KINGSTON, Jamaica: Members of the Senate paid tribute to the late Lady Gladys Bustamante, widow of National Hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante, last Friday.
Lady Bustamante, who died on July 25 at the age of 97, will be accorded an official funeral on Saturday, August 8. She will be buried beside her husband in National Heroes Park.
Minister of Justice and Leader of Government Business in the Senate, Dorothy Lightbourne, described Lady Bustamante as one of the most respected and admired women for her hard work, dedicated service and unflinching love and loyalty to her husband.
“She was an inspiration in his life, which undoubtedly helped to mould him into the great national leader and statesman he became to Jamaica. For that, and her other attributes, it is no wonder she is regarded as the most enduring icon of Jamaica’s trade union and political life,” Lightbourne said.
Lightbourne said Lady Bustamante was one of the first women to contest a by-election in Jamaica. That was in July 1951, in her home town constituency of East Westmoreland.
“Women have indeed made a positive contribution to the political development of our nation, and in the wake of Lady Bustamante’s passing, it is a reflection worthy of acknowledgement,” Lightbourne said.
Opposition Senator K.D. Knight said Lady Bustamante was a “great Jamaican lady” and a “great Jamaican”.
“It is my belief that when the history of her period comes to be written, her achievements will occupy several pages in that history, and pages describing her involvement in our development and a description which I hope will be kind, because that would be well deserved,” Knight said.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Senator Marlene Malahoo Forte, said Lady Bustamante was an inspiration to women.
“She has shown, through her dedication to Sir Alexander Bustamante, that women can serve powerfully and strategically in various areas of influence,” Malahoo Forte said. “May the life she led serve as an inspiration to all women, particularly those from rural Jamaica.” (JIS)