TRIBUTE BY THE HON. PHILLIP “BRAVE” DAVIS, LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION AT THE FUNERAL SERVICE FOE SENATOR CLARA ROSE HALL-KING ON 11TH MAY AT ST. AGNES CHURCH, NASSAU
Nothing could have pleased me more than that I would have this opportunity to say farewell to a woman who meant so much to me, personally, and to the Party that I represent in Parliament and in the country, than to be able to say farewell to Senator Rose Hall King.
She was a neighbour to my family in Marathon as together with my parents, they counted themselves among the earliest settlers of that new community. I was particularly close to her elder children, Sir Burton Hall who was a bit ahead of me at St. John’s College and Mrs. Bernadette Moultrie who was among the beauty in my class at St. John’s.
Senator Clara Rose Hall-King had deep political convictions and was a standard bearer for our Party in the 1992 General Elections in the constituency of Marathon. She was a great church woman, a community minded individual, a dutiful wife to her late husband Osborne, a loving and compassionate mother to her children, a nurturing grandmother, great grandmother and great- great grandmother. Above all she was a pillar of the community who could not sit idly by when she saw the need for something to be done. Most of all, through the simplicity and directness of her life she is the model of a great Bahamian woman.
She lived an exemplary life and sad as her passing has been, it was a life lived in full with ripples that extended to nearly every reach of our nation.
My sympathy and that of my wife, Ann and our great Party go out to her family and all those whom she would have impacted in some way or another in the long course of her journey in this vale of tears. But I offer the comfort that she has gone on to a better place, a place and a reward that is well deserved.
The history of every society, throughout time, has been made up of people and events. Today, we are here, in part, to reflect on a small part of our own Bahamian history as we remember a remarkable individual, in the person of the late Senator Rose Hall King. I will not dwell on her legacy in terms of what she did to build this community of Nassau, as this has been adequately summed up in eloquent words and is on display for all to see.
Senator Clara Rose Hall-King must have appreciated very early in life that she had to make something of herself in the world of Nassau society in the late forties and fifties when she was a young girl. Whether prodded by her parents, or on her own initiative, she set about to do something with her life. Her life’s journey was one of continuous self-improvement and education. Time for her represented opportunity and time was not to be wasted. Every second, every minute every day of her life was an opportunity for something to be accomplished.
Like so many of that generation Senator Clara Rose Hall-King was not born with the proverbial “silver spoon” and she realized that in order to succeed she had to continue with her self-improvement. This she did and as time moved on it all began to fall in place for her. In all this she was fully supported by a great Cat Island man, her late husband, Osborne King, who himself is the stuff of legends, especially in the cultural field.
It must be observed that as she herself began moving up the economic ladder, Senator Clara Rose Hall King was not selfish in her endeavours. She sought to assist others. This is notable when one realized that she had to balance the demands of family, job and other commitments with her community activities.
But she did. She was more than active in every aspect of the Anglican Church Women (ACW), the Cursillo movement and many other organizations here at St. Agnes and in the Anglican community in Nassau, as a whole. Having grown up in Masons Addition and around the Fort (Fincastle) Hill, she never forgot her roots and made it point to do whatever she could to assist in the physical as well as the human development of residents of that iconic community.
The list of her membership in community and charitable organizations is extensive and varied and tells me that she wanted to do all that she could to build up human lives and to lend a helping hand whenever and wherever she could. She was not selfish in lending her time and talent when she felt it could make a difference.
Our Party is grateful for the untiring and unstinting service that she gave to the Progressive Liberal Party. She was among some of the first women appointed as a Senator when she became a Senator in 1982-1987. In 1982, she did not flinch and accepted to contest the seat in Marathon against a much more youthful but not more qualified opponent. She was unsuccessful but unfazed. Over the years, she continued to be an anchor at the corner of Marathon and Samana Roads for the various PLP candidates who needed her encouragement and advice.
What is clear in all this is that through her activities in a broad range of organizations, including her church, Senator Clara Rose Hall King left her footprints on the history of our community. It is through efforts of women such as Senator Rose Hall-King that we now have a new generation of Bahamian women who are well prepared, confident, willing and ready to take their places in all areas of our society. It was not always like this.
The hallmark of her history in this place and time will be remembered as SERVICE. Service to her family! Service to her community! Service to her God! It was not for her to fall back when her service was needed. She always heeded the call to give of herself. In so doing, she was a model to many and had a positive and uplifting impact on our community. History is about people and events. Senator Clara Rose Hall-King is an important part of our history.
I join with others in saying farewell to a wonderful woman and it is my prayer that as she goes on to her final reward, she will remain forever etched in our memory as a model of service above self!
May She Rest In Peace!