time in Kingsland, Christ Church.
In addition to Deacons Primary, he attended Christ Church Boys’ School, which has been renamed Milton Lynch Primary.
Don’t be fooled by Webster’s nerdy glasses and professorial look. He has sporting blood in his veins and has represented his school in cricket.
Mum the hockey player
His mother, Icel Webster, was one of the best hockey defenders in the island and was an integral part of the Deacons and Barbados teams in the 1990s.
Webster was a fast bowler and good enough to play in an Ellerslie side that included Sulieman Benn, Kevin Stoute and Jason Parris.
His win not only made the management and staff at Cave Shepherd department store proud – Cave Shepherd All Stars had three of the top four – but attracted some praise because of the age category.
Three of the leading five Pic-O-De-Crop competitors are all under 30.
Webster is 29, second-placed Chrystal Cummins-Beckles is 28 and dynamic Aziza Clarke is only 18.
Webster is pleased to see that they are indeed guardians of calypso.
“Calypso is in good hands,” he said. “I know that some people in the initial stages were concerned that some of the big guns were missing but the finals were still tight and competitive. I?am pleased that some people were able to say that this was one of the best finals they had witnessed and I am happy for that.
“It is heartening that three of the top five are under 30 and that says to all three of us that we still need to keep working. It’s been a long run for people like Gabby and Red Plastic Bag and we have now started to get out of the blocks and have many years to contribute to the [Crop Over] festival,” he said.
Webster’s late night call to Cupid in The Things We Do For Love did the trick in the first half of the competition, and there was no catching him for the rest of the night. It was crystal clear the rest of the field was in trouble when he delivered One Blood in the second half.
Webster, a music teacher at Springer Memorial, remains humble and respectful.
“It is important to be humble and take things in stride as one minute you can be up and you can slide and not be as popular, so there really is no need for one to go changing and assume a different persona because you may be more recognized or your efforts more rewarded in a particular year,” he said.
Webster is not waiting on the 2014 edition of the Crop Over Festival to make a contribution, with the new king of calypso planning to work with the Diabetes Association of Barbados and the National Council of the Disabled.
“I have worked with those two organizations over the past two years and it is my intention to ensure that there is more awareness about diabetes and ensuring that persons with disabilities are treated fairly. That’s important to my heart.
“From a professional perspective, I will be doing a piano grading just to challenge myself and I am sure there will be a few gigs that include performing on Labour Day in New York. Lots of things are happening, quite a few things have been initiated,” he said.