TALK BACK: Grateful for helping hand to Estelle
The way we treat the elderly in Barbados came into sharp focus this past week after the publication of the very sad story and pictures which showed 99-year-old Estelle Butcher being rescued from squalid conditions at her St Thomas home.
The woman, who turns 100 next month, was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and, at last report, was resting comfortably at a nursing home.
Many of our online readers were disturbed by what they saw and read, and vented.
Cheryll Griffith: “Please let us help the elderly. Without them we wouldn’t be here. This is supposed to be a country with pride (Coat of Arms says so), so respect and uplift each other, as in the words of Mother Teresa who helped the downtrodden – ‘Loneliness and the feeling of being unwanted is the most terrible poverty’. It’s a new year, so let’s do something good for someone each day. God bless Ms Butcher and her family.”
Mary Yearwood: “She apparently needed help long, long ago. At least she’s getting the help she needs now.”
Biko Garvey: “As one of her [ten] children, 48 grandchildren and 100-plus great-grandchildren, I am so grateful to my cousin Sean for finally getting this very vexing calamity closer to a conclusion. When all efforts, including prayers and hopes, seemed destined to end in failure, all of us in Canada, the United States, England and other parts of the world would like to extend our appreciation to you and THE NATION news team that brought this horrific 31 years to an end.
“Mama” will finally get some of the help that she needs and deserves, and we will at last get the unfettered access that we have been denied. For those who say we should be ashamed, rest assured we have been ashamed for a very long time as we permitted numerous circumstances to interfere with our attempts to bring back some dignity to our “matriarch”, Estelle Butcher. Now we can act to restore all the means of support and care that have been so brutally and maliciously stolen in the guise of “relationship” and then “marriage”.
“Mama”, our tickets are booked and now we know that we can celebrate your centenary with you, and with the dignity that you have taught us. We will celebrate you, and care for you long past your 100th, just the way we cared for your mother, our great grandmother, past her 100th in 1977. Barbados, thanks for your support.”
Pan Wallie: “Kudos to you, Sean Butcher, for successfully seeing to your grandmother’s welfare. Many people wrote many things, but many people don’t understand there are lots of ramifications (some legal ones too) involved in these issues.”
Al Tered: “Glad she is doing well. Hope she makes it to the end of February. I look forward to seeing those pictures with the GG.”
• Carol Martindale is THE NATION’S Online Editor.