Sandra Jackson exits the world stage at an outpouring of grief and reflection –
BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Thousands of grief-stricken friends, family and fans braved a chilly Melbourne winter morning to bid farewell to much loved musical personality Sandra Jackson as she was laid to rest after a brief illness which snatched her away unexpectedly.
The popular frontline singer of ‘Replay 6’ and ‘No Limit’ succumbed to Pulmonary Fibrosis of the lungs and Cardio Vascular complications in the prime of her singing career leaving behind a distraught family and thousands of friends and fans who have marveled at her fantastic vocal ability over the past few decades.
The Catholic Church of St. Paul the Apostle in Endeavour Hills was filled to capacity and even poured out into the surrounds of the church as mourners thronged the funeral service to pay their last respects to a singer whose caring nature endeared her to many as was witnessed at the service, at the Springvale cemetery and the wake at the Grand on Princes.
The well attended and emotional service was well coordinated by Sandra’s family with tearful tributes from daughters, Tatum, Candice and granddaughter Mischa the highlights.
Tributes also poured in from far and wide as fellow musicians, media personalities and friends who have heard Sandra Jackson perform showed unreserved emotion at her passing.
The much-loved singer who commanded the stage and owned it with pride wherever she performed, was popular for her choice of music which was mainly Rock, Pop, Reggae and a special love for Country, and loved to interact with her fans whenever she belted out her favourites. She was renowned for her explosive Tina Turner imitations especially her favourite rendition of ‘Simply the best’ which was unmatched.
Her distinctive vocals were always a head turner as was witnessed a few months ago when legendary singer Frank Ifield and former Australian TV presenter Donnie Sutherland interrupted their conversation to take in her performance at the Grand on Cathies which was launching Alston Koch’s movie ‘According to Matthew’.
Always a lover of the limelight, Sandra Jackson left this world with a suddenness that attracted thousands of people from all walks of life who had interacted with her at some time, to bid her farewell.
A wake at the Grand on Princes which threw in a lavish dinner and refreshments was packed beyond capacity as the 380- seated capacity venue spilled out to every nook and corner with many well wishers having to stand and watch the proceedings.
The wide screen at the Grand payed back some of Sandra Jackson’s special moments in her musical journey which included duets with such legendary personalities as Desmond De Silva. There were recorded messages from music greats such as, Dalreen Suby, Mignonne Fernando, Donald Pieries from Mirage, Melantha Perera, Benjy Ranabahu, Noeline Honter, veteran Island newspaper Journalist in Sri Lanka, Ivan Alvis, and a few others followed by live singing tributes to a dearly departed member of the musical fraternity in Melbourne by Derrick J, Andrea Marr, Arnie and daughter Paris Griffs, Sonali Lindsay and Cherrie Charmari, Allison Jayasinha, Ben Nathanielsz, Shehara Rodrigo and Sandra’s backup bands Replay 6 and No limit.
The world has lost a shining star and the outer galaxy has gained one. Sandra was a great and much-loved wife to the love of her life, Esric, daughters Candice and Tatum, their spouses Toufic and Richard and grandkids Mischa, Cruz, Makai, and Brooklyn.
The stage will never be the same without Sandra Jackson leading the way with ‘Replay 6’ and ‘No Limit’. But it was her wish that no one should grieve at her passing. “Celebrate, have fun and let the music go on”, was her parting words to her loved ones.