The Gleaner: KINGSTON, Jamaica – For some time it had not rained in Claremont, St Ann, but the showers came down yesterday, forcing supporters of Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Member of Parliament (MP) for St Ann North East, Shahine Robinson, to seek shelter inside her home or other sections of the property. But the downpour could not stop them from turning out.
Robinson, 66, lost her two-year battle with lung cancer on Friday, prompting an outpouring of love from well-wishers near and far and marking the second straight day that the ruling party was losing a member, after Thursday’s passing of former minister, Dr Neville Gallimore.
HOLNESS VISITED HER AT HOME
Robinson’s condition had deteriorated severely over the past few days and Prime Minister Andrew Holness visited her at home on Thursday.
Her passing was not totally unexpected; still, close friend and councillor for the Lime Hall division in her constituency, Genevor Gordon-Bailey, found it hard to bear, struggling to keep back the tears as she spoke with The Gleaner.
“Her illness robbed me of many things, now (with) her passing, I have lost the carpet from underneath me but because of the foundation that she set I can stand on good ground,” said Gordon-Bailey.
“I truly, as a councillor, love my Member of Parliament. I fell in love with her before I was a political representative and every day I walk the Lime Hall division or North East St Ann constituency, I walk it feeling strong and proud,” she said.
Several ministers of government, including Health and Wellness Minister Dr Christopher Tufton, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, Olivia Grange; and State Minister in the Ministry of Labour and Social Secu
rity, Zavia Mayne. Mayor of St Ann’s Bay, Michael Belnavis, and several councillors also visited the home of the late minister.
Tufton in paying tribute, said: “Shahine Robinson is, to my mind, one of the best members of parliament. In fact, I’ve learnt a lot from her, her attention to detail and to service.”
Mayne, who served as Robinson’s minister of state, described her as a “good boss.”
“Today is a very, very, very sad day. As a country, Jamaica has lost one of its finest servants. The fact is, her work is well documented and in due course some of the work she would have done will come to the fore.”
Belnavis, who Robinson replaced as constituency representative after his 1997 general election defeat to the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Danny Melville, described her as “an icon in St Ann, a mother to everyone in the constituency of North East St Ann.”
- Top Feature Photo: The Gleaner