House Pays Tribute to Lady Cooke

Photo: Rudranath Fraser “As a former Minister of Education, I must especially salute Lady Cooke. Her contribution to the sector cannot be overstated.”

Story Highlights

  • The House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 13) paid tribute to Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Ivy Cooke, who died on June 5.
  • In his tribute, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Lady Cooke lived a long life, distinguished by service to the nation, the field of education and to her family.
  • For his part, Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, said Lady Cooke was a teacher by vocation and a humanist by disposition.

The House of Representatives on Tuesday (June 13) paid tribute to Her Excellency, the Most Hon. Lady Ivy Cooke, who died on June 5.

Lady Cooke, who was the widow of former Governor-General, Sir Howard Cooke, passed away at the age of 100 years, leaving behind two sons, Howard Cooke, Jr. and Richard Cooke, and one daughter, Audrey Cooke.

In his tribute, Prime Minister the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, said Lady Cooke lived a long life, distinguished by service to the nation, the field of education and to her family.

Mr. Holness said at 100, Lady Cooke was a matriarch, whose vast wealth of knowledge, experience and her stories of old-time Jamaica “must have given her family and friends great joy”.

“As a former Minister of Education, I must especially salute Lady Cooke. Her contribution to the sector cannot be overstated. I applaud her as an outstanding educator. She was passionate about education, child development and guidance and counselling,” he said.

A graduate of Warsop All-Age School and Bethlehem Training College for Teachers, Lady Cooke also pursued courses at the Department of Child Development, Institute of Education, University of London, and various educational courses at the University of the West Indies, Jamaica.

This extensive training earned her various leadership positions in the teaching field.

On the social side, she has trained several cultural groups in speech and song for the Jamaica National Festival Movement, and supported several basic-school projects, in partnership with United Way.

“She was passionate about our culture and always ensured she devoted her time accordingly. Lady Cooke was also known for her love of gardening. She made a meaningful and valuable contribution to our schools and, by extension, our communities,” the Prime Minister said.

For his part, Leader of the Opposition, Dr. Peter Phillips, said Lady Cooke was a teacher by vocation and a humanist by disposition.

“She spent 43 years in the classroom. Throughout her husband’s active life she would provide the anchor that enabled him to combine the rolls of educator, organiser of the performing arts, and be a founding member of the People’s National Party,” Dr. Phillips said.

“She proved to be an exemplary wife (and) mother to their three children. She also mentored thousands of others, but still found time to give voluntary service to church, community and country,” he added.

Tributes were also paid by former Prime Minister, the Most. Hon. Portia Simpson Miller; Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Reverend Ronald Thwaites; Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Hon. Olivia Grange; and Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Hon. Dr. Horace Chang.

JIS Social