EDITOR, The Tribune
MRS Clarice Granger, an iconic and gracious Bahamian lady, with kind, sparkling eyes, has passed from time into eternity.
Mrs Granger spent a lifetime in public service. She was born into a family dedicated to serving God and their fellow man. Rev Talmadge Sands, her father, was the first Bahamian Pastor of the historic Zion Baptist Church on Shirley Street. Rev Sands rebuilt Zion after the Great Hurricane of 1929. People who lived in Chippingham in the 1960s still speak about the magnificent garden that was a part of the Sands’ home. Mrs Sands kept a well run home and raised children who each helped to build The Bahamas.
Mrs Granger was the longest serving Chief Commissioner of Girl Guides. The work to establish the new Bahamas Girl Guides Headquarters commenced under her tenure.
My first memory of her is at the Princess Margaret Hospital where she was a Radiologist and my late father, Sir Clement Maynard, was the Chief Laboratory Technician and President of the Civil Service Union (now the BPSU). Mrs Granger patiently answered all the questions of a very curious young girl, me. This was the same patience and encouragement that she brought to Guiding. We were all her children. She had boundless patience. She poured her energy into Guiding.
But, those who knew her as the wife of Dean William Granger, the first Bahamian Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, would say that she poured her energy into the work of the Cathedral, including as organist and participant in all of the ministries of the Cathedral.
And, those who needed her services as an organist in their church, would say that Mrs Granger gave of herself in their music ministry. Mrs Granger’s knowledge of the hymns and love of liturgical music was legendary. Most organists are aware of the hymns to be sung before the service starts. Whenever Mrs Granger was the organist, the priest knew that he could change the hymn during the service and not miss a beat. Mrs Granger knew the hymn numbers and she knew the various tunes for each hymn. Frequently she played them without the aid of written music.
Yes, those in various sick person visitation ministries would have said that she gave such hope and peace to persons in need of hope and a kind healing word.
Who can forget Mrs Granger’s focus as, after her “second retirement”, she supervised the construction of her home on West Bay Street? And, seeing her in her garden many afternoons tending lovingly to her beautiful plants. Their abundant blooms made it clear that she brought them as much joy as they gave her.
After her “second retirement” she commenced a stint at Templeton, where she became a part of their family and they were enriched by their wonderful encounters with her.
Any visit with Mrs Granger included tea. Like those of her generation, tea was accompanied by sandwiches and cake, served on lovely china. Those were precious moments to enjoy the moment and each other. No “troubles of the world” there.
Her friends and family would say, “I could call on Clarice anytime of the day or night and she would be there”.
Throughout her life, Mrs Granger exemplified the graciousness, kindness and generosity that were instilled in her, and her siblings, as children. The Sands siblings have a noble record of national service. The Granger family’s equally strong record of national service would have strengthened Mrs Granger’s resolve to give all that she could for as long as she could. Let the record reflect that is exactly what she did.
Thank you Mrs Clarice Granger for being a stellar role model for a well lived life of service, integrity, kindness and grace.
Rest in Peace.
July 29, 2020.