We remember Sr Martha Helena Lloyd O Carm. This is an edited version of her eulogy delivered April 15, 2021
Sr Martha was a righteous person. She is therefore at peace because she is released from her great pain inflicted by her broken hip, and other forms of illnesses and operations, which she endured during her long lifetime. She was a strong, determined, prayerful, hard-working woman who, though she was afraid of death at one point in her life, welcomed it calmly.
Sr Martha Helena Lloyd also known as Martha Thelma Lloyd, the eldest daughter of John and Mildred Lloyd (both deceased), was born December 30, 1923 at Gasparillo.
She was the sister of Norma, Carlton, Clive, and Trevor (surviving siblings), and Earl, Gloria John, Roy, Ivan (all deceased).
She was deeply loved by her family and friends, seen by the love and affection shown to her by her siblings, nieces, and nephews and even by her grand nieces and nephews, other relatives, and friends for they were often in touch with her by their frequent visits and telephone calls.
Sister entered the Corpus Christi Carmelites, at Belmont Carmel, January 10, 1962, and received the habit as a Carmelite on July 25, 1962. She made her First Profession on August 15, 1963 and her Final Profession on August 15, 1969 at the Church of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, San Fernando.
She always enjoyed praying and singing the Divine Office in community. She had a strong, good voice and was often able to remember tunes and carry the psalms and Salve Regina when they were sung, even as an elderly Sister. Sister was often found in the chapel praying her rosary or praying the Stations of the Cross.
Sister was a very cooperative community member, enjoying board games especially ‘Scrabble’ and ‘Sorry’, and sing-along sessions. She was also generous with her time and energy, offering her services to help in whatever way she could. This attitude of a willingness to help, exposed her to teaching and supervising in many of our pre-schools.
Because of her deep love and interest in children, she worked at the day nursery and kindergarten, ministries of Belmont Carmel, from 1962–1974. In that same year, through the Child Welfare League, she pursued a six-week course in social work in Jamaica after which she was sent as supervisor to the kindergarten in Berbice, Guyana. In 1980, through the Extra Mural Studies Unit, UWI Mona Campus, Jamaica, she completed courses in Montessori Methods as well as a supervisor of kindergartens and pre-schools.
On her return to Trinidad, she worked in the following kindergartens: Diego Martin 1982–1984; Tunapuna 1984–1988; Belmont 1988–1991; St Vincent 1991–1993.
From 1993 onwards, she worked at Belmont with the young women of St Jude teaching them sewing (a skill she learnt before entering and which was greatly used in the convent), and craft, for which they won many awards from the San Fernando Festival (Sanfest).
For a number of years, Sister assisted Mr Bowen of the St Martin Welfare Association, in working with the underprivileged in Laventille. She thoroughly enjoyed being with the children and adults at Laventille, preparing for the huge Christmas celebration and securing gifts for them.
She also spent her time counselling others, taking her daily exercises, and sewing until she was no longer able to perform these tasks.
Sister also acted as Novice Directress a few times in the absence of the Novice Directress. She taught floral arrangement and sewing to the Novices.
Sr Martha’s life epitomised the life of her model, Martha, found in the Gospel of Luke 10: 38–41. Martha was the sister of Mary and Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, and they were all Jesus’ friend.
Sr Martha always remembered others for their birthdays, Christmas, Easter etc., ensuring that her visitors and/other sisters’ visitors had something to drink or to eat.
She cooked up a storm, preparing pies, savoury, and sweet/cakes/bread etc. Sister continued making breakfast and lunch for us at Belmont, even in her eighties.
As a young Sister, she was always ready and willing to improve in her various skills, so she enlisted in Cake Decoration, Floral Arrangement, Fabric Transformation and Fashion Designing courses.
She enjoyed playing the guitar at one time was able to entertain the Sisters on the piano.
Yes, she was busy, but she seldom complained because she thoroughly enjoyed what she was doing. Her heart was always filled with gratitude when others did anything for her.
Sister began doing less and less as she became weaker, but her hopefulness never left her. She waited for one of her favourite nephews to visit her when she chose to peacefully return to her maker and bridegroom, courageously conquering her fear of death, on April 8, 2021.
We thank God for visiting us through the kindness and goodness of our Sr Martha, sister, aunt, great aunt, cousin, friend. She will continue to assist us by her prayers. We love you and miss you, Sr Martha.