Stanley Morris (Wellington Tribute)

Those of the Wellington Israeli Dance Group who have been around for more than 2 or 3 years fondly remember Stan, the Auckland co-founder of Machol Pacifica. I have my own enjoyable memories of Stan, mostly from my Auckland days when I first met him in 1988, but also occasions with mutual friends since.

Originally an International Folk Dancer, Stan was quickly drawn to the excitement of Israeli Dance and soon mastered enough dances to start teaching in the early to mid-eighties. His classes would blossom, then after a short break or overseas travel to increase his repertoire, they were sparked again usually at a different venue. By the late eighties Stan and Raymond became convinced that a 3 day workshop could successfully be held in Hamilton, taking the risk of bringing a teacher from Israel. So successful it was that they repeated the event the following year and thus kicked off the rest. The organizing involved developing strong connections and long friendships with growing groups in other centres particularly Wellington and our late Marcia Trask and daughter Yvonne who took over producing the NZ Israeli Folk Dancer, started first by Stan. From 1989 to very recently he was nearly always at camp, even when a crook hip impaired his movements.

Stan's attention to detail was meticulous, an example being the notation system he devised for dances to help his pupils learn (before widespread videos and DVDs). And then it was Stan who filmed and prepared the first video at that first camp. His caring nature was evident in his consistent willingness to share knowledge from his vast memory and library of resources to help others. Another part of his soul took great delight in helping plan social evenings at camps, his creativity resulting in some interesting and amusing items.

In the world of dance Stan will be greatly missed by the Wellington group. Val Meyer commented that she thought Stan would "go on forever". Well, we know the wonderful memories will, along with the deep appreciation for all his work. Thanks so much Stan. Michele Dickson, for the Wellington group.

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