Eulogy of Aunty Phillip

JUNE 1954 - NOVEMBER 2017

Alex Phillip nee Honore was born on the 9th of June 1954, the 6th child of Dora Honore of the village of Vielle Case.

She was raised by her mother with the support of her older siblings. They saw to the necessary funds and arrangements that allowed Alex to attend the Convent High School in Roseau, from 1967. On having successfully completed her studies there, she entered the public service in 1973 as a Junior Clerk.

From a tender age Alex's intensely competitive spirit gave a clue to the leadership skills that was to mark her entire career. This trait was especially evident in the challenges she faced in the interactions with her twin brothers in every childish mele imaginable; in this she held her own.

Her close friendship with Karol Phillip lead to their wedding day in July 1975. That marriage remained strong until Karol departed this life in November of 2015.

In 1979 Alex was chosen to undergo a fifteen-month program in Stenography in Jamaica. At the end she topped the class, having achieved a speed of 225 words per minute. From the early 1980's she was appointed Supervisor of the Stenographic and Reprographic Unit, a position at which she performed with excellence. In 1998 she was appointed Clerk of The House and would again serve with distinction at that post until her retirement from the public service on June 9, 2009. During that period she found the time, though stretched for all her duties, to pursue an MBA degree online. Upon retirement, she was contracted to be the Secretary to the Integrity Commission for one year. Up until this time, Alex had served in the public service for thirty-six years and under eight Prime Ministers.

After her contract with the Integrity Commission was up, she joined her husband and his brother as part of the management team at Campbell's Business Systems and Services Ltd. where she remained until her passing.

But all was not work related. In her spare time she enjoyed a good game of netball. She was dedicated to family and that meant everything to her. She assumed the role of Matriarch in the Honore family and was consulted by her mum, siblings and other family members for sound advice and admonition. She readily opened her home to her younger sibling, nieces and nephews to allow them to continue their education, or work, in Roseau where she resided. She raised Ashelle from a very tender age and became a mother to her. To the Phillip family into which she married, she was a source of strength and comfort, and a trusted confidant who could be relied on to speak the reality as she saw it, of every situation.

Alex was a very social person who formed lasting friendships with people from all backgrounds. She loved to entertain and would rustle up a good pot or a delicious cake to the delight of everyone. She had the ability to make any event fun. Though adventurous, she believed in doing everything by the book. She was a firm believer in proper order and adherence to rules. She loved to see all tasks to completion. And she saw all these attributes as the result of her Vielle Case upbringing and the exemplary senior public servants and ministers under whom she served in her formative years.

Alex became ill in 2011 and was diagnosed with cancer. She fought a long and courageous battle in the midst of which she lost her beloved Karol and experienced the devastation of Hurricane Maria. She was a fighter: a determined individual whose spirit remained indomitable even through the most difficult of days. And in this she truly is an inspiration to all the world.

Alex will be missed by many especially her mum to whom she was most dear, her siblings, nieces, nephews, in-laws and friends throughout the world to whom there will be no replacement.

Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mrs. Alix Boyd Knights described Alex as " of the most outstanding civil servants. Mrs. Phillip was everything that is expected of the Clerk of the House of Assembly. She was knowledgeable, helpful, she had a good understanding of the Standing Orders and the way we should administer parliamentary proceedings. She is in my mind irreplaceable."

God has called her home and while we mourn her passing, we all have to come to terms with the reality of her physical absence in our lives. But, her spirit as - the supportive wife, loving daughter, generous sister and aunt, steadfast and trustworthy friend, the worker zealous of her integrity and the honour of her workplace, the cancer patient quietly and courageously fighting her battle for life, the Christian concerned with the plight of her neighbour - will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew her.

Rest in perfect peace Alex.