Dominica Labour Party stalwart, Mrs Flossie Joseph, 90, died 18 March 2023
Dominica Labour Party stalwart, Mrs Flossie Joseph, 90, died 18 March 2023

Flossie Bernadine Ducreay Joseph, businesswoman, staunch Catholic and a strong supporter of the Dominica Labour Party (DLP) died on 18 March 2023. She was 90.

Flossie was born in Soufriere, Dominica, to her parents, Selwyn Sebastien Ducreay and Marie Elie Jno Lewis Ducreay. She was her mother's second child and the 10th child of her father, writes Flossie's sister Ernestine Parson in the eulogy.

"As a baby, she was brought to Marigot, where she grew up. She was baptised and made her first communion and confirmation in the Catholic Church at Wesley," Parson writes. "After that, she went to school in Marigot until her teenage years. During those times, she helped her mother with all chores, washing clothes in the river, going to the garden, getting firewood from the forest, baking bread to sell, and helping her siblings. However, her greatest joys were bathing in the river, swimming in the ocean and having a picnic on the beach.

"Flossie wanted a better life. So, she moved to Roseau at the age of 18. She was relentless and tenacious in her efforts to succeed. She worked in different stores throughout Dominica's capitol, Roseau. Eventually, she met and fell in love with a young man named Hubert (Son) Joseph. They got married on May 8, 1958. Eventually, he helped her to open a liquor store on Ship Street. The store progressed, and they opened a bigger one called "Flossie Super Market", now run by her son Mickey Joseph.

Parson continued: "Dedicated, Flossie never forgot her family. Her marriage brought her one son, Mickey Joseph, but her love for children inspired a maternal love she shared generously. She raised some of her sisters' children from babies, including Mark Abraham, Maria Ferrette, and Fitzroy Mills. She also raised her grandson Mickey Darrel Joseph.

"Her generosity was shared with babies, younger siblings, and relatives, including Lewis Ducreay, Maria Ducreay, Adele Abraham, Isle Vidal, and Emanuel Vidal. Her concern and compassion for the welfare of her and her husband's younger relatives motivated her to employ them in her business.

Flossie was a dedicated Catholic and went to church every Sunday. So, if you stayed with her, you had to attend Mass. Almost every Sunday, a priest came to her home during her illness to pray and give her communion. She volunteered and helped the Labour Party when she was well and vibrant".

She was also a staunch Laborite, Parson wrote. In fact, in 1986, along with Vic Riviere, R.E Henry, Julian Giraud Jerome Barzey and Rosie Douglas, Flossie Joseph served on the DLP executive as treasurer.

And as Parson wrote in Flossie's eulogy, "Even during her illness, she still participated by listening to politics on the radio and television. She was a good historian. When she had visitors, she talked to them about her family history and past and current events related to politics and local news. She never missed a chance to accommodate and entertain family and friends in her home".

According to Parson, "On a social basis, she loved Dominica's annual carnival celebration, dancing, partying and social events in her active years.

"She travelled extensively to Puerto Rico and Miami to buy goods for her shop. She also travelled abroad, to places like London, California, Antigua, and Connecticut, to visit relatives. In California, she attended the Lion's Convention in San Francisco, being a member of the Lion's Club and had the opportunity to see the Olympic Torch Runners in Hawthorne, California. In addition, she visited and attended her nephew Mark's wedding in Orlando, Florida, her son Mickey's graduation and her first wedding in Connecticut along with her close friend, deceased Mrs. Vena McDougal and many other places around the world.

"Flossie was a devoted wife, mother, sister, aunt, entrepreneur, and businessperson. She was loving, helpful, kind, politically inclined, spiritual, and full of grace and loving God.

"Preceding Flossie in death are her dad, mom, her husband, eight brothers and six sisters. She is survived by her son Mickey Joseph and his wife Verlie Shaw Joseph; her sisters Ernestine Parsons, Helena Ducreay, and Maria Ducreay and her brother Lewis Ducreay; her grandsons Mickey Darrell Joseph, Wesley Joseph and granddaughter Olexcia Joseph; her adopted sons Mark Abraham, Fitzroy Mills Emanuel Vidal; her stepdaughter Celia Nicholas, husband brothers and sister Tony Joseph, Gerard Joseph, Janice Armour and their families. She also leaves behind numerous nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends".

"Thank you, Flossie, for the love, devotion and care you have given us," wrote Parson. "You have run the race with excellence and touched many lives with your bountiful gifts, which the Lord blessed you with.

"May the Angels of heaven lead you to paradise and eternal life".