In Memory of



Obituary for Otto Faustin

Otto was born in Maraval Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to parents Valtor and Christine Faustin, the seventh of eight children. His mother died when he was very young. His oldest brother Clyde raised him, ensuring that he attended school regularly and got an education.

Otto worked for the post office as a mail man after leaving school. He loved music, especially Classical music, but had no formal training. He joined the Blue Diamonds Steel band, and One day he was annoyed by a sour note on one of the pans he was playing. He decided he could and would fix it, but he mashed up that pan! He was afraid that when the band leader found out who interfered with the pan and made it worse, he would be mad, so Otto decided to make one from scratch. He basically taught himself to tune steel pan by hanging around steel bands and through pure determination and lots of trial and error. He first came to Canada on a pan-tuning holiday, sponsored by Sunset Cavaliers. While here in B.C. he also made some drums for the Moonlighters steelband. He went back to Trinidad to get his official immigration papers and came to Canada in1969.

He was followed by his then girlfriend Brenda in 1970 after his numerous complaints about his inability to get his food on time. He married Brenda in 1970 and his son Brendon was born in 1971. Otto then trained as a welder and started working in that field. His welding was meticulous and of course he continued refining his expertise in tuning and making steeldrums not just for B.C. but Alberta and as far away as Nova Scotia. He also made all the drums for Seattle’s “Tropical Rainstorm”, Super Stars, Bakra Bata, Toucans, and made a 50 piece steelband for the innovative Mercer Island’s Secondary. In B.C. he played and made all the drums for “Coffee Dregs” and “Phase 3” but in later years dedicated himself to tuning only.

He returned to Trinidad several times to visit his family and attend Carnival celebrations. Otto also sang and composed Calypsoes. He Invested over ten thousand dollars, big money in those days, in the media of that time, “Casettes”. He wrote both the words and the melody of a full-length album. Horn lines were arranged by Anthony Maillard, Chords were supplied by Bernard Fernandes, and Bass lines by Vegari Cegar. He has written more recent and topical songs recorded at Maffie’s Atwell’s studio. He called himself “Messenger” He loved food and cooking. His signature fried chicken was his masterpiece. He grew his own herbs and made his own “seasonings”. According to him, no one could cook like him. 

There was never a topic that Boots did not have an opinion on and was never afraid to share whether you wanted him to or not. His signature line was, “You don’t tell me.” “I tell you!”

He also liked to go to restaurants to eat but heaven help you if the meal wasn’t satisfactory. He would refer to fat on steaks as ‘snow’ and tell the server you know where snow belongs…outside. Or his other favorite was – “I’m not going to leave you a tip, no I’m going to leave you a penny “He also liked to make the kids work/perform for their treats – that is until they got old enough to know better. For example: When he was a little boy, whenever Brendon wanted something, he would often say to Brendon “Doua – do it” then Brendon would break into his dance… Or when she was a little girl in Trinidad, if Arlene wanted something, he would say “sing the song” and she would sing him ‘Away in a Manger’ …When they moved to Port Coquitlam, he found the first “31 Flavours” ice cream that opened up at Broadway/Alma and on a Sunday he would pile the family into the car and make the more than one-hour drive for an ice cream cone…Despite warnings, Otto continued to smoke heavily. This eventually led to complete lung failure on March 7, 2022.

He was loved and will be greatly missed by his family. We wish him a peaceful journey and may God Bless his soul.