A matriarch is gone.
That’s how Energy Minister Stuart Young described the passing of long-standing People’s National Movement (PNM) member Joycelyn Bodden, as he paid tribute to her in a memorial service yesterday which was streamed on social media by the party.
On May 28, Bodden who served as a leading figure in PNM’s Port-of-Spain North St Ann’s West constituency and welfare officer on the national executive passed away.
Bodden, 76, was reported to have died at the Couva Hospital.
During the hour-long service, many of the party’s officials paid glowing tribute to Bodden who was described as selfless, dedicated and loyal.
The party celebrated Bodden’s life delivering songs and touching tributes.
Among those who heaped praises on Bodden were PNM’s party chairman and Finance Minister Colm Imbert, Young, and PNM’s public relation officer Lisa Morris-Julian.
Education Minister Dr Nyan Gadsby-Dolly opted to sing “Go light a Candle” in Bodden’s honour.
In a brief video message, Imbert described Bodden as one of a kind.
He remembered Bodden playing a crucial role in the 1991 general election for the PNM.
In 1990, Bodden joined ranks with the PNM.
Following the PNM’s victory at the 1991 polls, Imbert said, Bodden became inseparable from the ruling party to which she remained faithful to the very end.
“Her work as our welfare officer was legendary. She was inseparable from the party,” Imbert recalled.
Many, he said, were unaware that Bodden was a professional and successful businesswoman.
“We have lost a treasure,” Imbert said.
Young said Bodden was affectionately called “Joycie” in his Port-of-Spain North/St Ann’s West constituency.
“You were our matriarch.”
Young said during the seven years he knew Bodden she was there for him through thick and thin.
“You guided me and held my hands through the politics not only in the constituency but always lending an ear and giving advice. Joycie guided me from 2014 come all the way up to just before her last stint in hospital.”
Young said it would be difficult to press on without Bodden working alongside him now.
“It will be hard to solider on. She was certainly part of my life. Joycie was always ahead of the game arranging everything.”
Even during the pandemic, Young said, Bodden ensured that hampers were provided to those in need in his constituency.
“It’s a huge shoes to fill. She will forever be missed. Rest assured she has left her mark with us all.”
Bodden’s daughter Jeanelle Bodden thanked everyone for the love and support they received during “this heartbreaking time” for the family.
“With the passing of my mother we have been left with a huge void that no one else can fill. She was larger than life.”
The younger Bodden said the PNM was a huge part of her mother’s life.
“Her loyalty was unsurpassed and her dedication to the party was genuine and long-standing. She believed in the progress of her country and was truly a Trini to the bone.”
The memorial ended with the lighting of a candle ceremony for Bodden.