Popular Consumer Advocate Ms. Eileen Rosaline Cox passed away yesterday at 12.18 p.m at age 96.
She died peacefully at her home on First Avenue, Subryanville, Georgetown, Guyana.
Her only child, international author Sharon Westmaas who lives in Germany and grandson Miro Westmaas were present.
Cox who was a founding member of the Guyana Public Service Union (GPSU), which has been standing since March 1964, built a reputation for being compassionate, resilient and persevering.
Her path led her to join the Guyana Public Service Trade Union, and later the Guyana Public Service Cooperative Credit Union, but she eventually became dissatisfied with the operation of those entities because she observed that the Trade Union Movement was not only male-dominated, but that the men appeared not to be interested in the equality of women.
She has blazed a trail through uncharted territory and virgin soil, defying the odds in her drive to improve the standing of all women.
Born on January 19, 1918, Cox believed that a person, irrespective of gender affiliation, reserves the right to upward mobility, provided the person proves to be efficient in the specified capacity.
Armed with the resolute belief that all humans ought to receive the relevant opportunities to realize their full potential, Ms. Cox decided to meet her male disbelievers head on.
This led to her joining forces with the then First Lady, Mrs. Viola Burnham, to form the Guyana Consumers Association.
As president of the inaugural body, she drafted the Constitution of the Guyana Consumers Association between 1970 and 1971, with the support of others, including Viola Burnham.
As President of the Guyana Consumers Association, Cox had the simple mandate to educate and represent the consumer’s interest to government and industry.
In order to effectively address this mandate, Ms Cox decided to liaise with the International Organization of Consumer Unions in England.
Although she was in her nineties, Cox still valiantly attempted to entrench the message in the minds of her critics, and to foster positive action. She was the recipient of many honours, the last being from the Guyana Public Service Union which finally honoured her for her decades of service.
The late Eileen Cox was the daughter of Walter Cox and Mirriam Ruth Cox (nee Wight) and sister of the late Leila Marie Hale, Elma Freda Small and Percy Cox. She was the aunt of Mirri Halder. Eileen had been married to David Westmaas.
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