Rita Sissy Hunte had the type of lively send off at the Berinda Cox Fish Market not usually associated with the gloom of a funeral service.
The two-hour long service, headed by the Spiritual Baptist Church of which Hunte was a member, uplifted the spirits of mourners who attended the religious ceremony.
The beating of the drums, hearty singing of hymns, and dancing, summed up what can fittingly be described as a unique funeral service.
Hunte, who was considered the mother of the market, succumbed to her injuries when she was pinned by a vehicle in the car park of the Oistins, Christ Church market during what is described as a freak accident.
It was the second time Hunte, of Upper Carter’s Gap, Christ Church, was struck by an out of control vehicle while sitting in the same spot at her number three stall from where she not only sold fish, but also gave sound advice to those working in the market and also customers.
Today, following a viewing of her body, which took place at the market yesterday, Hunte’s casket rested next to the stall where she lost her life. The market was decorated in white and blue balloons, and Hunte’s family and her fellow fisher folk wore blue shirts, carrying pictures of her face.
There were many glowing tributes to paint a picture of the life of the vendor who plied her trade for more than 40 years. She was described as a kind soul, loving mother to her six children, caring grandmother who instilled Christian values in her loved ones, and an individual who gave much to the development of the fishing industry.
Tony Olton, who read the eulogy on behalf of Hunte’s relatives, said the fish vendor loved her children and grandchildren dearly, and would do anything for them, including providing guidance and support.
He said even as adults, if her children did something she thought was not right or appropriate, Hunte would let them know in her motherly way.
“Sissy worked in the fish market more than 30 years ago. She started out working with one of her longtime friends Eleanor Griffith, but in later years, ventured out on her own.
“As a fish vendor she would approach potential customers by saying good morning or good afternoon depending on the time of the day followed by ‘any fish for you today love?’ And if the person said ‘no, not today’ she would say okay. She always knew that God would provide,” Olton said.
Hunte’s children also remember her as the food lady in Carter’s Gap. They recalled that her muffins, cou cou and pork crackling were always delicious.
“She loved her fish heads. When she did fish, you could eat all the meat on the fish, but do not touch her fish head, or else it would be trouble. She loved the fish market so much that when the season was slow, she still left home to go to the market to hang out with her friends to play a game of thirteens, a game she loved almost as much as pokeno,” Olton said.
Addressing the congregation, Member of Parliament for the area, Ralph Thorne, said the greatest honour that can be given to the deceased is to name the stall where she worked the Rita Sissy Hunte shed.
“I will not do any dishonor to her by asking to sound the voices of those who do not disagree. There is none among you who will disagree today that this shed at some time should be renamed in honour of Rita Sissy Hunte, our child of God, our sister and a mother of six fine and beautiful children,” Thorne said.
Minister of Maritime Affairs and Blue Economy, Kirk Hunphrey, told those gathered he endorsed Thorne’s call and noted that it will become a reality. Humphrey also promised that an award will also be named after Hunte. (AH)
One Reply to “Lively send off for Rita Sissy Hunte”
A lovely lady.