17TH JULY 2004


Gene Allison Mc Kie…  Born in St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Sunday the 13th of July, 1952, the only daughter of Hugh and Stacie Mc Kie.  Apart from her parents, Gene is also survived by husband – Ken, daughter – Nickie, and a number of other close relatives and friends. She was an only daughter who had an only daughter…


It was when I was a youngster, in fact, at age two (2), that my parents, Errey and Adeline John, and, of course, the rest of the family, moved from Georgetown in St. Vincent to the village of Belair.  My father was assigned as Head Teacher of the Belair Government School (hence the necessity for us to relocate), and Stacy Mc Kie (Gene’s mother) was the District Nurse.  At that time, when we got to know each other, Gene was one and a half years old.


As neighbours, we lived in an idyllic compound shared by a doctor, the head teacher, the nurse, the dispenser and the assistant teacher. 


Nurse Mc Kie, or Nennie Stacy as we called her, took personal care of all the children on the compound by attending to our cuts and bruises, and attending to fevers, diagnosing chicken pox and suggesting worm medicine where necessary, and even administering a stitch or two when our adventures resulted in more serious injury.


We were neighbours for 4 years, perhaps the best and least complicated four years of our lives - when our groceries were purchased at Mrs Little's shop in the village.  Our vacations were spent capturing tadpoles and picking plums from the doctor’s plum tree when he was on duty at the clinic and when his ferocious dog was not in sight.   


Gene had a little tricycle that she shared generously with me.  I was one year older than she was and closer to her in age than my three elder sisters who were around at the time.  In fact, there were several photographs that her father took of us on this tricycle, which accentuate the close bond that existed.  I also remember how she treasured her dog – “Rags”.


At her wedding reception (in 1975), my father who performed duties as master of ceremonies, reflected on those days – tricycle and all.  He indicated then that he thought that I should have been the groom given our history of closeness.  He told the gathering that I was “too slow” – his words – and therefore didn’t make it with Gene.  I know Ken is grateful for this.  I am the one who was asked by Gene to be MC for that wedding, but because I was bit more shy then than I am now my father performed that role. 


Though Gene was really an only child, for those four years that we spent at Belair she effectively had three sisters and a brother in Evelyn, Ercelle, Sandra and me - and the bonds forged then have lasted a life time.


On hearing the news of Gene’s passing, I e-mailed my sisters to apprise them accordingly.  My sister – the one after me, Wendy, who was born after our family had moved from Belair, and who, therefore, didn’t grow up with Gene as the rest of us did, responded to me by saying “I really know very little about Gene, except to say that she was very special to Mummy and so I always thought of her as a sister.  She was very nice to me – made me feel important.”


And that is the kind of comment we are all hearing in speaking with those who really know her. Whether they attended the Belair School with her, the Kingstown Preparatory School, the Girls’ High School or worked with her.  She is described as big sister, as coach, as mentor and as motivator to her peers, and one who listened attentively to the problems of others, and extended a helping hand. 


While in school, her athletic prowess also surfaced.  One of her friends says they were in a race together with others, and Gene simply ran away from the rest of them.  At the Girls’ High School she became House and Athletic Captain of Grimble House and saw her House advance from its usual then cellar position to eventually becoming Champion House – a feat which many attribute to the quality and tenacity of her leadership.


Gene was active in Church…  This too had a great influence on her life in the way in which she sought to provide comfort and enrichment to others.  I recall that both of us were walked down to the Belair Gospel Hall for Sunday School on many a Sunday afternoon.  The faith that she displayed throughout her life had its genesis in those early days.


She has left her mark…  She left school in St. Vincent for the USA for one year and actually graduated from High School there.  On her return home she gained employment at the Income Tax Department for one year, and then moved to Barclays Bank for a number of years.  Five years after her marriage to Ken in 1975, they migrated to Canada (in 1980) and she worked with Scotia Bank in Saskatoon, in Mississauga and in Calgary.  This, before moving to Montreal where she worked with the Multifor Company at which she was employed up to her untimely passing.  She will be remembered by all with fondness…


She is described by her parents as displaying a “stubborn determination to succeed, in every aspect of her life.”  But this must be a manifestation of the discipline and values which Brother Hugh and Sister Stacy instilled in her during those early years.  To you both and to Nickie, & Ken and the rest of the family…  You should be justly proud of her achievements, proud of the positive impact that she has left on those with whom she came into contact, proud that she followed in her parents’ footsteps by in turn, also producing a talented, caring and charming daughter (Nickie) who is making a name for herself in California, and seek comfort in the thought that wherever she is at this time, she is being well taken care of.  She deserves no less.


Gene Mc Kie…July 13th 1952July 9th 2004


May she rest in peace…


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