Fri | Oct 18, 2019

Patria-Kaye Aarons | The magical adventures of Hero duck

Published:Tuesday | October 9, 2018 | 12:00 AM
Elva Ruddock
Elva Ruddock on stage as an MC
Ever the life of the party, Elva Ruddock huddles with Brian 'Ribbie' Chung during his birthday celebration. File

Of all the pet names Elva had; 'Hero Duck' had to be my absolute favourite. The story goes, one day early 2014, Elva made a purchase. In that store, receipts were still hand-written, by a sales rep whose life mantra, I assume, was "Mi cyaa bother." When asked what name she should write on the invoice, Elva said E. Ruddock. The sales rep wrote what she heard, And couldn't care less that it was the most ridiculous pairing of two words in the history of language.

Elva may have said E. Ruddock, but the sales rep heard 'Hero Duck'. And that's what she wrote. Hero Duck had just purchased a pair of batteries.

On that day, Elva's alter ego got a name. And it was most appropriate. The woman who had long before been doing superhuman things would continue to live a life full of heroism.




To most Jamaicans, Elva had a voice and an energy long before she had a face. We would all tune in to FAME FM on a Friday morning just to hear the most unrelaxing "RELAX!" come out of her mouth. You knew laughter was in your future after that. She had a way with words, bringing humanity and humour together like only Elva could. She'd say crazy things like, "If you don't have a valentine on Valentine's Day, don't be sad. A lot of persons don't have AIDS, on World AIDS Day either." Every Friday morning we found ourselves saying, "Wah Elva really jus say?" as we wiped tears of laughter from our eyes.

Us marketers in corporate Jamaica latched on to the magic of Elva early. She was our go-to host for everything, from staff parties to road races to product launches. So many of us trusted our brands to her, with every confidence that she would show up on time, and make our event fun. Let's be real. Elva was the reason people watched the Bashco show. Who else could make milk, mosquito zappers and plastic table mats must-see-TV?

'Twas no coincidence that this May baby was born on Labour Day. Elva put in the work. She was good at what she did and used her time and talents to write, host, act, do marketing, MC; and the list goes on.

No superhero is worth their salt unless they have a disguise, and Hero Duck was not to be outdone. The woman was the wigged wonder.

She proudly championed the cause for false hair-wearing females everywhere. She used to joke that her man would never get bored because she would allow him to date seven different women - one for each of her wigs.

Elva was the quintessential 'real know real'. Social media is flooded with folks celebrating the memory of the true connection they made with her. People are telling inside jokes they had and personal, heartfelt moments shared just between the two of them. Elva gave you 100 per cent of her true self. Her relationships were meaningful and if she loved you, you felt it.

Hero Duck, you had the last laugh, beloved. You lived, out loud, on your terms, playing by your rules. You laughed through it all, and kept us laughing even when we didn't feel like. You straighten that wig and put on your cape and fly, Hero Duck. Fly.

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to and, or tweet @findpatria.