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Bombay's 'Iron Lady' passed

BY ALICIA SUTHERLAND Life Tributes writer sutherlanda@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, May 12, 2013    

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Just over three months ago the Women's Ministries of the Bombay New Testament Church of God on the border of Central and North East Manchester hosted an appreciation function for long-standing church member Jasmine Elliott-Williams.

However, it was a solemn occasion on April 15 as church members, relatives and friends gathered in the same place for the thanksgiving service of Elliot-Williams, affectionately called 'Sis Nance.'

A diabetic and high blood pressure patient for many years she reportedly died from a massive heart attack.

Pastor Othneil Watson, in his sermon, compared Williams to the late former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher also known as the 'Iron Lady.'

"They (were) great women, women of value, women of courage who stood up in their time," he said.

Born to parents Hermine Thompson and Ronald Elliott in Bellview, St Elizabeth Elliott-Williams' life journey took her to Bombay.

She is remembered for being a "servant leader of the church and community".

"Sister Nance is known as one who finds time to pray for her children and others children. Many visited her home for prayers for various needs and her kindness will live in our memories," said her daughter Alicia in the reading of the eulogy shared by Phillipa, Williams' niece, who was raised as her biological child.

As an extension of her church and community work she was an "outstanding" member of the Gospel Light Group, a network of different church members, who airs devotional programmes via Citizens' Band (CB) radio throughout the community.

She was reportedly committed up to the time of her death.

"She was responsible for the programme on the morning she died. I was told she turned on the CB from 12:00 am, even though the programme did not start until 6:00 am and asked her daughter 'Baby Gee' to prepare to preach for her," said Alicia.

A mother and wife, Williams balanced entrepreneurial pursuits and worked as a part-time attendant at the Bombay Health Centre for 35 years in order to play her part in meeting the economic demands of her large family.

Her kindness and strong spiritual values were recurring themes in the reflections from a wide cross-section of persons and evidence that she was driven by a mission to serve more than just her close relatives.

"Anyone who had the pleasure of visiting her home can testify that you weren't going to leave without eating something. (She) loved to see people enjoy her wonderful cooking and often had enough for visitors. To her, the grocery shop was for everybody....even the mentally challenged (benefited). Although not a trained professional midwife many women in the district of Bombay and adjoining communities sought her help and wisdom when it was time to have their babies. It is widely known that some of them would journey from other clinics to Bombay Health Centre for her to pray for them and talk about their pregnancy," she said.

Sixty-six-year-old Williams left a meaningful legacy and her church brethren and other loved ones are comforted with in faith that Christians never die, they only say good-bye.

Those left behind to mourn Williams also include her husband of 45 years Lacelle affectionately call 'Brother Mack', children Carol, Delroy, Basil, Mark, Seymour, Linette, Stepson Alton, adopted child Denya, eight sisters, four brothers, two daughter-in-laws, her mother-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends.

Jasmine Elliott-Williams was laid to rest at the family plot in Bombay.

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