photo by Martin MacPhee
Nan began her love of G&S at the
age of nine when she very unwillingly accompanied her grandmother to a
performance of Trial by Jury at St.Aidans Church in Toronto. Ever since
she has been an ardent G&S fan.
Nan performed in operettas at
Scarborough Collegiate and with St. Aidan's Music Club. As a member of
St. Peter's Choir she was asked to direct their first show in 1966. From
then until 1997, she was at the helm of our society in the incredible
capacity of Director, Choreographer and Stage Director! Her creative
talents made the St. Peter's G&S Society and eventually the
Scarborough G&S Society the success they have been.
When Nan retired in 1997 as our Director, she ended an illustrious
career of 32 continuous years of devotion and service. Her love of
G&S and her love of people left the society with a lasting gift -
the Scarborough Gilbert & Sullivan Society which continues to
survive and thrive. As an example of her record, Nan Wells had been
recognized in 1992 by the City of Scarborough as Citizen of the Year for
her contribution to the arts of this city.
An Emotional Farewell
At the Annual Meeting held at the old haunting ground, the St. Peter's Church in Scarborough, Nan Wells made the
announcement that many knew was coming but still dreaded to hear: she was reluctantly stepping down from her post in the
society. For her to say it did not come easy. With pauses for composure, Nan informed us it was now over - she was leaving.
Most in attendance may have been mentally prepared, nevertheless, all were in quiet shock. Linda, Nan's daughter, was in
tears. The feeling of loss was so evident in the room; clearly it was a sad time for all.
The committee was commended by member Eleanor Malcomson for the way they handled the evening; the usual format of
business was arranged so that Nan could say what had to be said, leaving all other business to follow naturally in the wake
of feelings that stirred from the floor. Nan made it through her personal ordeal so wonderfully, then the committee was ready -
to listen and to guide the members into a new era. In the air was that mix of singular loss and shared hope.