Relatives and friends of Patricia Betty Roe, choreographer, dancer and former principal of the Caribbean School of Dancing, were asked to keep her legacy and service alive. The request was made by her close friend, Peter Telfer, at her funeral on Tuesday.
Roe, 75, died on January 21.
At the All Saints Church, Port of Spain, Telfer said Roe’s name symbolised the meaning of family.
He said she encouraged passion and creativity for dance and the arts.
“Pat’s name spelt out passion, appreciation for people, and the truth. Who really knew Pat they would really understand. She treated everyone like family. She put her social life on hold for dance.
“She was warm and strong in her voice and believed in the beauty of art. She should be applauded for the great work she has done, especially for the younger generation.”
Telfer said the dance community would always remember Roe as a caring, loving and talented person.
“Long live the spirit of the Caribbean School of Dancing through the spirit of Miss Roe and those who have gone before her. Teacher, mentor, friend, storyteller, caretaker and so much more, dance with the angels.”
Recently-appointed principal of the school, Bridgette Wilson, said Roe’s smile could warm any heart while her stare would cause a piercing pain.
She said Roe was a loving teacher who encouraged people’s imaginations to run wild, “as we described the colours of our imaginary dresses, the number of diamonds in our tiaras and transformed the studio into a magical space where only we existed.
“She was not a keeper of time, but she was without a doubt a keeper of many stories. She made the worst of us feel like the best of us.”
Wilson said Roe’s 50 years at the school in roles of both teacher and principal, have shaped the lives of hundreds of students who have had the privilege of being under her tutelage.
She said there are no words that can do justice in expressing her gratitude and love to Roe.
A past student of the school, Fana Fraser, said Roe’s guidance, support and attention would always be deeply appreciated and cherished.
“She believed in her students and was able to push us towards unlocking our unique gifts with honesty and compassion.
“We would not be who we are, doing what we do, if it was not for Pat. For her love and generosity, sharp eye and open heart, I will be eternally grateful. Thank you Miss Roe.”
Rev Fr Carlyle Pemberton delivered the homily.
Also at the funeral were members of the Lydians Choir, Astor Johnson Repertory Dance Theatre, and National Dance Association.