Edwards Pays Tribute to Aunt Who Led Him to Christ
Dora Shaw –
On a quiet afternoon in the George-town, Guyana Citadel corps, Commissioner David Edwards offered a moving tribute to his Great Aunt, Dora Shaw, who had raised him, introduced him to the Army and led him to Christ. She was 94 when promoted to Glory.
“I want to share with you some important matters concerning the part she played in the lives of my brother and me,” Edwards said. “She was the first person my wife and I thought of following the announcement of my appointment to the USA Western Territory. My mother’s work with an English doctor and his family required her to move to England, and Auntie Dora assumed that role in our development.
“The earliest memories I have of my childhood were pleasant ones. One of the fascinating things about growing up under the influence of Auntie Dora is that we learned at a very early age how to make decisions. While she was quite subtle about letting you know how she felt about the decision, you went away feeling that it was up to you. Whatever you decided it would be all right with her.
“She was the Home League Secretary for many years at the New Market Corps, and we would go to a number of other churches on Sunday afternoons, where she would represent the Army’s Home League. Just prior to my mother’s departure my brother Douglas was born, and we all went to live with Auntie Dora and her husband in a tiny, one room dwelling with a partition down the middle to create the illusion of a sitting room and a bedroom. Three extra persons created quite a squeeze on the living conditions for them. Aunt Dora made this work, but it required her husband, Daddy Shaw, to move out of his bed onto a couch. As a child I was inclined to be quite stubborn, and like many children my age, I did not relate well to adults. The difficult living conditions did not help. As I grew older and came to understand my own emotions we got along quite well. He became my brother’s god-father.”
Edwards recounted many stories of life in Georgetown with his brother, Auntie Dora and Daddy Shaw. The significant incidents in his life evolved through these relationships, which indicated a life of poverty combined with love and acceptance.
“Why have I chosen to tell you these memories instead of the usual type eulogy? I have chosen to speak not of my Aunt the Salvationist, the Home League secretary, the Christian and church worker. Instead, I have wanted to share with you some of my personal childhood memories which reveal a woman who knew poverty, pain and disappointment but was undaunted by it. I have chosen to share with you a picture of a woman who not only opened her little one room house to us when we needed shelter, but in doing so, opened her heart as well.
“We were twice blessed, my brother and me. We knew the unconditional love of a mother and of our Auntie Shaw. The only difference was that while my mother might have had reason to love us, not so my aunt. Hers was a love without reason. Here were two boys she made her own when she did not have to.
“I wanted to share with you a picture of the woman we knew, admired and loved so that you might share in the sense of loss that we feel for this woman we call our Auntie Shaw. I also want to pay tribute to my brother and his family for the loving care and faithful attention they gave to our aunt through the years. In recent weeks this family has experienced several losses. A cousin, an aunt, my mother’s twin sister, and now Auntie Dora. Through it all, I gather that my brother, Douglas, has been there for each of them, indeed a tower of strength for each of us.
“Thank you all who join us in this final tribute to the life of a woman who loved her God with all her heart and soul.”