Remembering ‘Chippie’, a national hero

Dear Editor, 

As our Bahamian isles navigate the ravages of Hurricane Dorian, I was saddened to hear about the passing of John “Chippie” Chipman.

He was blessed to live to see 90. He was a cultural icon, legendary icon, outstanding entertainer, Junkanoo Hall of Famer, Member of the British Empire and had many accomplishments, too numerous to mention.

I remember purchasing three goat skin drums from Chippie. I was enrolled in a course through continuing education called “Afro Caribbean Dance and Drumming” held by the great Roderick Johnson in 1997.

Chippie’s Legendary Junkanoo group “Chippie and the Boys” always made an impact on Bay Street.

His group was one of the first to allow women to rush on Bay Street.

These women included his wife, Rebecca “Queen Becky” Chipman, Maureen Duvalier and Naomi Carey to name a few.

A great son of the soil has gone home to glory to meet his maker. I especially express condolences to Reece Chipman, one of my old friends from back in the early 1980s, at the College of The Bahamas.

Rest in perpetual peace and may his legend live on for ages to come; we weep with hope that we will see him in that great getting up morning.

– Loxsley Lonford Bastian

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