Hon Speaker and hon members, it is a sad moment when a human being leaves us in death. It makes us even sadder when such a person was a Christian as devout as Sister Bernard was.
I came to know the late Sister Bernard closely in the years 1999 to 2004, when she was a member in this House. She chaired the then Portfolio Committee on Arts, Culture, Science and Technology for the 1994 to 1999 session. She later moved on to chair another committee, as Dr Wally Serote had to chair the one on arts and culture. I remember her calling me aside after a meeting in which I had raised the need to introduce the Mmabana Arts, Culture and Sport Foundation concept countrywide. She wanted to know what that was about. On learning that it was an institution that trained the youth and adults alike in a variety of art forms, she sounded interested and felt that it could be mooted.
Sister Bernard came across as a resolute, determined member whose smile, let alone laughter, was very scarce. Taking her role in the struggle for democracy into account, we admit that she lived up to the mission of the church, which is, among other things, to liberate those who are incarcerated.
We bid this woman of faith farewell in the full knowledge that she has showed her mettle. May she find peace and rest in the celestial empire to which she has departed.