The late Hon. Lady Gladys Bustamante has been remembered as a humble and dignified person, who blazed a path for the Jamaican woman.
At a memorial service held on Sunday, September 20 at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto, Canada, her godson Howard Shearer said she was at the frontline and at the forefront of the women’s movement long before the concept was popularized.
“Today, the achievements of women in Jamaica – in education, social activism, politics, science, medicine, engineering, all have a connection to the role she played. And her story does not stop at the shores of Jamaica, but certainly it has inspired so many all over the world,” he said.
Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye (left), enjoyed the company of godson of late Gladys Bustamante, Howard Shearer (2nd left); her adopted daughter, Evelyn Sangster-Barnes (2nd right); and caregiver Effie Lakasingh, at a memorial service held recently at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto Canada.
Mr. Shearer, who is the son of Jamaica’s third Prime Minister, the late Most Hon. Hugh Shearer, also noted that Lady B, as she was affectionately called, was unwavering under the most adverse of circumstances.
“When she hugged you, she was hugging the children of the nation. When tears came to her eyes, she was crying for a nation. When she defended (Sir) Alexander Bustamante, she was defending the interest of the nation,” he added.
He described his godmother “as the sweetness in the Busta”. “For those of you who remember the sweetness of tasting a Busta candy, I say to you that my godmother was the sweetness in the Busta, she was the flavour in the Busta and she was the strength in the Busta. Goddie, as we called her, was not only solid as a rock, she was the rock,” he said.
The Malvern Methodist Youths perform at the memorial service for the late Lady Gladys Bustamante held recently at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto.
Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, in a tribute read by Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator the Hon. Marlene Malahoo Forte, said that Lady B was the epitome of humility. Prime Minister Golding said she was a lady who walked with kings and queens and dozens of presidents and Prime Ministers, yet never lost the common touch.
“If we were to identify the qualities of a woman as close to perfection as any human being can be, it would certainly resemble the mould from which Gladys Maud Bustamante was made,” said the Prime Minister.
Adopted daughter Evelyn Sangster-Barnes noted that, “it was because of who she was and what she had done, why, following her death, there was such an outpouring of love, affection, respect and admiration from every single sector of the Jamaican society.”
In a stirring homily, Founder and Senior Pastor of Revivaltime Tabernacle, Bishop Dr. Audley N. James, said Lady B laid a foundation on which all Jamaicans can build.
Comedian and actress Letna Allen-Rowe performs at the memorial service for the late Lady Gladys Bustamante held recently at the Revivaltime Tabernacle in Toronto.
“It is a foundation that is concrete, a foundation that is solid, a foundation that is principled. I applaud the legacy of this great woman, who has modeled for us the sterling characteristics that we can embrace as a people and we can move forward to building the Jamaica that you and I dream of,” he stated.
The ecumenical service was attended by Jamaica’s High Commissioner to Canada, Her Excellency Evadne Coye; Consul General Anne-Marie Bonner; Lady B’s caregiver Effie Lakasingh, and featured moving tributes in song and poetry.
Part proceeds from the offering will be donated to the Bustamante Hospital for Children, where Lady Bustamante served as patron from 1977 until the time of her passing on July 25 at the age of 97 years. She was laid to rest on August 8 at National Heroes Park next to her late husband, National Hero Sir Alexander Bustamante.