By Luke Browne
I would first of all like to say that I consider myself to be part of the massive Sutherland family. To tell you the truth, it’s more like a Sutherland Village. You have Mala Village and then you have the Sutherland Village out at the tip of it. I think a good name for it would be Suther-land. It is quite obvious that Micey and Lorna hardly used to sleep at night, and they may have passed this trait on to their children and grandchildren through genes. I said at Micey’s funeral that I was at the Sutherland family home one morning and saw so many children appearing from all corners of the house, that I thought I was at the C. W. Prescod Primary School.
We have come to say farewell to the Sutherland matriarch – Mrs. Lorna Sutherland. She was often called Sardo with great affection. She was married to the famous Rudolph “Micey” Sutherland (who was known for astonishing athletic ability and achievements in sports) for over 50 years. Micey pre-decreased her a couple years ago. They are now re-united. I celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with them and consider my participation in the related festivities to be one of the special memories of my life. I felt a strong sense of inclusion and belonging. Mrs. Lorna Sutherland was an unshakable pillar of strength and support to me. I was certainly very happy to have her and her family in my corner at the time of elections.
She was born Lorna Cecelia Ollivierre on October 26, 1943 in Kingstown Hill. We share the same birth month. She celebrated her birthday on the eve of Independence and definitely exhibited a spirit of freedom. She grew up with her parents Arthur Jim Ollivierre and Myra White and siblings. She was the 7th of 8 children for her parents and had 4 brothers and 3 sisters. She is survived by her sister Rita and brother Leslie.
Lorna was a good and loving child growing up. She attended the Kingstown Methodist School and went to the Kingstown Methodist Church.
She met Micey at age 15. She used to have to fetch water for her household from a nearby standpipe when she was a young person. She did not mind this chore at all – it afforded her an opportunity for a date with her sweetheart. Micey used to travel from Bottom Town to meet her at the standpipe. He knew when she was going to be at that spot. They coordinated the times. She made sure to put the water on to run very slowly so that she would have more time with the love of her life. If you gave her a chance, she would talk the night away. She loved a good chat. If anyone at home asked her why she took so long to come back, I am sure she would have simply said that the bucket took a very long time to fill up. She probably would not have revealed that the bucket of her heart was also being filled up with love to the point of overflowing.
The relationship which was obviously well-watered blossomed, bloomed and bore its first fruit in the form of a bouncing baby girl in 1961 when Sadie born. Sadie was followed in quick succession by Rhonda in 1963 and then Hazellan in 1964. Could you imagine Rhonda as a baby?
Micey and Lorna got married on January 27, 1966. It was the perfect way to ring in a new year. Lorna was 22 and Micey was 31 when they tied the knot. They remained true to their vows of “until death do us part” and in the process set a good example for their children and young couples in general. In the same 1966, they had their first son Stanley and they subsequently had many more children as follows:
- Joseph: 1967
- Leandra: 1969 (who unfortunately died at a young age)
- Rudolf: 1972
- Anna: 1974
- Juanita: 1977
- Andrew: 1979
- Diego: 1980
- Kisha: 1984
- Marisha: 1985
They had 13 children in all – more than enough for a full mixed football or cricket team. I believe someone must have told them that they were cheaper by the dozen.
Sardo raised her children in the fear of the Lord and made sure they went to church every Sunday, and on Sunday mornings they were also made to sit down after breakfast so that she could tell them stories about the old time days. She was like a good mother hen who kept her chicks under her wings of protection. She was also the peacemaker in the family. She loved washing, cooking and engaging in conversation, and her many positive attributes endeared her to many people in the home and within the wider community. She had a pleasant personality that was like a sweet-smelling savour which served as a powerful force of attraction.
However, you better had not mess with her pork! She did not want Sunday lunch if it did not have pork in it. Additionally, she didn’t mind receiving receive gift envelopes with a little change in them.
Sardo made her living as a vendor in the market. She often went to the Dorsetshire Hill mountains with friends to heap provisions for sale. She was kind-hearted. She was free-handed. She never liked to see anyone suffering, in need or hungry. She often gave from whatever little she had to help the less fortunate. She may not have accumulated this vast amount of material wealth. However, she had a rich heart. She was a favourite of cart men, vagrants and homeless persons. They often lined up at her station or stall waiting on her. She treated the downtrodden of the earth to meals of fish, bakes and tea on a daily basis from Ms. Annesta Shop.
Unfortunately, Sardo got a stroke about 25 years ago in 1996. This had an effect on her mobility and functionality and slowed her down a bit. However, it did not stop her from being who she was and looking out for her family.
I cherished every opportunity to catch up with her. We discussed issues of government and at times political gossip. She was always sure to give me words of reassurance, advice, guidance, encouragement and counsel. I plan to press on to victory and honour her memory.
We celebrate Sardo’s special life. We thank God that she lived. We thank God that we knew her and that she impacted our lives. We commend her to the arms of our Father and to eternal rest.