- Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams; Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry; Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, and sister of the late Mrs. Robinson, Rosemarie Pilliner, were among mourners who came to pay respects.
- Minister Henry also praised Mrs. Robinson’s character and her stellar 19-year run as Member of Parliament, noting that she was a standout from the very beginning of her political career.
It was a sombre mood at the St John’s Anglican Church Hall in Ocho Rios, St Ann on Friday (June 12), as several residents, as well as Ministers of Government, and Members of Parliament, turned out to pay their respects to the late Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson.
Mrs. Robinson, who served as Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann, died on May 29 after a prolonged illness. She was 66 years old.
Minister of Science, Energy, and Technology, Hon. Fayval Williams; Minister of Transport and Mining, Hon. Robert Montague; Minister without Portfolio in the Office of the Prime Minister, Hon. Mike Henry; Member of Parliament for South Trelawny, Marisa Dalrymple Philibert, and sister of the late Mrs. Robinson, Rosemarie Pilliner, were among mourners who came to pay respects.
A tearful Mr. Montague told JIS News that Mrs. Robinson was more than his political colleague, “she was also my friend and (she was) like a sister.”
He detailed his long friendship with the late Minister and how they bonded over their mutual love of farming.
Mr. Montague also noted that even prior to entering representational politics, Mrs. Robinson was giving of herself to help others.
He pointed out that Mrs. Robinson was known for her effervescent personality, “once you met her, you were taken with her, and she was bold, vivacious and open, her love flowed.”
Mr. Montague noted that Mrs. Robinson, throughout her life, became a mentor to several persons. He added that while the late minister had no children of her own, she had a hand in raising her nieces, nephews, and other children.
He further added that she was respected by persons, regardless of their political affiliations, because of her hard work and dedication to serving others.
For her part, Minister Williams told JIS News that the political arena has lost a colleague, a friend, and someone who epitomized what it means to be a Member of Parliament.
She noted that Mrs. Robinson was “a friendly person, free with her advice, she was supportive.”
“I remember I called and invited her to one of my meetings in St. Andrew Eastern before I became a Member of Parliament and she accepted without reservation, and she was there early…She came all the way from St. Ann, and for her to do that, it spoke a lot to the type of person she was,” Mrs. Williams stated.
“We are going to miss her, miss her presence in Cabinet, (and) in parliament, just miss the easy way that she spoke with you, she was that kind of person, you always felt at ease in her presence, you did not have to wonder what her demeanour would be, it was always the same, always welcoming,” she added.
Minister Henry also praised Mrs. Robinson’s character and her stellar 19-year run as Member of Parliament, noting that she was a standout from the very beginning of her political career.
“In my political life, I choose many people that I respect at the highest level of service. And from the recruiting and involvement of Shahine, I knew she had the ability to be a marvellous representative and to be a humanitarian in every aspect of the work (and) she did. I have the highest respect for the work that she did and I am happy that I shared a part of that with her,” Mr. Henry told JIS News.
For her part, Mrs. Dalrymple Philibert told JIS News that the late Minister’s passing further enforces the notion that life is short.
“It is truly a sad moment for us because Shahine is gone far too soon, but we ask God to help her family and us as a party to bear the grief and to know that His grace is sufficient for us all. May her soul rest in peace,” Mrs. Dalrymple Philibert said.
Meanwhile, St. Ann residents also hailed the late Minister as a kind, compassionate person and a consummate political representative.
Alvin Harris, a resident of Exchange in the parish, told JIS News, that he has been an acquaintance and supporter of Mrs. Robinson since she became a Member of Parliament of the constituency in 2001.
“She has always been a faithful Member of Parliament, I doubt we will have anyone to replace her because she has done so much for us, not just for persons in the party represented, but for everyone. She was a people person and she worked hard,” Mr. Harris said.
Another resident, Wembly Williams from Ocho Rios, also lauded the late Minister, noting that she is irreplaceable.
“She was a very good person, very good person. I do not know who we are going to find to replace her. She was one of the best Members of Parliament Jamaica has ever seen, she was like a mother, father everything you can think of that is good that lady was,” Mr. Williams noted.
Mrs. Robinson also served as Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) from September 2007 to July 2011, and also served as Minister of State with responsibility for Local Government from July 2011 to November 2011.
She is to be given an official funeral on a date to be announced.