It was an evening of nostalgia laced with songs, dances and drama. There were also the tributes. The venue was the Theatre Guild and the occasion was a celebration of the contributions by Daphne Rogers, dubbed by the Actors Action Association as a cultural icon.
The Actors Association sponsored the occasion Sunday evening and everyone whose life Ms Rogers had touched and their relatives and friends paid $2,500 just to be there. The takings will all go to Ms Rogers who is now in her twilight years.
The programme began with cocktails and video tributes by former actors and actresses who now reside in the Diaspora. Hosting the event were overseas-based actress Rose October- Edun and Nazim Hussain.
Dances by the National Dance Company, Dharmic Nrityasangh, the Classique Dance Company and Rose October-Edun; songs by the Woodside Choir, Winfield James, the Jazz Ensemble, Dr Paloma Mohamed, Delma Lynch, Russell Lancaster and Winslow Patterson; and steel pan renditions by Ras Camo Williams added to the occasion. Those paying tribute were colleagues of Ms Rogers –Ms Edna Cadogan, Mrs Sybil Wiltshire and Mayor Hamilton Green.
Ron Robinson used his harmonica to good effect to evoke memories of the days when the theatre was the place to be.
Many traced the life of Ms Rogers, from the days when she was a sight for sore eyes to the days when she rejected suitors. “She wanted the perfect man but these do not exist these days. They have to be made,” said Mrs Wiltshire.
An emotional Ms Rogers declined to address the gathering as ladies and gentlemen. Rather she saw them as “friends, colleagues and well-wishers.” She lauded their contributions and cried when the members of the guild who now live in the Diaspora announced their financial contribution to her.
The programme lasted all of three hours and enforced the fact that people need to be recognised during their lifetime and not when they lie cold in a coffin.
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