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SVG says final farewell to fallen NBC broadcaster

SVG says final farewell  to fallen NBC broadcaster


The phrase ‘not a dry eye in the house’ was an apt description of the scene at the Faith Temple Church at New Montrose last week,{{more}} as relatives and friends bid a final farewell to renowned broadcaster Juanita Indira Francois.

Although all present were not in tears, the overwhelming emotion could be felt as the congregation, which had filled the sanctuary to capacity, with dozens more listening to the funeral service outside the building, and live on radio, paid respects to Francois, an employee at the government owned National Broadcasting Corporation, who lost her battle with bone cancer on December 15 last year.

Francois’ funeral service, which took place on Thursday, December 29, saw the attendance of many persons who were not only related to the self proclaimed ‘love specialist’, but also persons who had interacted with her throughout her years in the profession. She left a lasting impression on them all.

Tributes poured out to the 38-year-old, who would have turned 39 this coming Wednesday, had she successfully beaten her illness.

Among those paying homage to Francois were Assistant Commissioner of Police Michael Charles, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Nicole Bonadie-Baker, and Minister of Culture Frederick Augustus Stephenson, who represented the government. They all spoke on behalf of their respected entities, but the words they used could have been duplicated by others who did not have the opportunity to speak.

Francois was remembered as an intelligent and hard working individual, who had a passion for her profession and whose face and voice will be forever missed.

Manager of NBC Radio Corletha Ollivierre, who delivered Francois’ eulogy (see Page 33) following two musical renditions by members of staff, described her fallen co-worker as intolerant to injustice, willing to lend a hand and an ear, and one who didn’t hold grudges.

Ollivierre, like those who spoke before her, struggled with her delivery as the emotionally charged audience nodded, ‘amened’ and chuckled, when she, like the others, shared light moments, and highlighted areas in her co-worker’s life which was familiar to them.

The congregation was reminded by Pastor Dr. Melch Pope that no matter the situation, God is in control.

Pope, who preached from an excerpt of Psalm 29, encouraged all in attendance to continue to give God praise despite, pain, suffering, fear and other times of distress.

He urged them to rejoice in the passing of their loved one, since all things were done by the divine will of God.

And rejoice they did, when, accompanied by the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force Band, the white and gold casket, adorned with golden angels at each corner, was whisked away for internment at the Kingstown cemetery.

The jubilant procession made its way to the cemetery, where mourners said their final goodbyes to Francois, whom many agreed will be forever missed.

Francois, the daughter of Gwendolyn Francois and Joseph Allen, was the first of three girls and the mother of a 16-year-old son, Jared.