‘Matriarch of Chisholm’s Grocery’ Rhoda Erena Ebanks passes away

The content originally appeared on: Cayman Compass

Mrs Rhoda Erena Ebanks (née Chisholm) passed away on Thursday January 6th 2022 at age 91.

Rhoda Erena Ebanks (née Chisholm), a familiar face at Chisholm’s Grocery for years, has passed away, leaving the North Side community in mourning.

Ebanks, described as one of the matriarchs at the grocery, died last Thursday, 6 Jan., at age 91, an announcement on the grocery’s official Facebook page stated.

“Chisholm’s was near and dear to her heart and we will do our best to continue the legacy left by her and her parents. She will be greatly missed. May her beautiful soul Rest In Peace,” the post stated.

Ebanks’s funeral is planned for Friday 14 Jan., at 10am at William Pouchie Memorial Church in North Side.

Tributes poured in for the 91-year-old as news spread, a testament to the mark she left on the North Side community, having worked alongside her parents in the grocery when it was opened on 13 August 1954.

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“Back then it was known as ‘the shop’. Throughout the years she helped her mother, Mrs. Ida Chisholm in the shop until her passing in 2005. Ms Erena as she was affectionately know to many then took over running the store and did so until 2013. She just loved being at the store always meeting new people and making new friends,” the tribute post stated.

Ebanks, the post said, enjoyed conversing with local folks which “was a highlight of her days as well. Even though she hasn’t been at the store for some time she kept abreast of what was happening there on a daily basis”.

Commenters shared their personal experiences with Ebanks, lauding her friendly, pleasant demeanour.

“A lovely lady, remember her when I first came on island how welcoming she was, condolences to the whole family,” one commenter wrote.

Another said, “No words can explain how grateful the people of North Side are to have had a wonderful and humble person like you to cater to us all, I for one give thanks to you personally as that was where my daughter 1st worked with you as her boss.”

The grocery posted that when it became necessary to hire staff, Ebanks “was apprehensive about it but went along. She has met each one of them, regularly inquired how they were doing and has often said ‘thank God we found them’”.

Chisholm’s Grocery will be open from 7am to 9am and will reopen at 12 noon on the 14 Jan. to allow staff to attend the funeral.

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