Tribute to Former Director of Music of the RBPF Band from Former Head Boy, Alleyne School – Henderson Bovell

It is with deep sadness that I learned of the passing of the former Director of Music of the Royal Barbados Police Force Band, Senior Superintendent, Kenrick Moore. Mr. Moore came to the Alleyne School to replace Mr. Holder, as the instructor for the school band. I think he then had the rank of Inspector.

Henderson N. Bovell - Former, Head Boy, Alleyne School

But, to say that Mr. Moore showed a keen interest in students and that he had a keen eye and air for spotting good talent, was an understatement. I therefore have very fond memories of him. In those days, the Alleyne School Band had giants like Fenty and Bullen (both of whom played the Trumpet) and or course – there was Yolande Bourne who played the Saxophone, Juan Waldron who played the Flute and Dorian Scantlebury who played the Clarinet.

In fact, the Alleyne School created history when they became the first females to join the Police Force Band. Under Mr. Moore tenure, the school band played at concerts, Speech Days; Holetown Festival and event at CBC. I remember once when we also played with the St. Michael’s School Band. In those days, our school band was so good that we felt that we were as good as the Police Band and far better than ‘the much talked about,’ Combermere Cadet Band.

Back then, in addition to being Solo Cornet/Trumpeter player in the Alleyne School Band, I was also Officer in Charge of the No.5 Cadet Corp. That posed a big problem because band practice and Cadets, occurred on Tuesdays, during the ‘Activities Period.’ Many a Tuesday afternoon, I would be in my Cadet Uniform and Mr. Moore would come for me to play in the band. And so – from early, I learnt the importance of time management and splitting my time between competing – important causes and interests.

At band practice, you would play the occasional wrong note or fail to hit the right pitch or key, especially on the Trumpet and would immediately look at your instrument, which of course, you always blamed for the mistake. Mr. Moore could take any instrument and play whatever note you got wrong. It was not necessary thereafter for him to say anything. You got the message.

I loved music and there was a time when I could easily play any brass instrument but Mr. Moore said I should stick to the Cornet because I had good lips. McDonald Bailey, for example, had big lips and wanted to play Trumpet but Mr. Moore put him to play the Bass and he turned out to be very good at it.

By that time I was doing Grade 5 Music at the Royal School London and was thinking seriously about going on to do the LRSM. It was also around that time when the three females from the Alleyne School joined the Police Band that Mr. Moore told me that I should also join, as a Band Recruit. I asked my mother but she would hear nothing of it.

And so, time passed. I left School and by the time my mother said yes, I was too old to be a Band Recruit. I tried to join the Police Force and even wrote the exam but was too old to be a Band Recruits and too short to become a Police. I immediately wrote to my Parliamentary Representative, then Mr. David Simmons – who was also the Attorney General of Barbados – and argue that I was being discriminated against, since I could not join the Police Force (which would have allowed me to cross-over into the Police Band) solely on the basis of my height, but the Barbados Labour Party Government, was never going to change the law to accommodate one man, despite however good I was at playing music.

I was easily the best Bugler on the island. Around 1984, (for example) when Cadets from Barbados when to St. Lucia, I remember playing at a ceremony there that was attended by the St. Lucian Governor General.

All of that was made possible by Senior Superintendent Kenrick Moore, the man who drove MK1, the man who spotted me, taught me to play; to develop the capacity to be able to differentiate between music and noise and felt that I was good enough to be Solo Trumpeter/Solo Cornet Player. He kept me and many others, who passed through the Alleyne School Band, focused. For that I am and we are eternally grateful. I therefore salute the late Senior Superintendent, Kenrick Moore for his legacy and outstanding contribution to the Alleyne School Band and for his service to Barbados. Rest in peace, Sir!

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.


add a comment

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.