By Devonne Cornelius
St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) — On Thursday, October 22, 2020, many Nevisians paid their respect to one of Nevis’ cultural icons, Mrs. Eglantine “De Dancer” Duberry formerly of Barnes Ghaut Village, St. Thomas’ Parish.
The homegoing service which took place at the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church saw family and friends and well-wishers celebrating the life of Mrs. Duberry, the 2002 Patron of Culturama.
The Nevis Cultural Development Foundation (NCDF) in tribute to Mrs. Duberry said “She was ever-present behind the Big Drum, Steel-band and the String-band in her youth. Additionally, her family is blessed with many musicians, e.g.; John Jarvis, “Beef”, Youngman, Eugene, the Hamiltons and Liburds. However, it was not until after her union with Joseph that she began organizing villagers into dance groups. Mrs. Duberry and her troupes played Japanese Girls, Cowboys and Cowgirls, Fantasy, and many other aspects of this integral part of our folklore. Whether during community programmes, Christmas, CULTURAMA or Carnival; ‘De Dancer’ and her groups have thrilled audiences throughout Nevis and St. Kitts with their vibrant, colorful, and energetic performances”.
In a 2002 interview with NCDF Mrs. Duberry stated that “It was easy in those days because the community was united and that children, teens, and adults alike were very much interested in participating. Whether it was raising funds, practicing, costumes, transportation or performances; everyone chipped in to assist”.
Mrs. Duberry was one of the eight (8) children born to James and Albertha Jarvis in the fruitful village of Barnes Ghaut. She was born Eglantine Jarvis on June 07, 1930. In the era of the famous Seventh Standard Certificate, she was educated at the St. Thomas’ Church (All-Age) School under the guidance of teachers such as Mrs. Richardson, Williams, and Victor Jones.
Duberry a lifelong attendee at the St. Thomas’ Anglican Church, was an active member of the Senior Choir and the Mother’s Union for a very long time.
In 1951, Eglantine ‘jumped the broom’ with Joseph Duberry (now deceased) and their marriage produced nine (9) children; four of whom are alive.
The Cultural Icon’s funeral was packed with tributes by her family, the St. Thomas’ Mothers’ Union, the Nevis Cultural Committee, and the Ministry of Social Development’s Senior Citizen Division.