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Condolences and tribute to an un sung Hero Henry 'Bendix' Cumberbatch

Just got the word on the Passing of another steelpan Giant...'Bendix' 

Bendix was a  truly talented and gifted Pan player and Arranger. those of us who knew him would attest to this fact....yet with all this talent he avoided the spotlight. ...It is unfortunate that we do not honor these great Pan personalities while they walk amongst us..

I recall Bendix coming up to Flamingoes around (1969-1970) with a contingent of Pan Pl;ayers from Chaguanas .(Jimi Phillip and Mike Cumberbatch his brother ,were amongst them). He had even brought Pan tuner  Leo Coker also .. Needless to say this input into Flamingoes propelled them to participate in their firat  Panorama competition in 1971.Bendix was also a remarkable friend and brother to hang out with. amongst some of the other bands he was involved with were Desperadoes and he also arranged for many bands including Casablanca (Tourist Elsie ) placing third in the Panorama and he also did very well with Ju-C Antillean All Stars as an Arranger..

Our deepest sympathies and condolences goes out to the family of Bendix

Rest In Peace Bendix you did a massive contribution to Steelpan and will always be remembered for that.


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Damn right! Bendix could cuss! He made cussing an art...and he ensured that we younger boys st Pres Chaguanas mastered not only our curriculum studies, but obscene language as well. Great guy, good company, though. All of Chaguanas limers would surely miss him.


Yes..he definitely helped expand my vocabulary when I was a youngster............He took me all over Trinidad with him, he was very well known and liked in most corners of the island.


I hear from my sister that the funeral passed well and Uncle Henry's coffin was escorted down to St. Thomas village cemetery by a steelband playing as they went down the road........

yes, I went by the pan yard today, 3.3.11 only to find out that the funeral was yesterday, (I tried contacting the Manager, but was unsuccessful, her's was the only number I had to get any information to find out about funeral arrangements) however, the members did play from the church to the cemetery, congrats to the Chaguanas Police for allowing the band to play on the road for this unsung hero, one who never hugged the spotlight. This will do well for good relations between the Police and the St Thomas Village residents, as "Bendix" was their "hero".

The challenge though, is for the members to continue the work that "Bendix" had started, especially, with the youths in the area bringing them to the Pan Yard. Speaking with a few of them they expressed sadness at his passing, and pledged to continue playing Pan.

My plan, is to ensure that the work that "Bendix" started, continues, and with the help of some noted arrangers, keep the band functioning, Messrs, Earl Brooks and Len "Boogise" Sharp have pledged their support to do this.

Earl in particular, was surprised to hear of his passing, as he (Earl) had played alongside "Bendix" in Desperadoes, with their "rocket pans".

While he did not like to be in the spotlight, I learned tonight that the street in which he lived was named after his father and is called CUMBERBATCH STREET, how many of us would have such an honour? just shows the pedigree.

Cumberbatch Street is named after Bendix's grandfather (Edward Cumberbatch) as is the nearby Edward street in Chaguanas. His paternal grandmother's surname was Henderson this was the source of the name for Henderson street which runs parallel to Cumberbatch street and links the Main Road to Taitt St (where Bendix lived his entire life). I spent all my childhood navigating these streets on foot and bicycle as I live just on the main road near the corner of Henderson Street. My parents still live there to this day.


Bendix's grandparents were prominent land owners in the area and his grandma (Henderson) was of white Scottish descent and the daughter of Estate Owners / Masters who were originally based in Barbados. This is responsible in part for the 'Red Man' appearance of his father Lonney (Lionel) as well as the kids..........

Thanks for all the information. Maybe when his biography is written or Pan Trinbago decides to feature his life story in our magazine, we hope we can contact you to give some of your thoughts and insights to this great son of the soil. Particularly his early life.
Bendix will always be remembered by the Members and Supporters of Antellian All Stars Steel Orch. for all those lovely arrangements that he gave us during his years there. The fame that All Stars acquired under his Baton has been a pride for all Members in particular and Southerners in General. His panmanship was second to none for I remember hearing him playing the Rocket Pan in Despers and it was just fantastic. He will also be remembered by all those many other bands that he arranged for  with distinction. He was well known and respected in the Pan World so his leaving has brought sadness to Pan lovers. I hope that his work will continue through the very many students that he had .Condolences to his family. Thanks.
I wish to extend my condolences to his family, may he rest in peace.
R.I.P Bendix thanks.for the music


Thank you very much for all your sentiments. 

The family have taken heart from knowing that Uncle Henry will be so fondly remembered by his peers in the Steelpan Community.


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