The concert piano of the late Olive Walke, Senator, mother, national awardee, cultural pioneer, and founder of the La Petite Musicale folk choir, was entrusted to NALIS’ Heritage Library Division on Friday October 25, 2019.
Abenaa Hayes, granddaughter of Olive Walke, Marcia Riley and Laura Franklin of the La Petite Musicale were instrumental in gifting this artefact to the Heritage Library Division to complement the La Petite Musicale Collection.
Olive Walke’s piano is a physical representation of the work done with her group La Petite Musicale in the 1940’s and 1950’s in rural areas such as Blanchisseuse, Mayaro, Maracas Valley, Carenage, Sangre Grande and Tobago to capture the folk music of our ancestors. This venture gave rise to the recognition and acceptance of the Spanish, French and African folk music regionally and internationally, which, undoubtedly would not have survived otherwise. These songs which include, “Everytime ah pass”, “Mangoes”, “Genie e ca bucan” and other folk classics are now enshrined in Trinidad and Tobago’s musical heritage and are regularly performed in recitals and music festivals. NALIS is therefore pleased to accept this national treasure in keeping with its mandate to preserve, promote and exploit the heritage of Trinidad and Tobago for the benefit of our citizenry.
Present at the handing over were Catherine Romain, Executive Director and Helen Johnson, Director Heritage Library Division both from NALIS. Representing La Petite Musicale were Dr. Clement Jackson, his wife and Commodore Anthony Franklin.
L-R Catherine Romain Executive Director NALIS and Ms Abenaa Hayes, granddaughter of Olive Walke at the handing over of the piano. In background the Olive Walke piano.