(Oranjestad)—On April 26th, 1920, Juan Chabaya Lampe “Padu Lampe/Padu del Caribe” was born in Nassaustraat, Oranjestad and has become one of the most beloved figures in the history of Aruba.
Padu will always be in Aruba’s heart, because he had composed various special songs dedicated to the mothers of the island; his song “Sonrisa di un baby” (“A baby’s Smile”) has been written in three different languages. Padu also wrote our national anthem “Aruba Dushi Tera”, along with Mr. Rufo Wever. This song was approved by the government of Aruba and was named the official anthem of the island in 1976.
Other songs that have been considered as being almost a second anthem for Arubans is the special composition he wrote for his wife Daisy Croes called “Abo so”. Daisy later passed away in 1994.
Padu remained a popular artist within the Dutch Antilles and the Caribbean as a pianist, singer, author and painter. Padu Lampe was a local artist who became renowned in Venezuela, Colombia, The U.S. and The Netherlands too. In the 1950s, he sold no less than 50 thousand copies of his long-playing albums (LPs).
He grew up in a happy musical environment, and it is because of this that he developed a love for music. Starting from the age of 12, he was agile in the clarinet, mandolin and cuatro. Henry Lampe, his father, was also a well-known pianist and musician.
In a publication of the informative seminar, “Observer”, from august 1st, 1962, Padu’s many merits and friendly personality stood out. It was said that he was an excellent pianist with a personal style and full of surprises. Secondly, though the composer was not too familiar with music theory, he showed innovations in his compositions. Lastly, Padu was a promoter of Creole music around the world.
One of the most important moments in Aruban history, in which he was able to witness first-hand, was the first radio broadcast on the island on March 20th, 1954. Here, he was accompanied by Antillean guitarist Julian Coco and Hubert “Loi” Booi.
In the art world, Padu was also a known painter. During his youth, he made several painting using his unique style. In 1939, he participated in an art exhibit in New York, where he won a bronze medal for his painting “Typical View of Aruba.”
Padu Lampe was a multifaceted artist, inspired by his interest in parapsychology and supernatural phenomenon. He wrote three books in Papiamento on the subject in 1986, which was published by the Aruban National Printing Press with sponsorship provided by the Prince Bernhard Funds Netherlands Antilles.
Besides that, Padu passed his exam on “Society to Advanced Ethical Hypnosis” in 1964 in New Jersey. He received a certificate as a hypnotechnician, which gave him the authority to practice hypnosis in some states.
Over the course of his career, he received many accolades and awards in Aruba, Curacao, Venezuela and the Netherlands.
Padu del Caribe passed away on November 29th, 2019, at the age of 99 years old. Padu brought the Aruban culture around the world. His legacy will remain ingrained in the Aruban cultural history, and he will be known forever as one of the most influential trailblazers of our community.