By anguillian November 13, 2017 11:54 Updated




Fifty years later the patriotism, demonstrated by the late Mrs. Olive Augusta Rogers during the 1967 Anguilla Revolution, paid off when she was accorded a National Funeral on November 4, 2017, at St. Augustine’s Anglican Church, East End. She died on August 18, 2017, in St. Martin where she took up residence some years ago. Her funeral was mainly delayed by Hurricane Irma.
Born in South Valley on March 6, 1918, she eventually made the White Hill, in the Island Harbour area, the marital home for herself, her husband, the late Chesterfield Rogers, and their five daughters. It was also there that Mrs. Rogers, of humble peasantry, became a loud agitator, among other women, in support of the Anguilla Revolution as a means of ending the harsh economic conditions on the island and achieving a better life for Anguillians. Combined with her love for Anguilla, was her caring love and concern for families and children in the absence of the menfolk who were forced to travel abroad for employment.
In delivering the formal remembrance, the deceased’s namesake, Mrs. Olive Hodge, described her as having been “a true patriot, one who loved and stuck to Anguilla despite the economic conditions then, and fought like a real ‘gwallier’ during the Anguilla Revolution.” Mrs. Hodge added: “She is truly deserving of the honour and recognition accorded to her with this National Funeral.”
Minister of Home Affairs, Mrs. Cora Richardson-Hodge, speaking on behalf of the Anguilla Government, said the late Mrs. Rogers was very active and vocal in the many protests during the Anguilla Revolution. The Minister noted, however, that she was never honoured for her patriotism and took the opportunity to present, posthumously, the Medal of Honour and Queen’s Certificate to her family. The presentation was made to the deceased’s daughter, Christine Harrigan.

The officiating Clergy were Bishop Errol Brooks, Rev. Menes Hodge and Rev. Terrence Rawlins, an Anglican Priest in St. Martin/St. Maarten, who delivered the sermon in which he heaped praise on the deceased for her quality of life and faithfulness. “Olive was a woman who enjoyed her life and, of course, she lived a life that had seen and experienced much…as ninety-nine years are not ninety-nine days,” he said in part. “She was a loving mother, a loyal friend, a warrior… and a hard worker…Throughout the changing scenes of her life she remained devout, devoted, and faithful to her God and her church.”

The Service of Thanksgiving/National Funeral was attended by a large number of persons from Anguilla and St. Martin/St. Maarten. Much appreciation was expressed for the many persons who travelled from the neighbouring French and Dutch territories, given the difficulty of the ferry service.

Among those in attendance were members of the Mothers’ Union of which the late freedom fighter was a founding member; contingents of the Royal Anguilla Police Force, which bore her body to St. Augustine’s Church, to the Sandy Hill Cemetery, and fired a gun salute at the gravesite. The Police Community Band was also in attendance. Flags were flown at half-mast on the day before, and during, the funeral as a mark of respect to Mrs. Rogers’ passing.

By anguillian November 13, 2017 11:54 Updated


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