‘The Lost Colony’ 2013 Season Dedicated To Friday Family
Opening night of the 76th annual production of The Lost Colony outdoor drama is this Friday at Waterside Theatre on Roanoke Island, as the Roanoke Island Historical Association (RIHA) announced last week that the 2013 season will be officially dedicated to the family of longtime supporter William C. Friday.
Read on for the full press release, written by William P. Massey, member of the Board of Directors of the RIHA and a longtime friend to the Friday family.
The Roanoke Island Historical Association dedicates the 76th Season of Paul Green’s The Lost Colony to the William C. Friday Family
Few names are more recognizable to generations of North Carolinians than the William C. Friday family.
Decades of public service to the State, including a lifetime and highly important association with The Lost Colony, demonstrates their shared dedication to civic-mindedness, to communities that celebrate and nurture every member’s uniqueness and talents, and to an unflinching belief in an educated citizenry’s ability to lift up the economic, cultural, social and political horizons of a state. Theirs is a story of living full, fascinating and useful lives.
For all the ways they have strengthened, supported and nurtured the Outer Banks and this production, for the splendid gifts of their talents, resources and themselves, the 76th Season of the Tony Honor season of The Lost Colony is dedicated to the Fridays – Bill and Ida, Fran, Betsy and Mary.
The Friday family befriended The Lost Colony and, for over half a century, have been steadfast in the struggle to keep the dream alive. The family cherished time together during the summers at their Kill Devil Hills cottage.
They were among the pioneers of a new order who appreciated the telling of the history of a colony in the New World, not as an idle dream or frivolous thought, but as the bud of the idea that became America. The Fridays were, and are, friends of The Lost Colony.
To the Friday family, friendship is a commitment of trust, goodwill, and a willingness always to help. It means to bring out the best in people and to share with them the greatest joy and happiness.
To the Fridays we send love and devotion from hundreds of women and men across the county who appeared in The Lost Colony during their many years of involvement with the production. Though scattered now from one corner of the nation to the other, The Lost Colony alumni are together tonight in sprit because of the extraordinary support unselfishly given to them, to this special drama, and to this hallowed ground for so many years. The Fridays have done because of their appreciation to the theatre, of the great historical significance of the Outer Banks, and their love for the natural beauty of the land of our State.
They have understood, as individuals and as a family, that we are all different personalities and spirits. Each in their own way worked all hours of the day or night to help a struggling theatre performer or a frustrated organization trying to find its place in the public arena. They also understood and embraced another great truth: that most of us want to be useful, to be decent, to be honorable and charitable, and to live lives of purpose so as to improve the lot of those about us.
That is why it is appropriate for The Lost Colony to honor the Friday family, not only because of the many important thing they have done in their years of splendid service, but because of the quality of their lives and the integrity, character, humility and the legacy of love their every deed manifests.
It is appropriate, as we stand at an extraordinary moment of transition in the American society and the world, that we pause to say “thanks and well done” to our quiet, courageous, and sharing friends and neighbors. Isn’t it reassuring to see the qualities of commitment, service, fairness, and faith publicly and joyfully reaffirmed?
And special thanks to Ida and Bill Friday for knowing when most of us could not – as did Paul Green in the character of Old Tom in The Lost Colony – that the dignity of the common man is the highest dignity there is and that the collective goodwill of the common man is the single most important force in maintaining our civil society.