Emotions ran high at the St. Ann Parish Church Hall in St. Ann’s Bay on Thursday (June 11) as hundreds of mourners from across the parish turned out to pay their respects to the late Minister of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Shahine Robinson.
Robinson, who served as Member of Parliament for North East St. Ann, died on May 29 after a prolonged illness. She was 66 years old.
The casket, draped in the black, gold and green of the national flag, arrived on location at about 9:20 a.m. for public viewing, protected by Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) bearers.
Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sports, Hon. Olivia Grange; Mayor of St. Ann’s Bay, Councilor Michael Belnavis; Custos Rotulorum for St. Ann, Hon. Norma Walters and sister of the late Mrs. Robinson, Rosemarie Pilliner were among those who came to bid their farewell to the beloved daughter of St. Ann.
Long before the scheduled start of the viewing at 10:00 a.m., a number of persons had converged outside the grounds of the church hall.
Minister Grange, who was overcome with emotions while speaking with JIS News, described Mrs. Robinson as her “little sister”, noting that she served her country with passion and excellence.
She said Mrs. Robinson was loved by her constituents, owing to the unique style she brought to politics and her compassion.
“It is a great loss to the Government of Jamaica, a great loss to the country, a great loss to the constituency and for me personally. She was my friend, my little sister and so it is very painful this morning to be here to say goodbye,” she said.
“She served her country with all her heart. She was passionate about North East St. Ann and she has served this constituency with dedication and love. She will be hard to replace. She is irreplaceable in fact, because she came with her own unique style and compassion. We are celebrating her life while we mourn and so this morning, I had to be here,” Ms. Grange told JIS News.