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Jane Usher Passes Away

And now from a soul who barely had a chance to live, to a woman who lived well for over a century. Jane Ellen Usher was born on the fifth of September, 1917 and she passed away at 5:05 this morning at age 101.  She served the PUP as a Cabinet member of Health and Cooperatives, President of the Senate, and member of the House of Representatives. She joined Holy Redeemer Credit Union as a clerk, became its treasurer and has served as its CEO since 1956. Usher is the older sister of the “Father of Belize”, George Cadle Price. She has won both the Distinguished Service Award from the Jamaican Cooperative Credit Union League and the Golden Eagle Award from the Belize Credit Unions League for her service to the credit union movement. Her grandson, Henry Charles Usher, also the chairman of the Peoples United Party spoke about her passing at Independence Hall this afternoon.

People’s United Party Chairman

Henry Usher, Grandson and Chairman of the People’s United Party:  “The Price Usher family and the family of Holy Redeemer Credit Union announce the passing of their matriarch Mrs.Jane Mary Usher. She was known by many names, ‘Granny Jane’, ‘Lady Jane’, ‘Dr.Jane’, ‘Jem’ by her late husband Henry Usher and of course Miss Jane by all. She left us this morning at 5:05AM December 12 in peaceful prayer surrounded by family. Rather fittingly on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe the mother of Jesus. A little over a year ago Miss Jane suffered a fall from which she never fully recovered. When it became difficult for her to go to work her son Clement set up her desk and computer at home at 5 Miles Price Bank for she wanted to continue her service to the member owners of Holy Redeemer Credit Union. She never stopped working even when the pain was almost unbearable, a true testament to the perseverance and work ethic of this good Belizean woman. Her name became synonymous with HRCU. How often did I hear ‘I need to go see Miss Jane or I gwein save mi money with Miss Jane. She was transferred to SJC to HRCU in 1954 and at that time the assets would have been around $60,000. Today the assets of HRCU are approaching $600 million dollars for over 57,000 member owners. In 1977 her brother George asked her to deliver the Pickstock seat for the People’s United Party and she readily agreed so that he could continue his march to independence. She was warmly received by everyone with not a household turning her back even the UDPs. She told the voters that here life was one of hard work and that she wanted to work to improve the lives of everyone in Pickstock. Of course she won her seat and was made a deputy minister in the Ministry of Health, Housing, Cooperatives and Credit Unions and led the opening up of the healthcare system making it available countrywide. In 1984 the UDP won a landslide victory but Miss Jane was able to secure her seat, the only PUP to win in Belize City. She is one of very few politicians who have served in the lower house of parliament as minister of state, member of the opposition and in the upper house of parliament as president of the senate, the first woman to hold that post. She truly left her mark on Belizean politics and left behind a legacy to be admired. Many don’t know that she sewed the very first Belizean flag right at the Price House on Pickstock Street. Miss Jane was married to the late Henry Charles Usher also of Credit Union fame and was the mother of ten children, not twelve as I’ve seen in certain sections of the media- five boys and five girls. Interesting that she died at 5:05. She also had thirty four grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and four great great grandchildren.”