The New Today

Local News

Tribute to former Cabinet Secretary Marjorie Budhoo

Marjorie Budhoo - former Cabinet Secretary

(Ms. Budhoo died on December 24, 2021 and her Funeral Service took place on January 5, 2022 at the St. George’s Anglican Church)

Albert Einstein once said ‘only a life lived for others, is a life worthwhile’. We can all agree that our Aunt, Marjorie Budhoo, followed this principle in her duty to our family and her professional career as a civil servant par excellence.

Small in stature but expansive in her devotion to her family and her country.

One of five siblings who each made their way in the world and achieved excellence in their chosen fields of endeavour, our aunt leaves behind a legacy of public service to the people of Grenada and a living legacy of love and support to her family.

Auntie Marjorie was the family nurturer, a role that she would play throughout her life and which would extend beyond her siblings to us her nieces and nephew.

A devoted daughter, sister, sister-in-law and aunt who would time and time again, stand in the gap with her wisdom, her time and whatever resources were needed to ensure that her family members were supported.

She exhibited unshakeable commitment by opting to stay in Grenada for her entire life while all her siblings migrated to other parts of the globe. She became the rock of the home centre.

Our Aunt was the glue that held our family together; she was the one who always showed up.

Each of us though have powerful memories of her being there when we were children, singing nursery rhymes, playing games, spending vacations with us, being there for momentous occasions like prize giving, graduation, my call to the Bar, weddings.

Despite the demands of her work at the highest level of the Civil Service, Auntie was always there for us.

A phone call away and a short plane ride away. Devoted, yes. She was the daughter who tended to her parents until their last breaths. She was also the sister who tended to her siblings Maudlin, Davison and my mother, Rhona, in their last days, and somehow, the burden of grief did not break that indomitable spirit because she was a woman of deep faith.

Because of her generosity of spirit and heart, the next generation of our family has succeeded and she saw all of us grow from children into adults.

Having no children of her own, we were her children. She loved us unconditionally, constantly, and not remotely but being ever present and in doing so left an indelible impression on our lives, because she always showed up! To borrow a quotation from Rebecca Walker…”when it comes down to it, that’s what life is all about: showing up for the people you love, again and again, until you can’t show up anymore”.

Somewhere in the scriptures it is written that ‘it is a good thing to sing the praises of good men’.

Grenada defined the Budhoo family but especially Marjorie Budhoo. A career civil servant for all of her working life from 1956, she displayed the highest standards of ethics and diplomacy as she executed her tasks as a proud Grenadian daughter with impartiality and dignity serving various incumbents.

Her work was her life; she was tremendously dedicated, committed and professional. She always carried herself with dignity and her word was her bond.

She looked you straight in the eyes and had a firm handshake and could get the measure of a person after a few words and she was usually spot on.

An astute judge of character, she was transparent in her dealings with others and did not stoop to gossip or share confidences. She was a stickler for procedure. That she was exemplary is undeniable.

During her long and illustrious career, she rose through the ranks to hold the position of Cabinet Secretary, not once, not twice but three times under three different Prime Ministers; 1984 to1989, 1990 to 1991 and 1995 to 1998. Clearly her professionalism trumped partisan politics. We can be absolutely certain that the likes of her will never be seen again.

From humble beginnings, traced back to India and migration of our ancestors to Grenada in search of a better life, our family have taken the best characteristics of sacrifice, a dedication to working hard to achieve, love of family and a deep faith, and a desire to help each other to achieve success or to meet a need…these are the traits Auntie Marjorie lived and taught by example to us and to all those she encountered during her life.

Everything she did, she did it with and to her best and for the best of others. Principled and honest, freely dispensing wisdom and assistance and trusting implicitly in God.

Through the happy times and through the storms of life, Auntie was a constant in our lives, her gentle influence has helped to mold us into better versions of ourselves and as a second mother to us, she has also held up a mirror and set an example of what we should aspire to be for each other and for ourselves.

She is now reunited with her beloved family, in a land where there are echoes of mercy and whispers of love, her earthly journey over.

The lessons learned from the example of her life are her final gifts to all those who knew her and loved her.

Her life has also been a lesson about love, how easy it can be to dispense and how hard it can be to wrestle with and the fruits of its labour.

Auntie has returned to the source of all love and life, to the God who wrote her name upon His palms and who sustained her through His grace and who now welcomes her back to His mercy.

We have been blessed to have been loved by her and to have had her for our own.

She lives on through us all and will be remembered with love.

May she rest in peace and rise in glory – her nieces and nephew: Kaisha Ince, Dr. Sarah Ince, Joelle Budhoo Paris and Patrick Budhoo.