FAREWELL AUNTY FLORA MARIE CENAC

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL -

Be­hind ev­ery suc­cess­ful man is a good woman” may well be the most used of adages but for more than five decades Flora Marie Cenac, née Jn. Bap­tiste, epit­o­mized this. And she did so with such quiet dig­nity that it was easy to over­look her im­mense con­tri­bu­tion.

A deeply re­li­gious woman of the Catholic faith from her early years, Aunty Flora, as she was best known, treated ev­ery­one with kind­ness and a sense of car­ing which made her al­most uni­ver­sally loved. Even her plants were not spared her at­ten­tion and it was not un­usual to hear her whis­per­ing to them lov­ingly.

When in 1952 she took her vows of mar­riage with a young Win­ston Cenac she could not have imag­ined how tested her re­solve would be. Aunty Flora saw mar­riage not sim­ply as a union be­tween a man and woman but in­stead as a union be­tween two spir­its.

Still she would have been among the most shocked of in­di­vid­u­als when, in 1979, her hus­band de­cided to con­test the Soufriere/Fond St. Jac­ques con­stituency on be­half of the Saint Lu­cia Labour Party. Though she was never en­am­oured with po­lit­i­cal life, the du­ti­ful wife not only sup­ported her hus­band’s can­di­dacy but im­mersed her­self in his cam­paign in a way few of her friends could have imag­ined. In­deed, it was not un­usual to see her ac­tively cam­paign­ing for her hus­band who even­tu­ally emerged vic­to­ri­ous.

Be­fore Aunty Flora could re­set­tle into her quiet life, fol­low­ing the elec­tion a split in the Labour Party gov­ern­ment thrust her even more into the lime­light, which she nei­ther sought nor wel­comed: fol­low­ing the res­ig­na­tion of Prime Min­is­ter Allen Louisy, her hus­band Win­ston was sworn in as Prime Min­is­ter and head of a frac­tured gov­ern­ment. It is doubt­ful that Win­ston Cenac could have sur­vived the suc­ceed­ing months with­out Aunty Flora’s calm as­sur­ance and con­stant love. Even as those around her were los­ing their heads, Aunty Flora re­mained calm and serene. The Saint Lu­cia Labour Party has no doubt that when the his­tory of th­ese tur­bu­lent times is even­tu­ally prop­erly doc­u­mented, Aunty Flora will emerge as one of the pe­riod’s un­sung he­roes.

Pre­de­ceased by her hus­band, Aunty Flora re­mained a con­stant source of love to her fam­ily and friends for the next decade un­til her pass­ing at the ripe age of 92. On be­half of a grate­ful Party, we ex­tend deep­est con­do­lences to her fam­ily, im­me­di­ate and ex­tended, and to her close friends who will all miss her.

The Labour Party has lost a great friend.

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