Tony Lee’s Legacy will Live On

Formidable former youth campaigner Tony Lee

It is with great sadness that I write this post about the sudden passing away of Tony Lee, one of Waltham Forest borough’s most formidable youth workers.

On August the 13th, Tony Lee Fielding, Director of our borough’s “Estate of the Arts” youth programme, lost his fight for life.

Tony Lee lived and breathed our borough’s young people and helped nurture and support the talents of thousands of kids from streets and estates all over Waltham Forest.

I am devastated by his passing.

This is a copy of the letter I wrote to our local paper, the Waltham Forest Guardian, to pay tribute to Tony and to seek suggestions about a suitable memorial to remember him by:

“Dear Editor

I write to express my deep sadness at the news that my ward constituent and director of youth programme “Estate of the Arts” , Tony Lee, passed away suddenly last week.

Tony Lee was a true champion of young people in this borough. Over 25 years, through the inter college singing competition and his other arts projects Tony supported and nurtured the talent of thousands of local young people and kept many bored youngsters off the streets and away from negative activity.

I only went to visit Tony and one of his youth groups at the Outset Centre a couple of weeks ago and congratulated him on the marvellous performance that some of the young people gave at the Young People’s Caribbean Carnival and at the latest inter college competition at Walthamstow Assembly Hall last month.

I am devastated at Tony Lee’s sudden passing but comforted by the legacy he left our borough.

I have already spoken to the council’s arts and cultural officers to discuss a suitable memorial to remember Tony Lee’s work. If other Guardian readers have ideas for a memorial please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

With kindest regards

Cllr Miranda Grell ”

Tony Lee, may you rest in peace.

13 thoughts on “Tony Lee’s Legacy will Live On”

  1. My grandaughter Loren Wright atended estate of the arts a shy young girl and is now a very talented young performer thank you Tony Lee rest in peace

  2. I worked with Tony on the Estate of the Arts commitee,plus my daughter Loren Wright sung at the vocal class and the Intercollege
    final. There is now a huge void, where Tony used to be. I hope we can continue the good work,for me trying will be a great honour. He is greatly missed by all hes come in contact with, especially the kids.

    Rest in peace
    Gone but never forgotton

  3. the day tony passed all the adults and children where all devestated. tony was a big part of all the community and loved by all. he help so many children and helped them into the right direction. i wouldnt be the girl i am today without meeting tony lee and having him teach me rights and wrongs with music. he taught so many people alot to do with life. now his run out.

    we will miss him forever and always.
    xxxxx r.i.p xxxxx

  4. tony well be missed by everyone he has helped everyone in the community with the dance and vocal. he has reallly help me to go on with my career in dance. we well all miss him. r.i.pxxxxxxx

  5. TONY LEE WAS A GREAT MAN AND WILL BE MISSED VERY MUCH. I GO TO HIS CLASSES AND SINCE HE DIED IT STILL REMAINED THE SME AND NO-ONE HAS TRIED TO TAKE OVER HIS LEGACY. TONY TAUGHT ME ALOT AND WILL ALWAYS HAVE A PLACE IN MY HEART.
    XXXXXXXXX R.I.PXXXXXXXXXX
    TONY LEE

  6. i heard about Tony lee passed away. i used to do dance n do catwalk he always used to be like you comming next week melody i was like yeah definatley. he used to come into my school and give out leaflets and ever since then he aint been comming back i was thinking dats odd. then i heard that he passed away. i was devastated. i jus wanna say R.I.P TONY REST IN PEACE U WILL NEVER BE FORGOTTEN!!!! X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X X

  7. Definitely, Melody. Tony will never be forgotten. You take care of yourself. Miranda

  8. In May 2006 I lost my dear mother and also in that year one of my mentors Tony Lee Fielding. His passing is a great loss to the
    UK / British Music Industry as he will always be remembered for breaking new ground in bringin urban music talent from the local community via his InterCollege Singing Competitions to create new musical stars such as Eternal, Andrew Roachford, Loose Ends, Jazzie B and many, many more.

    Without his legacy, such events as the Mobo Awards would not exist today.

    It is in his memory, that urban muisc flourishes today.

    God Bless Tony

  9. Could it be a year already, since the day you passed away,
    but memories of happy days still fresh in my mind of that yesterday.
    You said I would be great one day, to reach for goals so high, its taken lots of work Tony but I’m reaching for the sky.
    just to let you know that I could never forget you and without you life will be, much better for the youths around,
    because of your legacy.
    I am a part of that Legacy and still a part of ESTATE OF THE ARTS
    Camara aged 11 years old.

  10. I remember the day we were told that Tony Lee had passed. Groups of us doing vocals and street dance gathered in Leyton County Grounds shed, wondering why he was late. He was never late.
    When the news was broken, so many of us felt broken as well.
    Tony Lee came to my school (Lammas) starting vocals in our drama room and then moving on to street dance and so many other things.
    I’ll never forget him or all that he has done for our community.

    RIP Tony Lee!!
    Sadly Missed but Never, Never Forgotten xxx

  11. Wow, it’s been so so long, 10 years. This man still holds a place in my memory, I no longer perform, but will always remember his actions when not holding the mic how he wanted. Always back of the class mentoring and praising. I remember the day we were all at the cricket ground, finding out the news, we were devistated, kids of 12-16 all in bits as their mentor and rock had gone. NEVER, will Tony Lee be forgotten! ??

  12. I was just discussing with my sister and friend I wonder what happened to Tony Lee. We just decided to Google his name and came across the article. We are very saddened to hear of his passing. He supported us in his talent shows in Tottenham. May he continue to RIP.

  13. Tony Lee Fielding- an inspirational individual who I could not thank enough for his dedication towards the young people in and around London. He was Waltham Forests version of Simon Cowell.

    It’s only as an adult now, seeing members of graffiti dancers on tv, in theatre shows, as backing dancers as finalists on mainstream talent shows that I really realise the value of Tony’s hard work!
    Where are the Tonys of today? Maybe we need to build a youth centre in his name to continue his legacy.

    Dancing kept me off the street and out of trouble, thanks to Tony! Graffiti dancers were a huge part of Waltham Forests culture… As a teenager growing up I learnt how to be resilient, responsible and respectful to people from all walks of life: just through dance!

    Tony Lee, may you rest in peace and may anyone out there with the connections and the ability try to continue all of your hard work for the youths of today.

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