The Mothers’ Union announces the sad and sudden death of Mrs Joan James, Mothers’ Union Provincial Vice-President of the West Indies and diocesan President of Mothers’ Union Guyana.
It is with great sadness and regret that Mothers’ Union announces the loss of one of its tireless leaders. Mothers’ Union Provincial Vice President of the West Indies and Diocesan President of Guyana, Mrs Joan James, died in Guyana as a result of injuries on Thursday 17th January 2019, inflicted from a road traffic accident a few weeks ago.
Mothers’ Union Worldwide President, Sheran Harper, was a close friend. She said, “Joan was loved by all and will be remembered as an outstanding leader, an encourager and motivator who could mobilise communities to take action in any area of Mothers’ Union work. She worked quietly and humbly, but was very effective in her work, always ready to give others the praise and glory. We will miss her dearly. May her soul rest peacefully in the arms of Jesus. Farewell dear sister and friend. Until we meet again!”
“Joan was a tower of strength within Mothers’ Union internationally as well as within Guyana, tireless in her service to her community. She was much loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with her. May she rest in peace and rise in glory,” said Mothers’ Union Chief Executive, Bev Jullien.
Joan became a member of Mothers’ Union 34 years ago and was elected Mothers’ Union Regional Officer for the West Coast Berbice Region. She was an outstanding leader with the ability to mobilize and inspire branches and communities to take action whether it be in the area of literacy and numeracy, advocacy, campaigning, growing the membership, empowering women and young people or resuscitating branches. She was an encourager and motivator and well respected by all in her region.
In 2006 she was elected as a committee member on Mothers’ Union Diocese of Guyana’s Executive Committee, “She was extremely supportive during my six years as Diocesan President. Nothing was ever too much for her. If we had an activity that needed to take place just call Joan and it was sure to happen and be successful too. If funds needed to be raised for a programme or project Joan was at the helm of it in her region,” recalls Sheran.
Joan was trained as a Parenting Facilitator in 2007 and further as a Parenting Coordinator. She excelled as a parenting facilitator, holding several parenting groups not only in her community but in communities beyond and at the same time encouraging the other facilitators to do the same. This leadership quickly saw her being trained and promoted to a Parenting Coordinator in Guyana’s West Coast Berbice/New Amsterdam/Canje/Upper and Lower Corentyne Regions.
Joan was elected Vice President for Guyana 2012, in 2015 she was elected Diocesan President and in 2017 elected Provincial Vice President of West Indies.
Joan was also a member of the Diocesan Council, a Lay Reader and Cultural Ambassador. She represented Mothers’ Union in Anglican Communion meetings in Kenya and was lovingly called Sister Joan within the Mothers’ Union. A retired Educator, Joan was fondly called Teacher Patsy in her home community.