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Ercelle Cummings – A flower in God’s garden

Ercelle Cummings – A flower in God’s garden


Excerpts from the personal tribute by Andrew Cummings to his mother Ercelle Cummings at the funeral service held at the Kingstown Methodist Church, on Monday, February, 28, 2005.


This church where my mother worshipped for 79 years is now arrayed with flowers not only in celebration of her love for flowers but more so for the FLOWER that she was. {{more}}

It has been well said that ” God Almighty first planted a garden without which buildings and palaces are but ugly handiworks “. As you must agree, flowers are a great and inspiring refreshment to the spirit of man.

And so, Mummy truly loved every flower; whether it be the flaming Flamboyant or the Yellow Poui, the African Tulip, the varieties of Bougainvillea, Croton with their brilliance of colour, the seasonal Poinsettia or the rambling Rose. Indeed, flowers struck a chord so deep in the inner recesses of her soul, that bursting through was ‘ the Flower of the Spirit’ with its fragrance and aroma lighting up her way with Dignity, Compassion, Caring, Sharing, Charity and Goodwill.

Her countless renderings of charity to the disadvantaged were done without show, paternalism or desire for acclamation. I will not therefore now dilate save that it must be said that Sunday School at Cemetery Hill and Murrays Village with Gracie Edwards, brought a robust spiritual health to several youngsters, many of whom have since taken their rightful place in our society.


For her, there was no greater heroism than a plain and simple faith translated into action in daily life. It is there and where she got the nourishment necessary for producing her spiritual energies over the long haul which were displayed with telling effect, whether as secretary or foundation member of the Government Employees Co-operative Credit Union (GECCU); as member of the horticultural society, or running her little shop in the arcade at Cobble Stone Inn, appropriately called ‘Flowers and Fragrance’.




Mummy was always encouraging, inspiring and coaxing (us) to attain higher heights in all fields of endeavour. Often she attended Athletic Sports Meets at the Grammar School keen to know if long standing records were broken. In 1966 or thereabout, she attended the finals of the Cricket Ball Throw held before sports day. Tommy Jackson whom she knew had held the Cricket Ball Throw record for thirty years. I had come close enough in heats and just needed the extra push to smash the record. At the critical time she stood in the road near to the Prep School. I saw her and became inspired. It hardly needs stating that the record was gone as a result.

The fun, the laughter, the joy, the story telling, the regular instruction for living creatively and of course the some times stern discipline are just too many to relate now. Today in place of songs of joy we have sighs and groans. Oh God what a change!

I went through a period of intense physical suffering. Although we shared and tasted every pain of mind and body and every desolation of Spirit, she was as constant as the ‘Northern Star’ summoning of faith rooted, sown and nurtured in Christianity real, present and unembroidered.

Militantly positive, she was often doused down with strong doses of conservatism from our father. Sometimes he was right. The pioneering instinct never waned for she always flowered. But in life as with nature, the flower in the fullness of time, fades, withers and falls away. Today I have no doubt, that anchored in her ‘cast iron’ faith death is but a prelude to life after this mortal life.


Personally, I thought we would have seen forever but forever has gone away and the best that I can do while alive, is to keep the memory like perpetual sunshine after the rain. “Mummy your finger prints are on our lives so deeply imprinted that it is not possible to say farewell. I know that some day we’ll meet to renew the good times and to share and to care. Never mind though I can’t be with you tonight, my heart is at your side, beating with endless love and gratitude. Just as the pain of childbirth gave way to the pleasure over five decades ago, so will my and our pain give way to a fresh and glorious rendezvous someday, someday!” “GOODNIGHT, GOODNIGHT MUMMY UNTIL THE DAWN BECKONS. I KNOW THAT YOU ARE WATCHING OVER US FROM UP ABOVE. I (WE) LOVE YOU AND ALWAYS WILL”