Hugh Borde

Hugh Borde

April 10, 1933 February 18, 2020

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Obituary for Hugh Mark Anthony Borde

Hugh Borde April 10th 1933-February 18th 2020

Hugh Borde was a true Pan Pioneer and cultural ambassador for the twin island nation of
Trinidad and Tobago. He was a founding member of the steel band movement at a time in
history when one could be arrested or jailed for playing this unique instrument. These Pan
Pioneers and their struggle for recognition and acceptance during the mid 20th century are
revered today as cultural icons and symbolize the struggle for independence of Trinidad and
Tobago ultimately gained in 1962.

In 1945 Hugh organized the first sponsored steel band in Trinidad and Tobago called Hells
Kitchen, and in 1951 he became the leader of the Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band. In 1962 he lead
the national T&T Steel band at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in Great Britain, and after Esso
Petroleum added itโ€™s sponsorship to the band in 1965 the band toured and played for Queen
Elizabeth II of England at the Royal Albert Hall, Princess Margaret on the Royal Yacht
Britannia , and to Emperor Haile Selassie during his visit to Trinidad and Tobago in 1966.

In 1967 The Esso Trinidad Tripoli Steel Band was chosen to represent T&T at the
Montreal Expo Worlds Fair in 1967, and here, as every where, Hugh and the band amazed
audiences with their musical mastery and showmanship. There was another showman at this
event who fell under the bandโ€™s spell and that was the incomparable entertainer Liberace.

After seeing the dazzling performances and standing ovations Hugh and the band received,
Liberace invited them to tour with him, which they did. For two years the band and Liberace
performed throughout the United States, and appeared on television talk shows with David Frost,
Ed Sullivan, Mike Douglas and Johnny Carson. In 1969 they played alongside an all star cast for
The Jerry Lewis Telethon including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr, and The Jackson Five.

From 1977 until health issues prevented him , Hugh continued touring with members of his
family introducing a new generation from college campuses to state fairs to the sweet sounds of
pan. Every year he would return to Trinidad and Tobago as one of the judges for the ultimate
steel band competition, Panorama, and to host the annual Pan Pioneers party.

In remembering the public persona of Hugh we must not forget the private person. Hugh
was a loving son, brother, uncle, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather, and it took
an extraordinary amount of dedication to his art, and a determination to succeed, to leave his
home in Trinidad in order to create and secure opportunities for his family in the United States,
and to advance the legacy of the modern steel drum movement. Let us not forget it took an equal
amount of commitment from Zandra and the children to facilitate and support this choice.

It is thanks in part to extraordinary people like Hugh Borde paving the way, that the
modern steel drum movement is now loved and appreciated globally.

Hall of Fame Caribbean Sunshine Award 1995
Ronald Reagan Golden Medal of Merit 1986
Nominated for US Grammy in the category of Traditional Music 1972
Trinidad and Tobago Humming Bird Medal Bronze (For Steelband Development) 1971

With thanks and love to
Mark Anthony Reno
..and all loving family members.

Hugh Borde was previously married to Zandra Tom for a period of (40)years.
Father of: Richard Borde, Emile Borde, Bianca Challen, Brian Borde, Carlton Borde, Reno Borde & Cher Borde.
In laws include: Sheila, Karen, Chris and Dawn. Grandfathered: Blair, Yolanda, Amanda, Elijah, Xavier, Quinn & Zoe.
Great grand kids: Kai, Isabella, Preston, Lauren-Briell and Skylar.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Hugh Mark Anthony Borde, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Memorial Gathering

    Saturday March 14, 2020 | 10:00am - 11:00am
    Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Carpenter Road Chapel
    2400 Carpenter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday March 14, 2020
    10:00am - 11:00am
  • Memorial Service

    Saturday March 14, 2020 | 11:00am
    Nie Family Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Carpenter Road Chapel
    2400 Carpenter Road
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
    Saturday March 14, 2020

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Provide comfort for the family of Hugh Mark Anthony Borde by sending flowers.
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Elizabeth Mohammed

My deepest sympathy to the Borde family especially to my dear friend, Bianca. Your dad was a true pioneer who left the family to take his legacy to unlimited heights.
Comment | Posted at 01:37pm via Condolence

Dorothy Spencer

The sound of pans playing - is there any other instrument that immediately sets one's heart at ease and feet to dancing? Your father will be missed by many people. Know that we pray for you during this time of mourning. May you feel God's love and comfort. Your neighbors, Jim and Dorothy Spencer
Comment | Posted at 09:42am via Condolence

Jahi Amadi Zuri

Blessing and Peace to the family! Know that I am with you all at this difficult time. Joined always for our love of Music and Family! Your brother always! Jahi Zuri One Love
๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพโค๏ธ๐Ÿ˜ž๐ŸŒด๐ŸŽผ The Lion has cubs running wild and free! Thank you father Borde!
Comment | Posted at 02:57am via Condolence

Jenny Baboolal

Hugh (Bobboy) is no longer with us in person but will be with in our hearts forever.
We shared an extraordinary love and I knew him as a generous, caring, funny, talented, gentle man and a giant in the pan world. He was an extraordinary Trinbagonian.
Comment | Posted at 02:06pm via Condolence

Why light a candle?

This is why you should light a candle..

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