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AMBASSADOR Olive Maria Charmaine Constantine, CD, JP, former permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) was remembered for her solid contribution to nation building.

She was buried on January 6, five days after her death.

Constantine, who served as the permanent secretary in the Office of the Prime Minister between 1990 and her retirement in 2005, died on News Year's Day, after battling with cancer for six years.

The service of thanksgiving celebrating her life was held at the Chapel of the University of the West Indies, Mona.

Carole Reid's rendition of the song Oh Danny Boy in tribute, signalled the start of the service.

The tributes, reflecting on the hard-working spirit, love and immeasurable contributions Constantine made to her family and the Jamaican society during her life, began with former Prime Minister PJ Patterson.

Patterson recalled Constantine, someone with whom he worked and travelled closely while he served as prime minister, as "a talented mediator and a problem solver".

"I can still recall my first meeting with Mrs Constantine. It was in 1989, when as the then acting trade administrator, she accompanied me on a series of meetings with the Diaspora to meaningfully engage them in social and economic development of Jamaica," Patterson said as he began his reflection.

"Charmaine Constantine had come to the public service after a long stint with the ICB Group of Companies. There she had been exposed to the perils of slow and inflexible bureaucratic responses. That training had equipped her with the innovative and entrepreneurial skills which served [her] so well during her exemplary service in the public sector," he said.

Patterson went on to add that while serving under his leadership, "her charming personality and organisational acumen" fitted her role perfectly.

"Ambassador Olive Maria Charmaine Constantine, commander of the order of distinction and justice of the peace was a superb administrator and a consummate public servant. She knew how to improvise. How to maintain control of the OPM boat which could be sailing through turbulent seas and yet maintain a harmonious working environment. She was a passionate and firm believer and advocate of Caribbean integration," he said.

Patterson then reflected on her choice in selecting hotels on business trips, her fear of flying in small aeroplanes, her courage, and her infectious smile.

Reid followed Patterson's tribute with a rendition of End of a Perfect Day. Then Paul Constantine, grandson of the deceased, read a brief tribute to the woman whom he said taught him life lessons through her words.

"I have nothing but fond memories of grandma... She always had a heart to put others first. She was kind and loving, but also knew where to draw the line and hold her grounds," he said.

Paul is now a professional basketballer, he told the mourners that his grandmother was a great motivating force behind him realising this dream.

"She would call me Michael Jordan and (say) 'you could be a professional when you grow up'. Well grandma, your little Jordan is all grown up and just like you said I am professional now.

The remembrance by her son Edward Charles Anthony Constantine moved some mourners to tears.

"How am I to sum up 53 years in a few moments?" he questioned at the start of his tribute.

"The influence this remarkable woman had on the lives of her children is immeasurable. The most valuable (truth) she has left with us, is the certainty of her love for us. There is no greater gift you can give your child than a certain fact of your love for them," Edward said.

Edward reflected on how he watched his mother, since his childhood, rise from being an office clerk shifting boxes to working in the Office of the Prime Minister.

Constantine is survived by her three children Edward, Nari and daughter Billie-Jean, daughter-in-law Deborah, son-in-law Karl, grandchildren Adam, Paul, DeJean, Zidan, Blaise and Kennedy, sister Elaine Neita, brother Charles and her faithful companion Clement.

She was intered at the Dovecot Memorial Park in St Catherine.

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