Easton Lee (1931 - ) - The National Library of Jamaica

Easton Lee (1931 - )

Easton Lee was born in Wait-a-Bit, Trelawny, February 1931. He was born to a Chinese father, Henry and a Jamaican mother, Ercie, of mixed racial heritage. He spent his early years in several villages and towns where his parents operated a grocery shop. Lee is an author, dramatist, actor, theatre director, photographer and media personality. He is deeply involved in Jamaica’s artistic and cultural life.

Easton Lee’s formative years were spent in Siloah, St. Elizabeth in the middle of the sugar and rum producing areas of Appleton and Raheen estates. He was educated at Siloah Primary, Duncans Primary and Windsor High School. At the tertiary level, Mr. Lee attended the Jamaica School of Commerce, Pasadena Playhouse in California, the BBC London and the Civil Service Senior Staff College.

From his earliest years Lee was attracted to the theatre and after high school he joined the Caribbean Thespians Dramatic Society, then the leading group of its kind in Jamaica, and soon established himself as a major acting talent. This interest was broadened and enhanced when he went to work with the Jamaica Social Welfare Commission, now the Social Development Commission, a job which took him to every corner of the country.

His professional career however, has been spent chiefly in the field of Communication where he has maintained a high standard of excellence as a radio announcer at the then Jamaica Broadcasting Commission; or television announcer; director of audio-visual programming at the Jamaica Information Service, or as a public relations consultant.

It is in the field of drama however, that Easton Lee has made his greatest contribution.  He has done this not only as a Drama Officer with the Social Welfare Commission but also as a playwright and director. “The Rope and the Cross” his best known play, has been produced several times at home and abroad and has been published.

Lee’s interest is also channelled in religious plays, which no doubt comes from his own deep Christian beliefs. He has several religious plays to his credit including “Once in a Manger”, “On the Third Day”, and “They that Mourn”. His writings also include poems, short stories and others such as “Tarshan Lace and Velvet”, “My Dear Priscilla” and “Man to Man”.

Eastin Lee was ordained a Priest in the Anglican Church in 2000. He has sinced retired from the ministry and now resides in Florida.

Awards

  • Order of Distinction from the Government of Jamaica, 1991
  • Silver Musgrave Medal (Institute of Jamaica) for Contribution in the Field of Culture – 1988
  • Jamaica Press Association Award for Radio Production – 1983
  • Jamaica Press Association Award for TV Production – 1970