LAST month, hundreds of mourners turned out at the Oberlin High School auditorium in St Andrew to pay tribute for the life of Monique Montague.
Montague passed away at the tender age of 14 due to complications with her kidneys.
According to Reverend Philbert Johnson, a family friend who eulogised Monique, described her as a loving child who won the hearts of many.
"In 2011 Monique was successful in her GSAT exams and gained a place at the Oberlin High School. She started this journey in September 2011. Although her span was a short one, Shorty won the hearts of many. She was loved by both teachers and her peers," he recalled.
Monique Anna Kay Montaque affectionately called "Mon-Mon or Shorty" was born on Valentines Day, 1998 in the parish of Kingston to parents Helen and Rohan Montaque. Monique grew up in the quiet and cool hills of Luna & Cane River District in St Andrew. She attended the Luna Seventh Day Baptist Church in her community.
At the age of three Monique was enrolled at the Mount Ogle Basic School where she completed her Early Childhood education before moving on to the Lawrence Tavern Primary School. At Lawrence Tavern she was a member of the prefect body and the 4H Club. Monique would show leadership qualities at an early age as she would deputise for her teachers in their absence from the classroom.
"Mon-Mon can be remembered as a very good dancer. This was something she enjoyed doing and was not afraid to compete with anyone who was bold enough to challenge her. At parties she would easily attract many fans by wooing the crowd with her many dance moves. Monique was so passionate about her dancing that she demonstrated her skills internationally and gained monetary rewards for her dancing in a competition. Monique was a loving person. If she was fond of you, you can be sure to participate in one of her fun loving rituals "the rubbing of the nose". She would sit in your lap and rub her nose against that of your own," Johnson said.
At the age of nine it was discovered that Monique had a medical problem. She was referred to the Bustamante Hospital for Children where she received treatment for her kidneys. She was later referred to the University of the West Indies for further treatment. Her family also sought help from doctors in the USA.
"God made a sweet child, a child who never grew old. He made a smile of sunshine and moulded a heart of pure gold," Johnson said.
Monique made her transition on June 16 after attending the funeral service of her great grand father. She took her final breath in the arms of the two people who combined to give her life, her mother and father.
"Perhaps God is tire of calling the aged to His fold. So He picks a rosebud before it can grow old. God knows how much we need them, and so He takes but a few to make the land of heaven more beautiful to view," Johnson said to nod of approval from those in attendance.
The remains of Monique Montague were interred at a family plot at Cane River in Bull Bay, St Andrew.
Who fed me from her gentle breast, and hushed me in her arms to rest, and on my cheek sweet kisses pressed my mother. When pain and sickness made me cry you gazed upon my heavy eye and wept for fear that I should die. My mother you dressed my doll in clothes so gay, and fondly taught me how to play and minded all I had to say you ran to help me when I fell and had some pretty stories to tell or kiss the place to make it well, and can I ever cease to be affectionate and kind to thee who was so very kind to me.
Penned by the late Monique Montague