Choy Aming Sr. – Posthumous Recognition

Bermuda Day Grand Marshal 2023, A Bermudian Renaissance

The late Choy Aming Sr. was a fierce champion for the arts and entertainment scene in Bermuda – and is perhaps best known for his role in helping to bring Calypso music to the world. Born in Trinidad, in 1929, the late Choy Aming Sr. grew up watching street performances in downtown Port of Spain. After leaving school, he went on to become a musician, band leader and music producer in Trinidad.  During his career, he produced albums for some of the first Calypso artists while running the Trinidad office of Columbia Records. In 1967, he was inspired to move to Bermuda after meeting Bermudians such as Richard “Dickie” Green of Green’s Guesthouse, at Carnival. At the time, Mr. Aming ran a popular large nightclub in Trinidad and it was agreed that a similar nightclub would work well on Bermuda’s shores. In 1968, Mr. Aming brought a steel band to Bermuda for a tour – then officially moved to the Island to start Clayhouse Inn.

The entertainment venue located on North Shore, Devonshire, became a huge hit, attracting world-class entertainers to the Island. The club hosted international artists such as Julio Inglesias, Englebert Humperdinck, Musical Youth, New Edition, Stevie Wonder, Ziggy Marley, Roberta Flack, The Fugees, Salt-N-Pepa, Shabba Ranks, Sam Cook, Al Green, Kid and Play, and TLC. It also saw performances including Carnival dancers, hypnotists, the Not the Um Um Show and other novelty acts take to the stage. A popular tourist attraction for three decades, the Clayhouse Inn played nightly for around 200 visitors – and prided itself on having something for everyone.

Years later, Mr. Aming became known as one of the main men behind the first Bermuda Day parade in 1979. That year, Mr. Aming Sr. hosted a Trinidad-style carnival entry consisting of 150 men, women and children wearing costumes portraying Bermuda’s underwater marvels. He brought his brother Neville to the island to help make the first costumes depicting the Island’s three main nationalities – African, English, and Portuguese. The parade was one of the most integrated events the Island had ever seen, with hundreds of people from all walks of life and ethnic backgrounds joining together to take part. Today, it continues to be a celebration of the diversity of Bermuda’s heritage. Outside of his entertainment pursuits, Mr. Aming left a legacy as a father to eight – six girls and two boys.