Culturama 44 Patron: Cleffrin Daniel

Cleffrin Daniel, better known in the Nevis circles as ‘Shine’, was born in Fountain Village on the November 13th, 1952 to Joseph and Melvina Daniel. He is last of eight children, all boys.

Following his schooling at the Combermere All Age School, he first worked at the Public Works Department then at the Water Department until his retirement in December 2017, having given forty years of dedicated service to the Nevis Island Administration.

Cleffrin’s involvement in Nevisian folklore spans some thirty years.  As was more  keenly interested in Giant Despair, he joined a group led by Jerry Ward before teaming up with Arnold ‘Quarter’ Fleming.

Cleffrin’s original role in the Giant Despair was that of the ‘Evangelist’. After the retirement of David ‘Grey Beard’ Sutton he then acted as the Giant. Cleffrin vividly remembers that Mr Fleming was responsible for writing the parts or lessons which included memorized texts from the Bible and extracts from the Pilgrims’ Progress.  The Big Drum always provided musical accompaniment.  Some of the musicians associated with the group included Joseph ‘Jogo’ Brandy on kettle drum and Samuel ‘Long Man’ Williams on the fife. The bass drum was played by persons such as Wilmoth ‘Farod’ Browne, Dindale ‘Bess’ Elliott and Ashton Freeman.  He also fondly recalls Giant Despair performances in every village on Nevis and at various events on the sister island of St. Kitts.

Cleffrin is still very passionate about the Giant Despair and vows to pass on the knowledge gathered over the years so that the tradition could continue on Nevis.

The Nevis Island Administration, the Ministry of Culture, the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, the Culturama Secretariat and the entire Nevis community salute Mr. Cleffrin “Shine” Daniel for decades of sterling contribution to Nevisian folklore.

Long live our Esteemed Patron of Culturama 2018, Mr. Cleffrin ‘Shine’ Daniel!

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