Freundel bids sister Harriet farewell
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart today paused from his official duties to pay final tribute to his beloved sister Allison Harriet Stuart.
And hundreds joined him at the St Catherine’s Anglican Church in St Philip at 10 a.m., including Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave, Lady Belgrave, former Prime Minister Sir Lloyd Erskine Sandiford, Chief Justice Sir Marston Gibson, President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill, members of Cabinet, other officials, family and well wishers.
In his eulogy, the Prime Minister told a packed church and those gathered in the churchyard that his sister was his “closest friend ever, my soulmate, and my intellectual companion”.
Though the mood was a sober one, the congregation would smile and sometimes laugh, as Prime Minister Stuart shared some of his fond memories growing up with Harriet, as she was better known.
“From very early in her life, she gave indication of the resourcefulness of her mind. I recall her at the tender age of three, in 1961, being able to recite by heart the names of all of the candidates of the Democratic Labour Party in each parish or constituency, and adults visiting the house would test her.
“Throughout my own political career I benefited greatly from her extraordinary powers of discernment. Whether dealing with personalities or the situations, she knew how to dispose of the fluff and how to get to the real stuff in any situation,” Stuart said.
He also described Harriet, who lived with him for the last ten years, as an “introvert” who had “fine and dainty tastes in clothes
“She was not shy; she was an introvert who enjoyed her own company and cherished opportunities to reflect and to think.
“She placed very heavy emphasis on how she carried herself, and counted no expense lost in ensuring that she brought what she regarded as the best material, and putting that material in the hands of a designer who understood her preoccupation with and her passion for detail,” he told the congregation.
At the graveside, as the casket slowly descended into the ground, the Prime Minister would raise his hand to wave his final farewell.
Members of her alma mater –– formerly known as the Foundation Girls’ School –– some of whom wore the school tie, would also display their true school spirit, singing the School Song.
Allison Harriet Stuart was a former teacher and public servant. She passed away on May 9 at age 57.