By Carlena Knight
With the funeral service of slain Customs worker Margaret ‘Maggie’ Harris set for today, one relative is taking the government’s hierarchy to task over an apparent lack of support.
The 52-year-old’s lifeless body was found in bushes in the vicinity of Wireless Road by a teen on the morning of October 15. Examination revealed multiple injuries were inflicted about her body.
Since her death, tributes have poured in from Harris’ close friends and colleagues. Some coworkers held a candlelight vigil to remember the “quiet” and “kind-hearted” mother in October at the JSC Sports Complex, near where her body was found.
But Sheradie Harris, Margaret’s brother, has aired his frustrations over the lack of empathy shown by those higher up the totem pole.
Harris explained that he did not feel the same effort that was put into remembering another slain Customs worker, Nigel Christian, was afforded his sister whom he says, “died in the line of duty”.
“What bothers me a lot is that nobody in the hierarchy of where she worked, I am talking about managerial positions, reached out to the family, not even to ask, what can we do, are you guys all right, what can we do to help?
“Not even a phone call, not even to pass and say, let me give you this bouquet to cheer you up, not even to ask if her children are okay or how they are coping with it, do they need some form of assistance to go and visit a counsellor? Nothing.
“It bothers me a lot because she died in the line of duty. She was dressed in her uniform going to work and nothing has come from these people,” Harris said.
He also chastised both the Minister of Finance and Minister of National Security whom he says were silent on the matter of his sister’s death, but have already spoken out about the murder of Neltha Telemaque whose body was found on Sunday.
While he shared his condolences towards Telemaque’s loved ones, he said he is still discouraged by the lack of support his family has received in the past few months.
Harris did however give credit to the main investigator in charge of his sister’s case.
He said that the officer has always kept in contact with the family about the latest developments, but added that it is frustrating how slow the case is moving.
The loss of his sister, Harris stated, has taken a major toll on the family, especially their mother.
“We try to strengthen each other by talking with each other even more now. Our mother, she is having difficulties to a point where we now try to be with her as often as possible to try and cheer her up, because every day she cries.
“I am trying to be strong for the family, but at times I get emotional because of what has happened and what is happening, but I try to be strong so that the others can see that I am strong for them,” Harris added.
When reflecting on his sibling, he says that she was a “simple, loving, quiet and reserved person”.
“She was never an outing person. It was always work, church, or home, that’s it.
“If you happened to see her after 6pm at any time outside, just know she was going to do some form of business and back home. She loved her three children dearly.
“She will be greatly missed, and her laugh that was very catchy, will be missed, her smile, that pretty smile of hers. She was so caring and always willing to help, no matter how simple it is,” Harris added.
Harris’ body will leave Straffie’s Funeral Home at 12.10pm today. Viewing of her body will commence at 12.30pm at the Ottos Wesleyan Holiness Church, while the service celebrating her life will begin at 1pm.
She will be laid to rest in her hometown of Willikies.