Farewell to a gem
The name Valerie Pitt may never have appeared on a National Honours list, but for the hundreds who thronged St George Parish Church to say goodbye yesterday, she was a national treasure.
Eulogist Harold Hoyte told the packed church: “When we have had a chance to savour how well Valerie had flavoured the lives of many friends and all family, we will recognise what a special gift she was and how gentle she made the texture and taste of this life for us all to relish.”
Pitt, who lost her battle with cancer last week, was remembered as a “caring partner, loving daughter, devoted mother, doting grandmother and steadfast friend”.
The late Tichbourne, St Michael resident put down quite a performance in life, Hoyte said, as life partner of retired well known NATION photographer Charles Grant; as mother of seven, including photographers Sandy, Charles and Cherie Pitt; as foster mother of other children whom she took into her home over the years and as loyal friend to many, including a generation of journalists at The NATION newspaper.
Former executive editor Roxanne Brancker acknowledged the last contribution in a tribute read by Marc Hollingsworth. Like so many others paying last respects to the woman who loved life and laughter, Brancker credited Pitt for the warmth of her hospitality extended to all she welcomed into her home and for her culinary skills, the benefits of which she shared unsparingly with all and sundry.
Delivering the homily, Canon Austin Carrington also spoke of a generous woman and a homemaker who touched the lives of many in simple but impactful ways.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart, Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Opposition Member of Parliament for St George North Gline Clarke were among the many attending the funeral.
Following the service conducted by the Reverend John Rogers, Pitt’s bright green casket was lowered into a grave in the churchyard.