Farewell Momma Ruby
Large gathering for funeral service of St Philip matriarch
Scores of entertainers turned out today to bid final farewell to the mother of popular calypsonian Stedson “RPB” Wiltshire.
His mother Ruby Ianthe Wiltshire, who was affectionately known as ‘momma, the mother of St Phillip’, was laid to rest at the St Catherine Anglican Church this evening.
Among the popular faces in the congregation, which spilled out into the churchyard, were entertainers Mac Fingall, Carl ‘Alff’ Padmore, John King, Grynner, Blood, Mikey, Ishaka, TC, Nathalee, Smokey Burke, Serenador among many others.
Popular radio deejay Peter Coppin, Ruby’s nephew, who was also in attendance, said with the loss of his beloved aunt, his head was not in this year’s Crop Over.
Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Minister of Transport of Works Michael Lashley, who is also MP for St Philip North were also present at the funeral as well Opposition MP for St Michael East Trevor Prescod and Chief Executive Officer of the National Cultural Foundation Cranston Browne.
In his tribute, RPB remembered his mother as one who did it all.
“She was a homemaker, an economist, accountant, sales executive and devout Christian,” he said, adding that his mother was also good at teaching lessons.
“She was a warrior; she fought a fight equivalent to a hero. She made sure we were always taken care of and never hesitated to tell us ‘we gine do with what we got’,” he eulogised.
Emphasising how close he was to his mother, RPB told those gathered that “one time she went to St Vincent and I suffered from a grief lump. I slept next to the dress that I last saw her in. That is how close we were.”
He also said that his mother “loved chocolates, sweets and perfume even up to her old age”.
Comparing the late matriarch to the likes of Mahatma Ghandi and Nelson Mandela he said her death had thrown his his 2014 Crop Over season ‘topsy turvy’.
“It is ironic that I lost her at this time. It is almost as her final reminder to me. She has always supported me in everything that I did, even though she always insisted that I sing for the Lord. Whenever I composed a song I always wondered what she would think of it and I will continue to do so. Her work and values have made me who I am today,” he added.
Fighting back tears, he ended by saying, “thanks momma for all the work you have done. From your little last boy. We know you are in a better place, until we meet again.”
Reverend Ryan Boyce had comforting words for the family. He reminding them that she was in a better place.
“Ruby had great faith in the Lord. She loved and made great provision for her children. She is resting well,” Boyce said.