A member of the PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars family passed away on Friday November 29, 2013. John Lopez ( ‘Naddie’) was, only hours before his death, playing up a storm in the panyard at 56 Tragarete Road, Newtown, Port of Spain. The band was having its last practice session for the first evening of the annual Parang & Steel which kicked off on November 30.
John has been part of PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars for many years and has gone on several tours, including a very successful one to Japan in 1983. Revered by the members as “a smooth” player, he was also respected for his reliability. He was always the first band member to arrive for any function, as well as for practice. He was never late for a playout. ‘Uncle John’ would set out chairs, spread tablecloths, load pans, carry out tasks with great efficiency and without having to be asked.
His was a quiet disposition, yet he was firm. We have never heard him raise his voice. The only ‘sound’ he made, emanated from his 7 bass pans – and what a wonderful sound that has been! ‘Papa John’ was selfless. He never hesitated to assist new players when they had difficulty of any kind.
On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Silver Stars in 2008, John was awarded the trophy and prize for the “Most Outstanding Player”. It was well-deserved.
John Lopez was like a father to many of our players; to other members of the steelband fraternity, he was a great friend. Our Captain, Edwin Pouchet and his family and all of us at PCS Nitrogen Silver Stars Steel Orchestra, send sincere condolences to his wife Cynthia and family. Most of us cannot remember the band without him. None of us can imagine the band without him!
RIP Dear Friend.