March 6, 2013 at 2:23 p.m.

Ruth danced her way into people’s hearts

Ruth danced her way into people’s hearts
Ruth danced her way into people’s hearts

By Raymond [email protected] | Comments: 0 | Leave a comment

She was a fixture on the club circuit for decades – and only hung up her dancing shoes after she turned 90 years of age.

Ruth Cassidy, who would have been 93 next month, died on Friday in hospital of age-related conditions.

Now tributes from men and women who were club-goers in the 1980s and 1990s have flooded in as they remember with affection the great-grandmother who loved to dance.

Ms Cassidy’s grand-daughter, Karen Brine said: “Granny loved people and loved to talk — she really enjoyed to just get out and be sociable with people.

“Whether it was karaoke and going out to sing or getting up and dancing to whatever music was playing, she was there.”

The tiny and colourfully-dressed Ms Cassidy, who was only around 4’6’’ tall, was a regular to the wee small hours at the former Oasis nightclub on Front Street.

She was so popular at the then-premier city nightspot, management gave her our own VIP pass.

Ms Cassidy was also seen regularly at Hog Penny on the city’s Burnaby Street, the Hamilton Princess happy hour on Fridays, The Reefs in Southampton and the Fairmont Southampton.

Ms Brine said: “If there was music going on at the weekend, or even during the week, she was there.”

She added her grandmother only gave up her regular trips two years ago, as her health began to fail.

Ms Brine said: “She drove until she was almost 89 and had her licence until that age. After that, she had friends come pick her up, but before that she was totally independent.”

Her last major public appearances when she drove herself were at the Hamilton Princess New Year’s Eve event in 2011 and appeared as Mrs Claus in the annual Boat Parade the same year.

Ms Cassidy also brightened up seniors’ Christmas events across the island by turning up in her Mrs Claus outfit.

Ms Brine said: “At one point she in hospital and Oasis sent her flowers. When she got out, they escorted her right to the top of the line on her first visit back.”


She added: “When I was going to my bed, Granny was just going out. So many people knew her and everybody looked out for her.

“We always knew she could watch out for herself — and everybody looked out for her as well. She always got home safely.”

A Facebook announcement of Ms Cassidy’s death prompted a flood of tributes.

One said: “I remember her well from Oasis days. She could outdance us all. She was such an inspiration.”

Another poster wrote that she was “one of those characters that make Bermuda so special.”

Another tribute said: “Ruthie was the most amazing and happy lady I have ever met. And I talk about her at the Hog Penny and she would always bring the house down singing ‘Wild Thing’. Finally heaven has some entertainment. She will be missed but not forgotten.”

Ms Cassidy, one of 14 children and born only two years after the end of the First World War, was born in Pembroke and spent most of her life living in the parish.

She married Stanley (Peg) Cassidy in 1936. Mr Cassidy died in 1984.

The couple had two children, Sheila and Michael, as well as seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

She worked in a variety of jobs, latterly as a sales assistant at the now-closed H &E Smith’s on the corner of Front and Queen Streets, finally retiring when aged well into her 70s.

But Ms Brine said her grandmother also made all her own clothes, and collected coins and stamps as well as dealing in them.

She added: “I would say she was an entrepreneur in her own right. She used to go to Harbour Nights and sell things — she was a keen coin and stamp collector and dealer.” 


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