Memorial Service Tribute by Governor Franklin Richards for Sir Ian Valz

Celebrating the Life of Sir Ian Michael Valz  

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Mrs. Patricia Atmodimedjo, brothers, sisters and relatives, friends and colleagues of the late Sir Ian Michael Valz.

Today, the cultural community, members of the artistic fraternity, family and friends have come to pay homage to the late Sir Ian Michael Valz.

We are here to reflect on a stalwart in his own right and celebrate his achievements.

In a career that spans over a quarter of a century, Sir Ian Michael Valz has won acclaim for his contribution to arts. He has distinguished himself as a playwright, an actor and a filmmaker.

Sint Maarten has lost a creative genius of the performing arts.

I am sure Sir Ian Michael Valz himself would want us to acknowledge that the good things he did and achieved, whatever he was able to do to improve society, was done to help others. He was a servant of humanity.

Ian as he was affectionately and popularly known to all was a leading Caribbean playwright with his most recent award winning film the Panman, Rhythms of the Palm.

Ian’s contributions to the performing arts not only excited Sint Maarteners, but he also had the Caribbean region spellbound by his talent for the arts.

Ian made his mark on the performing arts: drama and the cultural landscape of our nation.

Through his long dedication and selfless service, he came to be recognized as an icon in his own right.

For his outstanding service and accomplishments Ian received a Royal decoration as "Knight In the Order of Orange Nassau," in 2006.

Ian had passion for people, and without a doubt, he will be missed by many, but there is much about the life of Ian Michael Valz that can never die.

It is the bridges that he has built and the foundation that he has laid in the performing arts. Now it is up to you to carry on what he has inspired in you.

Even though a void has been created, the spirit of Ian lives on in each one of you in the artistic fraternity who have had the opportunity to be a part of his work.

I encourage you to continue on with the foundation he has built.

As we mourn this great loss, I extend heartfelt sympathy to you, Patricia, and members of the bereaved family; to friends and colleagues and to all those who have had the distinct privilege of knowing Ian.

I wish you strength in these trying times.

So in closing, I say with gratitude and admiration; so long, dear friend.

God Bless and May his soul rest in Peace.

Thank You

Governor Franklyn Richards