High Commissioner to UK Pays Tribute to Late Community Leader


Jamaican High Commissioner to the United Kingdom, Burchell Whiteman, has paid tribute to Jamaican-born community stalwart, Connie Mark, who died last Sunday (June 3) in Britain where she has resided since 1954.
Mrs. Mark, he said, was an outstanding community leader and a strong advocate for the rights of women and the West Indian community in Britain.
“She was a trailblazer and was among the first group of West Indian women to volunteer for service during the Second World War. She also pioneered efforts to ensure that another trailblazing Jamaican woman, Mary Seacole, was remembered for her service to the British military,” he stated.
Mr. Whiteman noted further that Mrs. Mark never forgot her roots and was “a fine example of the long tradition of strong, intelligent Jamaican women who paved the way for many others.”
Chairman of the Mary Seacole Memorial Association, which Mrs. Mark founded, Shirley Graham Paul spoke of her long friendship with the deceased. “She was a lady, who did not suffer fools gladly but she had a beautiful heart of gold and a wonderful sense of humour. She was also known for her kindness and her love of people,” she noted.
Longtime friend and colleague, Laurie Phillpots described the late community stalwart as an “extraordinary woman”, who was “always jocular and never got into conflict with anyone. She always insisted on the dignity of Caribbean people and was well respected by everyone she met. She will be sadly missed by us all.”
Daughter Amru, said her mother was a larger than life person, who was “always jolly, straight talking and always thoughtful of others”.
Connie Mark was born in Kingston in 1923, and attended the Wolmer’s Girls School. She volunteered for service during the Second World War in 1943, and worked in hospitals as a member of the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS).
She settled in Britain in 1954 and over the years, has become a well-known and respected community leader. She was also actively involved in several organizations including the West Indian Ex Servicemen and Ex Service Women Associations, the Lignum Vitae Club and the Association of Jamaicans United Kingdom Trust.
In addition to her daughter, Mrs. Mark is survived by son Stanley and grandson, Andrew. The funeral service will be held on Friday (June 22), at the St. Luke’s Church in West London.

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