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Georgette Rawlins

SHARLENE RAMPERSAD

On April 16, Georgette Rawlins offered herself as a candidate for the University of the West Indies (UWI) credit union’s credit committee.

In a 40-second-long video posted to the credit union’s Facebook page, Georgette can be seen making her pitch to potential voters.

“Using the various skills learned in the workplace, especially as a customer service representative, coupled with my educational background, I believe that I can serve the UWI credit union membership,” she says.

With her hands demurely clasped in front of her, she appears calm, assured of herself and graceful.

But yesterday, less than a month later, one of Georgette’s sisters took to Facebook to post the devastating news that Georgette had lost her life to COVID-19.

Her death traumatised her already devastated family- who were had not yet come to terms with the death of Georgette’s sister, Karen Rawlins, days before.

“We regret to inform all our friends and family that our two older sisters Georgette Rawlins and Karen Rawlins succumbed to COVID related illnesses. We thank you for all the well wishes and condolences. We ask that everyone just keep us in your prayers,” the relative wrote.

Guardian Media reached out to the relative but she declined to comment.

The University of the West Indies Department of Creative and Festival Arts also expressed condolences on the deaths of the two sisters, describing Georgette as the consummate creative.

“The DCFA joins in with the University Community in expressing our deepest condolences to the Rawlins family on the untimely passing of Georgette and her sister Karen.”

DCFA said Georgette worked with the Arts in Action team then with DCFA as a full-time staff member before moving on to her substantive post at the UWI’s Admissions office.

The admission’s office, in an internal memo to staff, also extended its condolences to Georgette’s family.

With the public health regulations barring any gathering of people, those who loved and admired Georgette took to social media to express their grief.

“RIP Georgette, you helped me in more ways than I could describe. My heart is broken and I can only give my strength and support to your family,” one user wrote.

“RIP to one of the most beautiful, inside and out persons I know. Always with a smile and a kind word. Condolences to the Rawlins family,” another wrote.

“No words can describe the beautiful person you were in this life. We will miss you Georgie,” another said.

One of Georgette’s former schoolmates from St Francois College, Sanginee Rattan, told Guardian Media the news of her death left her heartbroken.

“Last night when I was told by another friend of ours who attended the same school that Georgette died, that news crushed me because I know who she was, I know the happiness in her and then suddenly that was taken away from her,” Rattan said in a Zoom interview.

Although she moved to St Kitts and Nevis years ago, she said they kept in contact on social media.