Official funeral for former Speaker Violet Neilson on July 8

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

The official funeral for former Speaker of the House, Violet Neilson, who passed away on June 11, will be held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre in Rose Hall, St James, on Monday, July 8, beginning at 11:00am.

Neilson, who battled Alzheimer’s disease in her later years, was 92 years old.

Leader of Government Business in the House of Representatives, Edmund Bartlett, announced on June 25 that the government had accorded Neilson an official funeral.

An official funeral is accorded to members of the Cabinet; the President of the Senate; the Speaker of the House of Representatives; members of the Senate and members of the House of Representatives; widows and widowers of national heroes and such other people as may be determined by the Cabinet.

Neilson had a record of public service that spanned 13 years between 1989 and 2002 when she served three terms as Member of Parliament (MP) for the St James East Central constituency. She held several positions including parliamentary secretary in the Ministry of Development, Planning and Production; Ministry of Education; and Ministry of Health.After winning her seat in the 1993 General Election, Neilson was appointed Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, serving in that position until 1997.

She created history following the national polls in 1997 when she was the first woman elevated to House Speaker after retaining her St James East Central seat. She served in the Lower House’s highest position until 2002.

The late, former Speaker also held the distinction of being the Jamaica Agricultural Society’s first female president.

Neilson, who was born in Somerton, St James, attended Mico Teachers’ College (now The Mico University College), and returned to her community to work as a teacher, serving the education system for 19 years.

In 1997, Neilson was invested with the National Honour, Order of Distinction in the rank of Commander (CD), in recognition of her outstanding contribution in the areas of education, agriculture and community service.