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Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Stephen Lee Heung laid to rest

Five-time Carnival Band of the Year winner Stephen Lee Heung was cremated on Wednesday following a funeral service at St Theresa’s RC Church in Woodbrook.

There was a surprisingly small turnout at the church for the bandleader who had devoted most of his life to producing mas.

Among the few fellow mas makers that did come out to pay their respects to Lee Heung were Brian MacFarlane, Rosalind Gabriel and David Cameron, leader of the band Trini Revellers.

Also present was National Carnival Bands Association president David Lopez and NCBA secretary Renwick Brown.

Officiating was Fr Gervais Girod, who said Lee Heung was as dedicated to his faith as he was to the mas.

The eulogy was presented by Lynn Tang, who also spoke of Lee Heung’s passion for mas and for people.

Lee Heung spent his childhood at Piccadilly Street, Port of Spain then moved to Duncan and then Nelson streets.

Lee Heung got involved in mas in 1942, having been encouraged by his uncle to do so. Together with his wife, Elsie, who passed away some years ago, Lee Heung, who was not a designer, produced bands working with designers such as Harold Saldenah, Carlisle Chang, Peter Minshall, Wayne Berkley, Follette Eustace and Brian MacFarlane.

Lee Heung, who was 93 years old, succumbed to pneumonia on Monday at St Clair Medical Centre.

He died only days after the launch of a book celebrating his work in mas. The book, which is titled, We Kind ah People, was written by cultural researcher Ray Funk from the United States and features the photography of George Tang.

The book was launched on October 7 at the National Library.

By Wayne Bowman

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