Thu | Dec 8, 2016

Ma Fergs laid to rest

Published:Friday | March 6, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller (left) and Dr Fenton Ferguson (right) look on while members of the Roman's funeral home carry in the coffin containing the body Myrtle Ferguson during her thanksgiving service at the Church of St Mary the Virgin on Molynes Road in St Andrew yesterday.

The St Mary the Virgin Anglican Church in St Andrew was yesterday the scene where hundreds gathered to say formal goodbyes to Myrtle Constantia Ferguson who, among her many accomplishments, was mother to Health Minister Dr Fenton Ferguson.

The service began as daughters Herma Perkins and Dr Millicent Comrie both broke down as they remembered their mother, 'Ma Fergs' as she was known, as a person who was committed to education, hardworking and dedicated to her family.

Intellect extraordinaire, preacher, teacher, disciplinarian and strength personified were some words Hyacinth Fray, friend of Myrtle Ferguson, used to describe Ma Fergs during her tribute.

"I saw someone who knew how to love with clarity of purpose and gentleness of heart. I witnessed first-hand the love of Myrtle Ferguson," Fray said.

Children from the Brandon Hill Primary School moved the crowd in song, but when Tehara Brown took to the podium to sing a rendition of Celine Dion's Goodbye's (the Saddest Word), tears welled in the eyes of family members who filled the first rows.

Tarik Perkins, grandson of Mrs Ferguson, while reading the eulogy, told the sombre crowd that his grandmother, who was a founding member of the church, was also first postmistress for the Brandon Hill Post office in 1951.

Throughout her career, Mrs Ferguson also held leadership positions in the Mother's Union, the Jamaica 4-H Club, the Police Youth Club and the Jamaica Agricultural Society. Myrtle was also a past president for the Ardenne High School Parent-Teacher Association and chairman of the Brandon Hill school board.

Among those present at the service was Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, who read the first Bible lesson.

Other parliamentarians, health ministry officials and constituents also paid respects to Ma Fergs. The church was bursting at its seams and a tent outside was also filled with well wishers.

Born to Elias and Susan Williams in Brandon Hill, St Andrew, on April 5, 1923, Myrtle Constantia Ferguson, now interred at the Dovecot Memorial Park, died on February 15. She was 91.