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16 Years On: A Look Back at Montserrat

Written by Chief Editor.

Sunday marks 16 years since a special event was held at Royal Albert Hall.

 

 On September 15, 1997, the Music For Montserrat benefit was held.

Music-makers such as Elton, Phil Collins, Paul McCartney Sting, Eric Clapton and Midge Ure came together to raise funds for the Caribbean island after a major volcanic eruption by the Soufriere Hills volcano earlier that year.

In addition, a DVD was released with the most famous selections from the show, including Elton's Your Song.

The concert was arranged and produced by George Martin; proceeds from the event and DVD were used for immediate relief and also helped fund the building of a new cultural centre in Montserrat. On its completion in 2006, Martin gifted the centre to the islanders.

Three years later, Martin and Trevor McDonald helped install a new Wall of Fame exhibit, featuring bronze hand-prints of artists who took part in the benefit, Elton and Ray Cooper among them. 

“Displaying these bronze hand plaques demonstrates our continued commitment to the development of the arts in Montserrat,” said Martin. “This is a lasting tribute to the artists who performed at the Royal Albert Hall, without whose selfless contribution the Centre would not have been built.”

 The Little Bay establishment is open to visitors free of charge. However, donations toward the upkeep of the establishment are appreciated.