Floral tributes to honour the life of Sweelan Ford. / SUR

Fuengirola's Salón Varietés Theatre holds memorial service to celebrate the life of long-time supporter

Friends and family gathered at the theatre to remember Sweelan Ford who died in November at the age of 87

Tony Bryant

The Salón Varietés Theatre in Fuengirola held a special memorial service on Friday 25 February for Sweelan Ford, a long-time supporter of the theatre who died in November at the age of 87.

Friends and family gathered at the theatre to celebrate the life of Sweelan, who was described as a “burst of light and colour, and a delight in the lives of everyone she touched”.

Born in Johore, Malaysia in 1934, Sweelan, and her husband Brian, fell in love with Mijas after first visiting in 1960, and they eventually set up home in the town in 1984.

The couple became active both on and off stage at theatre until Brian died in 1999. She then divided her time between Singapore, where her family lives, and Mijas.

In September 2009, Sweelan returned to live full time in Fuengirola and became an “invaluable member” of the amateur theatrical community, performing in numerous productions and offering her support to promote the theatre at fundraising events.

Sweelan met her second partner, Peter - an avid lover of the arts who became her soulmate and rock for the last nine years of her life - on a cruise along the River Nile that was organised by the Salón Varietés.

In between theatre productions, the couple enjoyed many global adventures until poor health prevented her from travelling.

She is survived by her partner, and her daughter and two grandchildren.