CaribWorldNews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Mon. Aug. 10, 2009: Lady Gladys Bustamante, the 97-year-old female icon of Jamaica`s political and labor struggles, was on Saturday laid to rest at National Heroes Park in Kingston Jamaica.
Lady Bustamante was buried in the same mausoleum as her late husband, National Hero, political and labor leader, Sir Alexander Bustamante, who died 32 years ago.
Hundreds braved extremely hot afternoon temperatures to listen to messages from a number of officials, friends and family members, at the funeral service at St. Peter and St. Paul Roman Catholic Church in Liguanea.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding remembered the late Lady Bustamante as `one of the finest daughters of our land.`
`If we were to identify the ideal qualities of womanhood it would represent the mould from which Gladys Maud Bustamante was made. If Jamaica needed a role model of loyalty, selflessness and complete devotion to not only the man she adored but the cause for which he struggled and the people for whom he fought, we needed to look no further than Lady B,` he said in his funeral tribute.
In her remarks, Leader of the Opposition, Portia Simpson Miller, noted that Lady Bustamante started her contribution to national development at a time when the work and role of women were not fully appreciated.
`She blazed the trail for the outstanding Jamaican women who came after her. She gave us the vision that we have a right to participate fully in the development of our country, and although there was never a question of her party affiliation, she was never involved in divisive partisan actions,` Mrs. Simpson Miller noted.
The opposition leader further stated that Lady Bustamante has left a history and legacy that all Jamaicans should try to emulate.
Former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga, in his remarks, noted that Lady Bustamante was `truly a mother to the nation.`
`No woman in the political history of Jamaica has ever matured in responsibility so quickly, grown in stature so powerfully and assumed the role of confidant, advisor and trustee while remaining loved by the multitude and humble to all,` Mr. Seaga said.
He added that she was the `Lilly of the valley, the brightest morning star and for all of us in the Jamaica Labour Party, she was the right person in the right place at the right time.`
Meanwhile, former Prime Minister, P. J. Patterson, described Lady Bustamante as `a lady in every material respect by virtue of her decorum, her dignified carriage and her elegance.`
Lady Bustamante passed away in Jamaica on July 25th.