Thu | Jan 17, 2019

Former Senate President Syringa Marshall-Burnett laid to rest

Published:Saturday | November 8, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller consoles Jasper Burnett, widower of the late Syringa Marshall-Burnett, on Thursday at the thanksgiving service for the life of the former senate president. The service was held on Thursday at the UWI Chapel, Mona campus. - Winston Sill/Freelance Photographer

Aalessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer

THE LATE Syringa Marshall-Burnett, former president of both the Upper House of Parliament and the Nurses Association of Jamaica, was laid to rest on Thursday in a ceremony attended by hundreds of mourners.

The ceremony was held at the University Chapel on the grounds of the University of the West Indies, Mona Campus.

Marshall-Burnett died on October 10. Up to the time of her death she was the chairperson of the National Council for Senior Citizens.

In his tribute, former prime minister of Jamaica, Percival James Patterson, said that Marshall-Burnett rose to the top of her chosen field along with attaining higher echelons in a variety of other fields.

Ambassador Burchell Whiteman read Patterson's tribute in his absence.

"From my viewpoint, what stands out most prominently was her insistence that nursing was neither an appendage nor a second cousin to any other group in the health sector, or for that matter any other profession, but a skill set with its own unique features and distinctive importance," he said.

"So, as any president of the Nurses Association of Jamaica, she extended her representation well beyond the fencing of pay to the wider boundaries of recognition at home and abroad and self-respect," Patterson added.

He noted that Marhsall-Burnett did not venture into the political arena for personal gain or glory.


"She was an ardent supporter of the People's National Party because she regarded its as the locomotive best suited to provide equal opportunity and justice for the nation. She served the party as a member of its National Executive and chair of the Internal Affairs Disciplinary Committee. She was always there to avert internal squabbling and to out the fires," Patterson informed.

"Having observed her work in the Senate, it was my privilege to ensure her elevation to become the second female president of the Senate, a position which she held with distinction for 12 long years. With tact and grace, she commanded the warm approval of members on both sides of the chamber and marshalled its conduct with a quiet but compelling voice," he continued.