JIS News

Prime Minister the Hon. Bruce Golding yesterday, (July 29), led Parliament in paying tribute to Lady Bustamante who died on Saturday July 25.
In his half-hour address, the Prime Minister spoke about her birth in Westmoreland and her desire to be a trained professional, which led her to become a secretary administrator and then a devoted and hardworking champion of organized Labour and the nascent modern political movement.
‘Lady B’ was described as “A woman of extraordinary qualities and a remarkable individual with a story of love and devotion; of courage and sacrifice.for those who needed a voice; someone who cared and who could get others to care.”
Mr. Golding also remarked on the devoted care that Seragh Lakasingh and his wife Effie had given Lady B in her final years.
The Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson-Miller, said of Lady B, “She had friends and associates from all sides of the political spectrum.She was a risk taker and a pioneer who took on the struggles of the working poor.”
Minster of Youth, Culture and Sports with responsibility for Women’s Affairs, Babsy Grange had this to say of ‘Lady B’; “She was actively involved in fighting for the rights of women. She was instrumental in the critical revision of the Public Service Regulations Amendment to rescind the provisions which barred women from holding jobs after marriage.”
“Lady B saved some young union officers from being expelled from the Union” (Bustamante Industrial Trade Union, BITU), Health Minister, Ruddy Spencer said recalling anecdotes of how much influence she quietly wielded in the Union, the Jamaica Labour Party and over her husband.
“She always said that she knew me before I was born,” Industry and Commerce Minister, Karl Samuda recalled, as Lady B was a family friend; and he painted a verbal picture from the point of view of a young boy in Kingston. “She was perhaps the calmest person I have ever met,” he said.
Minister of Transport, Mike Henry, delivered a poetic tribute that mentioned, “Today we celebrate the life of such a rose. Not just a rose, but the personification of Jamaican women which we should seek to emulate: loyalty and a sense of purpose.”
Minister of Tourism, Ed Bartlett noted that she was “Not only the mother of this nation but the matriarch of Labour. If history is true to that process, it will indeed say without contradiction that if Bustamante was the Father, Gladys Maud Bustamante was the Mother…She empathized with those who suffered…She is the spirit that will not yield but will pick itself up from the lowest levels and rise to the highest levels.” He urged young Jamaican women to embrace her values.
Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for the Department of Local Government, Robert Montague informed the Parliament of Lady Bustamante’s connection with the parish of St Mary and that he was one of her Godsons.

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