Gladys Maud Bustamante (Longbridge)
|Birthplace:||Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica|
|Occupation:||Prime Minister's wife|
|Managed by:||Kenneth Kwame Welsh|
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About Lady Bustamante
The Honourable Gladys Maud Bustamante O.J., J.P. (1912- 2009)
Born Gladys Maud Longbridge to parents Frank Longbridge and Rebecca Blackwood, in Parson Reid, Westmoreland on March 08, 1912. Gladys grew up in rural Jamaica with her grandparents after her mother left the island for Cuba when she was three years of age. She attended the Ashton Primary School. In later years, her Aunt took her to Kingston where she lived in Jones Town and attended Tutorial Secondary and Commercial College.It was at Tutorial Secondary and Commercial College that she learnt her secretarial skills that would in later years shape her life. In the early 1930’s Gladys returned to Westmoreland with the intent of using her achieved skills for the betterment of her community. She was unable to employ her skills there due to little job opportunities. She then moved to Montego Bay where she gained employment at Havana Sports.
In 1934, Gladys Longbridge returned to Kingston, where she was temporarily employed at the Arlington House Hotel and Restaurant. In March 1936, she was employed by Alexander Bustamante as private secretary in his capacity as businessman and she continued in this capacity following his entry into the trade union movement, politics and until he became Prime Minister of Jamaica. Gladys also did social work islandwide, particularly among port workers and their families and in sugar communities and with the children of destitute parents.
She was actively involved in voluntary work and charitable institutions. During her employment to Bustamante she was also actively involved in the trade unionism and she traveled with him throughout the length and breath of the country. On September 07, 1962, Gladys Maud Longbridge and Sir Alexander Bustamante were married.
Lady Bustamante has been and still is the Treasurer of the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union (BITU) and a Trustee since 1938, a member of the executive committee and trustee of the Jamaica Labour Party, member of the Old Age Pension Committee and Patron of The Bustamante Hospital for Children.
Lady Bustamante has been presented with a number of awards:
- Golden Orchid Award from Venezuelan Government in recognition of dedication to Sir Alexander Bustamante’s ideals, 1979.
- Order of Jamaica, 1982.
- Gleaner Company’s Special Merit Award for Outstanding Service to the Nation, 1984.
- Patron of Bustamante Hospital for Children, 1984.
- Trophy in Recognition of “Widow Exemplary Family Life” by Harmony in the Homes Movement 1985.
- Plaque for Outstanding Public Service to Jamaica to mark the end of United Nations Decade of Women 1976 - 1986.
- Long Service Award from Bustamante Hospital for Children for 21 years of Service.
- Citation from Young Jamaica in honour of supporting role to National hero, Sir Alexander Bustamante.
- Proclamation for the City of Opalocka for determination and commitment to the betterment of humankind, declared “Lady Bustamante Day”, December 10, 1988.
- Outstanding Achievement from Metropolitan Dade County, Florida, 1988.
- Plaque of Recognition for Work and Dedication from Friends of the Poor Incorporated, Florida 1988.
- Woman’s Inc.’s Celebration of Womanhood Award in 1988.
- Certificate of Recognition of National Day of Jamaica, 1990
Today, Lady Gladys Maud Bustamante resides in upper St. Andrew and continues her work at the Bustamante Industrial Trade Union.
Lady Bustamante died at the Tony Thwaites Wing at the University Hospital of the West Indies on Saturday July 25, 2009. She was ninety-seven years old.
Lady Bustamante's Timeline
March 8, 1912
Westmoreland Parish, Jamaica