ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Elaine Best . We will remember her forever.

Tributes are short messages commemorating Elaine, or an expression of support to her closest family and friends. Leave your first tribute here, and others will follow.

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her Life

Elaine Best - A Eulogy

  1. Elaine Best… “Mum” was born on the 11th October 1934 in a small timber house in Welches, Christ Church close to where the bus stop in front of Southern Plaza now stands.  It is said that she only had one name because the priest of the day only gave middle names to married mothers. Her mother Iona shared the home with many other Lashley family members which included her grandmother, “Hessie Butcher”, who we all have come to know as the little old lady drinking coconut water straight from the nut on that famous post card…. incidentally, the family has never received any royalties off that photo. 
  2. Like many others, Elaine went to school at Water Street Girls and upon leaving worked for the family of the late Canon Ivor Jones as a domestic, at the Fleming and Greenidge general stores in Oistins, where it is rumoured that she would wrap an extra can of corned beef in a needy family’s groceries.  It is also rumoured that this is where she met the dashing Vincent Best who used to stop into the establishment on his way to and from work, riding a bicycle.  Well it wasn’t too long before she would hop onto the bar and take a ride too. These rendezvous undoubtedly led to the birth of their first child together, Nigel in 1958 which served as a catalyst for a long life together as a couple. 
  3. In 1960, Vincent would answer the call by the British government for citizens of the West Indies to work in the UK, leaving Mum and Nigel in Pilgrim Road, Barbados in search of a better life.  But after dyeing up his white clothes in the wash and burning a few holes in his London Transport uniforms, he sent for help a year later and so Elaine excitedly left Barbados on a month-long boat ride to join him.  They were married a year later at the St. Gabriel’s Anglican Church in Cricklewood, London.  A couple of years after, they sent for Nigel too and then in 1966 came the birth of their pride and joy, Ian. (lol)                      
  4. Mum was determined to make the best of any situation and as such worked for various entities when living in London, including supermarket chain Safeway and Courtney’s Wines. Wherever she worked she did so with a cheerful disposition.  She also enjoyed the social scene, especially among the West Indian community. She could always be seen in the kitchen at any function we were invited to, always willing to lend a helping hand wherever or whenever called upon.  She also loved to go to Bingo. 
  5. After a period of 16 years or so, the Best family minus Nigel relocated to Barbados and immediately set about reacquainting themselves with friends and family. Her Aunt Verene was instrumental in finding her employment at the prestigious Hilton Hotel, where she excelled in her service to the tourism industry.  Many days she cleaned 14 rooms when others were only doing 11, but even though she worked hard, she always did it with a smile on her face.  So much so that several repeat guests would ask for her when returning to the island. She was rewarded several times for her helpful suggestions to management and attended recommended workshops until her retirement at the end of the last millennium. 
  6. She joined the congregation of Christ Church Parish Church after being confirmed in December 1976 and was an active, lively and noisy communicant sitting right over there in the north western section of the church.  All those who sat in that section and indeed the wider church congregation knew her because you usually “heard her before you saw her”, and this was so wherever she went. Whether it was at the bus stop (where everyone would know who I was), at a restaurant, at Massey in Oistins or even at the beach. She made friends quickly, following up with frequent calls just to see how they were doing and made it a point to make everyone who met her comfortable in her presence.  In fact, many new members (like Hazel Clarke) will testify that when they first came to Christ Church Parish Church, Mum was the one who encouraged them to come back. Whether it was Mark or David the ice cream men, Pat the post lady, the newspaper guy or even an aspiring politician, Mum was a friend to all. 
  7. She enjoyed cooking for anyone who visited these shores and undoubtedly if my brother brought someone with him to Barbados, they would have to sample her fishcakes, mauby and cou cou. I can see her now stirring the pot with her left elbow raised in the air and laughing as she gyrated to get the meal rounded out in a bowl. Regina still can’t get it done even though she’s a right-handed version of Mum! 
  8. Mum loved her family and was always ready to assist when needed….and she embraced her husband’s family as her own too.  So much so, that many persons would be confused as to which side of the family she belonged! For she was always seen at Best family events, visited her sister in law Elaine Connell regularly and certainly embraced her husband’s daughter, Heather as her own, always looking out for her and Kadira in every way possible. 
  9. Mum loved to travel and see new places, never content to rest on her laurels. A frequent cruiser with her best friend, Sheila and flyer, she made sure that one of the stewardesses took care of her during her flights.  She also embraced the new technology of smart phones and tablets pestering us to get her one so that she could keep in contact with her grands.  Of course, we would then receive calls on WhatsApp in the middle of a meeting as she was testing her new-found skills! (lol) She will surely be missed by those in the Church Hill community, who she looked out for when she was in good health and who in turn took care of her in sickness (especially Annette). 
  10. Nine months ago, Elaine suddenly fell ill with a mental illness which adversely affected her infectious personality, robbing us of that ever-present smile and energy we were all accustomed to.  And as her health deteriorated in more recent times, the commitment of her two care-givers became even more evident. In conjunction with Dr Fallon Goodridge from the Elcourt Clinic, Deserie and Charmaine, Mum had the best possible care at home and I can’t thank them enough for all they did for her in those trying circumstances. 
  11. They say that dementia is “the long goodbye”.  We never had a chance to tell Mum how we felt about her, how we loved her...one last time, when she could have responded the way she would have wanted to.…How much she really meant to our daily lives and so I urge all of you today, all of us today, not to neglect this important act in life…Let your loved ones know how you feel about them, before it’s too late. 
  12. I close with some words sent to me by Mum’s niece Jean, who couldn’t be here in physical body: “Just as the sun will set then rise with each and every dawn, the souls of those who lived life well eternally live on. Now that the sun has seemed to set on one so very dear, please know a soul who lived so well remains forever near. “
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