April 26, 2007 — Dark, rolling clouds and torrential early afternoon rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of those gathered on St. Thomas Thursday to pay homage to the memory of world-renowned musician Trevor Nicholas "Nick" Friday by dedicating a stretch of roadway in his honor.
Several of Friday's family members, including his mother, father and sister, participated in the short East End ceremony, presided over by St. Thomas-Water Island Administrator Barbara Petersen, along with Gov. John P. deJongh Jr.
Both officials described the dedication, held immediately after the conclusion of J'ouvert, as a "fitting" tribute to the musical giant, who is most commonly remembered as the vivacious and energetic singer of St. Thomas' own Jam Band.
"It's fitting that we left J'ouvert to come and do this," Petersen said. "Because no J'ouvert was ever complete without 'Daddy' Friday and his Jam Band."
Petersen, a former classmate of Friday's, also described him as a "quiet, pensive man of few words," who immediately transformed while on stage.
"He was a great singer, composer and band leader, who will always be remembered as one of the last popular musicians of our generation," she added. "So I'm proud and happy to do this for him, to honor this artist and musician extraordinaire on this, the 55th anniversary of Carnival."
Speaking later in the ceremony, deJongh added that he admired Friday's passion for learning, and held him up as a role model for the territory's students. "What I admire about Nick Friday the most is the fact that he was also a lawyer," deJongh said. "That he participated in so many cultural activities and, at the same time, made the effort to go to law school and continue his education."
Similar remarks came from Friday's eldest sister, Jennifer, who described Thursday's rain showers as "tears of joy Nick is sending down for us today."
"I bet once this [ceremony] is over, he will give us the sunshine that will carry us over into the rest of the Carnival weekend, his favorite time of year," she said.
As if on cue, the rain ceased after the last of the remarks were made, holding out until the first of four signs naming the Nicholas "Nick" Friday Memorial Drive was unveiled. The roadway, and its large, green signs, begin near the Red Hook dock and end near the Texaco gas station in Estate Nadir.
"See, I told you," Jennifer joked, before posing for pictures with other members of the family. Raindrops began to tumble down again after the ceremony concluded at 12:45 p.m.
Also speaking during the event was Friday's fiancée, Jacqueline Smith-Turnbull, who kept her remarks brief. "It took a lot out of me to do this today," she said. "But it's really an honor and a pleasure to be here. Nick would have been thrilled."
The dedication of the roadway came as a result of a bill sponsored by Sen. Celestino A. White Sr. after Friday's death in Oct. 2005. The bill also sets up a scholarship fund for high school students interested in studying music.
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