Saving the best for last at
"Jubilee Gala Of The Year 2000"
The task facing Lee Towers at his latest Gala series in Rotterdam’s Ahoy’ hall was both attractive and difficult. Firstly a pleasant aspect was all the extra features designed to boost the atmosphere for this farewell series in Rotterdam’s palace of sport: his silver anniversary as a professional artiste, the knowledge that this was the tenth edition and the fact that the singing host would be able to bring to no less than fifty the total number of full-evening Ahoy’ performances, a virtually unbeatable record. In view of that special background he faced the difficult task of coming up with a spectacular show that would put all the previous ones in the shade.
This ‘final round’ of five evenings had to be impeccable, unparalleled and unforgettable. As so often, Lee Towers came, saw and conquered. With the assistance of his friends and special guests Anita Meyer, Frans Bauer, René Froger, Karin Bloemen, South Mountain and Jody’s Singers he once again put in a superlative performance. An important ‘weapon’ in this three-hour-long combination of Las Vegas type extravaganza and sensitive ballads was the enormous video screen, which brought LT and the supporting performers closer than ever to everyone and also enabled him to provide a striking visual background to his personal history.
In the midst of all the highlights there was one absolute topper: Lee’s own interpretation of ‘One Moment in Time’. In the spirit of the original performance by Whitney Houston, Towers presented a dazzling review of Holland’s triumphs during the Olympic Games in Sydney, which within just a few seconds brought a lump to the throats of even the most stoic VIPs.
The surpriser surprised
In fact Lee Towers could hardly hold back his own tears in the face of various surprises that were sprung on him during the performance. Such as the appearance of Rotterdam’s Mayor Ivo Opstelten on the first evening (Friday 20 October), who came to surprise him with the Queen’s highest award to a civilian, the knighthood in the Order of the Dutch Lion. This award was made to Lee Towers not only because of his pioneering work as a showman, but also for his lasting efforts for numerous good causes in the social field. During the last show (historic date: Tuesday 24 October 2000) Lee Towers was himself briefly overcome when his ‘pal’ Hans Kroon climbed on to the massive stage to help reveal a present from the performer’s own circle of friends: an impressive bust created by no one less than Kees Verkade.
At the party that followed Lee Towers was once again made the centre of attention by close family members, including his proud mother. Here he confirmed once again, to remove any remaining doubts:
“It was absolutely brilliant. Even better than I’d hoped in my wildest dreams. So assume that as far as the Galas in Ahoy’ are concerned we’ll leave it at that.”