• Mary Jefferies

Hudson Players Club honours David Clayton with commemorative plaque

PHOTO BY ELIZABETH HARWOOD With members of the Hudson Players Club standing in silence, Margaret Clayton, wife of the late David Clayton, takes a closer look at the commemorative plaque positioned in his memory on the bench outside Hudson Town Hall.

Back in 1990, the Town of Hudson offered residents and organizations alike the opportunity to buy benches together with an attached commemorative brass plaque to be placed in prominent positions around the community.

Celebrating its 70th anniversary this year, The Hudson Players Club, founded by a small group of local thespians and today the oldest English-speaking amateur theatre group in Quebec, was one of the first to get on board with a dedication to past president of the club, John Harley, who had recently passed away.

Over the next 28 years, the tradition has continued as other former presidents passed on and last Friday evening, May 11, many club members - both past and present - gathered at the bench outside Hudson Town Hall to dedicate another plaque in memory of David Clayton who not only held the position of club president twice but who was one of the most talented actors the club has seen and who performed in almost every play mounted during the 1960s, 70s and into the 80s, often in a leading role.

While his sense of comedic timing was legendary, acting was not his only talent. He was a sympathetic and experienced director willing to share his knowledge of stagecraft and encourage new members to step up on stage often for the very first time.

Among those attending the dedication were Margaret Clayton together with two of their three daughters, Amanda and Sarah. They were touched to hear tributes to David from current club president Steve Walters, Diana Gausden, Peter Williamson, all past presidents of the club, as well as several other members.

PHOTO BY ELIZABETH HARWOOD Heather and Bert Markgraf welcomed Hudson Players Club members to a reception at their Hudson Galerie Plus following the placing of the plaque.

To round off the evening, the group then walked over to Galerie Plus on Main Road to be welcomed with wine and cheese and a collection of vintage posters designed and created by Peter and Traudl Markgraff to publicize Hudson Players Club productions in the 1970s.

Truly a beautiful evening and, if you do have the time, pass by the HPC bench, further enhanced by a sculpture titled ‘Sandy’ who was constructed by local artist, Daniel Gauthier, from driftwood and other items washed up on Sandy Beach after the floods last spring.