Margaret Ruth Walcott, co-founder of the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, laid to rest in Trinidad

NPG x137197; Derek Walcott; Margaret Ruth Walcott (nÈe Maillard) by Rollie McKenna

It is important to appreciate the purity and integrity of God’s creation and to protect it in the way theatre icon Margaret Ruth Walcott sought to do, Roman Catholic priest Fr Garfield Rochard said during a funeral service for Derek Walcott’s former wife–as Miranda La Rose reports for Trinidad’s Newsday.

In his homily at the simple funeral service of Walcott called “The Carnival is Over” at the Church of the Assumption, Maraval at which no eulogy was read or tributes paid, Rochard called for prayers for those in harmony with the arts so they will continue to be an inspiration to society. Walcott, 82, served as chairman of Queen’s Hall in St Ann’s for many years.

Her children Dr Elizabeth Walcott-Hackshaw and Anna Walcott-Hardy, grandchildren, relatives and numerous friends and associates all gathered for the final farewell. Ex-husband and 1992 Nobel Laureate for Literature Derek Walcott, who was accompanied by his wife Sigrid, was also present in a wheel-chair. The Marionettes Chorale led by Gretta Taylor led the singing of selected hymns.

Speaking of the arts and the creation of the world which he called “God’s masterpiece”, Rochard said “we live in an age” when the masterpiece is threatened and it has become important for everyone to become involved in preserving the environment through the appreciation of the arts and their beauty. On behalf of the family, artist Donald “Jackie” Hinkson read Derek Walcott’s 1981 composition, “The Season of Phantasmal Peace,” which is considered a poem of spiritual peace.

While many contained their emotions Walcott’s teenage grandson, Dylan Walcott-Hackshaw, a leading pall bearer told Newsday through tears, “She meant a lot to me. I will miss her. I can’t say anything else.”

Speaking about Walcott, novelist, playwright and short story writer Earl Lovelace said, “Margaret was somebody who helped to make things possible for theatre and the arts.”

A fountain of knowledge, he said in the early days she was very involved in laying the foundation for the theatre movement and remained very much involved until the end.

Together with her former husband they formed the Trinidad Theatre Workshop. “I don’t know, how we will do without her going forward,” Lovelace said. Master designer Brian MacFarlane said, “it is sad to see Margaret, such a strong individual in society, who has given so much to country, leave.” Nevertheless, he said, “She has left us with a legacy and given us the hope to continue.”

For the original report go to http://www.newsday.co.tt/news/0,191814.html

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