Calypsonian Malcolm ‘Lord Canary’ Corrica, who had also served as a minister of government and parliamentarian under the former PNC administration, died on Monday.
He was 79.
Corrica was on Monday rushed by his children to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre after complaining of feeling unwell.
His daughter, Pamela Pierre, told Stabroek News that she and her brother, Malcolm Corrica Jr, were with their father at the hospital when he died sometime after 2pm.
Pierre said that before he was taken to the hospital, he had complained of feeling a heat in his head. She added that while at the hospital, her father lost feeling on the left side of his body. As a result, she believed that he experienced a stroke.
Pierre recounted that days before his death, Corrica had complained about pains in his stomach as well. She noted that he had a history of hypertension and he was confined to a wheel chair after his right leg was amputated in 2014, when doctors found blood clots in his leg.
Pierre said that before her father passed away on Monday, the doctors did a CT scan and they also found clotting in his head.
In 2014, Corrica, a calypso monarch whose body of work dated back to the 1950s, entered his last competition. By then he had been known for an extensive catalogue of songs, including ‘One Family,’ ‘Dr. Beckles,’ ‘Advice to Parents,’ and “A Woman is a Woman.’
According to Pierre, in that year, he had completed the preliminary round of the competition but he complained of feeling unwell and later opted out of the finals. Shortly after, his leg was amputated.
“My father was always an uplifting person, he never pitied himself in spite of his situation,” she said, when asked what she will miss most about him. Apart from that, she said she would miss their talks as she said her father was a “gaff man.”
Pierre played one of her father’s songs, ‘One Family,’ which features the line “…open the door, let the man come in… all ah we ah one family.” She said that it was her father’s favourite song and it was popular and a frequent tune at Queh Quehs.
In February of this year, Corrica released an autobiography, ‘The Lord Canary-The life and Contributions of Malcom Corrica,’ which he co-authored with Allan Fenty. Fenty had noted that the publication was “not just about a Calypsonian, but about a nation builder” and intended to honour one of Guyana’s unsung heroes.
According to the book, Corrica as a Parliamentary Secretary and then Minister of State with responsibility for culture, served in three parliaments from 1969 to 1985. He also worked in the ministries of Internal Trade and Consumer Protection, Works and Communication and Education and Culture.