Vivian Lee passes at the age of 93

Vivian Lee passes at the age of 93

By Cyril Bryan – Guyanese Online

Isabelle and Vivian Lee with the late Olga Lopes-Seale taken in Barbados in July 2010 (pix by Guyanese Online)

Vivian Lee, one of the pioneers of early broadcasting and entertainment in the 1950s at Radio Demerara, and who ran a successful advertising and music business in Guyana up to the late 1970’s, passed on August 16 at the age of 93.

Vivian and his wife Isabelle resided in Vancouver, British Columbia, since 1985 after spending seven years in France. In Vancouver he was one of the founders of the Guyanese Cultural Association of BC in 1986, after a visit there by then President Desmond Hoyte brought out the Guyanese in British Columbia Canada, and started the process.   

He believed in continuous learning and action, and earned a degree in English from the University of British Columbia at the age of 72.  He wrote and edited a book entitled Super Seniors in 2004, which chronicles inspiring life stories of people like him who were over 65. This book is a collection of “inspirational stories of seniors combining the joys of positive thinking with the rewards of positive action”.

In 2002, Vivian Lee received the Guyana Folk Festival 2002 Wordsworth McAndrew Award. These awards, named after the distinguished Guyanese folklorist Wordsworth McAndrew, are awarded to recipients for their contributions to Guyanese folk and popular culture.

From 1957 to 1979 Vivian Lee had a Record Store, Advertising Company, as well as a recording company ACE Records at Robb and King Streets. He was a popular broadcaster, public relations specialist, songwriter, and cultural promoter.

A very creative man he was, writing the famous radio character Mrs. Snodgrass; creating the lyrics for ¨Down at the bottom floor”, popularized by Lord Canary and promoting national and international musicians like Johnny Braff, who was a very popular local artist with many hits in the 1960′s. He also produced one of the early Guyanese films, the musical comedy,” If Wishes Were Horses”.   (Guyanese Online)


 Note:   E-mail message from Isabelle Lee

Tony, our son, has set-up a very basic site where people can place their condolences/tributes/photos etc.  See the link to the website below:-

The site also has the details of the events to be held on Thursday, August 23rd at the St Joseph the Worker parish.  4551 Williams Road. Richmond. BC.

10 am to 10:30 am – Viewing of the body in the foyer of the church

10:30 am to 11.00 am – Vigil service in the church

11:00 am to 11:30 – refreshments in the foyer of the church

11:30 am to 12:30 pm – Mass and dismissal – Family to proceed to the burial site of the Garden of Gethsemane in Surrey – friends who wish to attend are welcomed.

In lieu of flowers, a collection will be taken during the mass to go to St John Bosco Orphanage in Plaisance, East Coast Demerara. Guyana.

Thanks … please circulate the information.

Isabelle and familee

Remembering Vivian in My Way

Subject: Fw: Musical tribute to Vivian Lee
This was videographed by Xiaoli Sue-A-Quan and the performer/singer is Trev Sue-A-Quan with accompanist on the guitar Ken Wong-Moon at the church where the viewing/funeral for Vivian Lee took place on Thursday, August 23rd, 2012.
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  • Pat Savory  On 08/17/2012 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you Gem. Not many of us left who would remember Vivian.

    • Len Corsbie  On 08/20/2012 at 12:53 pm

      Vivian had a way of getting people to become confident in themselves. Timidity caused him to lose patience. He would respond with his “speak up, boy, i am deaf in this ear and i don’t hear in the other one!”

  • Rosaliene Bacchus  On 08/17/2012 at 9:58 pm

    A generation of Guyana’s leaders, creative artists, and doers in all fields and professions are leaving us. May their legacy live on.

  • Grantley Culbard  On 08/18/2012 at 3:21 pm

    A great Guyanese pioneer in his fields. He settled for no less than mastering whatever he chose to do. May his soul rest in peace!

  • JOAN DE OLIVEIRA  On 08/18/2012 at 4:24 pm

    Iremember Vivian lee very well, he worked at Radio demerara, and in Fe. 1956, and among 11 other girls, he persuaded me to participate in the Cannival Contest , whick I decided to at the last minute, after Vivian came and asked me three times…having no self-esteem and confidence in myself, i did nto thin i had a chance of winning…..but to my surprise, i won first place……i was working at Wm. Fogarty’s Retail at the time, but another Company run by mr. Dahaar sponsored me…….Yes Vivian Lee was sure and confident in what he believed and did……………Joan de Oliveira, Canada

  • JOAN DE OLIVEIRA  On 08/18/2012 at 4:43 pm

    I remember Vivian Lee very well, he worked at Radio Demerara, and in Feb. 1956, among 11 other girls, he persuaded me to participate in the Carnival Contest, which I decided to, at the last minute, after Vivian Lee came and asked me three times…Having no self-esteem and confidence in myself, I thought I would not have a chance of wining…but to my surprise, at the finals, I won first place…I was working at Wm. Fogarty’s Retail at the time, but another company, managed by a Mr. Dahaar, sponsored me for the contest….Yes, Vivian Lee, was sure and confident in what he believed in and did………..Joan de Oliveira, Canada …………………………………………Peace!

  • Cyril Balkaran  On 08/19/2012 at 6:46 am

    Radio Demerara was the Voice of A Nation and the Creators have left one by one and so also has the station. Nothing ever lasts forever. the day will slao come when someone will bid us farewell. May the soul of Vivian Lee RIP, so we can live a life worth emulating.God Bless you all.

  • Lynette Andrews Baker  On 08/20/2012 at 7:27 pm

    My condolences to the family to this great Guyanese pioneer. His legacy will live will live on far into the future. His contribution in the entertainment industry will make an invaluable addition to our history books. In the above memorable photograph he is pictured with another powerful philanthropist in her day, Olga Lopes Seale. Farewell and God bless you both for your hard work that has had an enormous impact on the lives of many who crossed your paths.

  • Hewley  On 08/23/2012 at 10:27 am

    I knew Mr. Lee (respect due) as a little boy (from 11 years old) . My grandfather had El Dorado Advertisers in the Crescent Cycle Store building on King Street.
    Spent lots of time in the record store as well as his advertising agency (Ace Advertisers). Shared some good times with him.

  • cheddie9h  On 08/29/2012 at 3:10 pm

    Vivian Lee was and continues to be a role model for me. I worked at Ace Advertisers for two years when I left Queen’s College. His son Ronald was also a mentor and for these gifts I am eternally grateful. Peace…

Leave a Reply to Pat Savory Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: