Rhone laid to rest
Published: Friday | October 2, 2009
Mourners participate in yesterday's funeral for Trevor Rhone, playwright, director and actor, at St Luke's Anglican Church in Cross Roads, St Andrew. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Memories and tales of fun, admiration and love flooded the St Luke's Anglican Church yesterday as family, friends and well-wishers reflected on the life of acclaimed playwright Trevor Rhone.
There were chuckles, laughter and the momentary nodding of heads as actress Leonie Forbes, in her remembrance, noted that Rhone told her he spent most of his time "interacting with his peers" in his first year at Beckford and Smith High School (later St Jago High School) in St Catherine. This, Forbes said, was "his suave was of saying that he played the fool".
Forbes noted, however, that, after a good beating with a guava switch, Rhone settled down, came third in his class, then came second and, by his final year, eventually achieved first place.
She told the story of how Rhone, a little boy who grew up in Bellas Gate, St Catherine, found the place cold and refused to wash his little feet at night before going to bed.
"His mother was not amused," read Forbes. "She would wake him up and send him out to brave the dark to 'wash you foot'."
Forbes, who participated in several pieces with Rhone, said the actor and director knew how to establish rapport with his cast.
"Having started out as an actor himself, he knew exactly what to say to his cast to get the best from them, to emphasise purpose and intention rather than superficialities and he was patience personified," she said.
Others noted the commitment Rhone had to his work, and his family and friends. Gurney Beckford, Rhone's friend, reminisced on how they became friends and he became godfather for the playwright's first child.
Beckford said Rhone wrote his final script, went to see his lawyer and checked his will before his death.
"Trevor understood it all. He was in his final struggle," he said as he called the congregation to give one last standing ovation.
Olivia Grange, minister of youth, sport and culture, urged the con-gregation, "Do not despair even as you mourn his passing."
Rhone died suddenly last Tuesday at the age of 69. He has received several awards in his lifetime and, among his noted works are Smile Orange, Old Story Time, Milk and Honey, and his award-winning one-man play and book Bellas Gate Boy.