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Saluting a stalwart

‘It takes a village to raise a child.’

The ageless practice has expressed itself in many different ways, and though in today’s world some will argue that it has lost some of its significance, the need to raise good citizens continues.

Who knows, maybe the traditional Barbadian and Caribbean practices may one day restate the African effort as: It takes an island to raise a family.

How many can recall the time when you were left with a neighbour or an aunt for an extended period of time and received all rights and privileges of the said household – which could include a spanking?

Or, are you one of those persons in the Diaspora who began your stay in New York (or elsewhere) in the household of a grandmother or great uncle? Or, do you belong to a family of families, who live so close together that one could easily call the extended family a “clan”?

Truth be told, one does not have to be the matriarch of your family to understand why there was a large gathering of mourners last Sunday at the Church of St. Luke & Matthew, 520 Clinton Avenue, Brooklyn, NY to witness the Brooklyn celebration of the life of the late Monica Sealy-Puckerin RN – long standing member of the Barbados Nurses Association of America and aunt of Sir Marston Gibson, Chief Justice of Barbados.

Sealy-Puckerin, a graduate of the Modern High School, immigrated to England in the 1950 to study nursing, and like so many other Barbadians, relocated to the United States to pursue and complete a successful nursing career.

Her obituary clearly shows that either by accident or design she lived a life consistent with the concept “it takes a village to raise a child”.

Listen: “Although not blessed with children of her own, Monica embraced her nephews and nieces, and was intimately involved in their education and development.”

Married to Glenville Puckerin, Sealy-Puckerin was very active in community. She was a member of committees of St. Luke and St. Matthew Church and many associations. For her contribution to civic life she received many prestigious awards.

Ultimately, Sealy-Puckern – who passed away on January 12 – was a stalwart who was prepared to go beyond the call of duty in order to be of service to others. She will be missed by the Barbados-New York community and will be buried in Barbados following a service at St. Ambrose Church.


Honestly, I don’t know much ’bout Raven. Me know ’bout black bird, sparrow and wood dove. Me know how to mek fly stick and guttaperk. Me also know dat pigeon still can’t mek nest ’cause ‘e ‘ent listen to God. What I definitely know wid out any fear or contradiction that I will be routing loudly for dee Baltimore Ravens on Super bowl Sunday. Eff yuh didn’t know, dee first Bajan to play football in the NFL is Ramon Harwood, number 70, of the Ravens.


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