Malaika Laurine Butler Douglas 1970-2021 .Very often it is difficult to hear about the death of a young person and the saying has been adapted from the song by Michael Jackson “Gone to soon’ in many cases that may be true but we all know that to every life there is a season and some end very sudden , some tragic, and those that are blest to see four score and ten plus. Truly Malaika was a dynamic personality an excellent worker and to all accounts the love of her family ,friends and coworkers. She was determined to make her mark in society. Malaika tried her hand at many trades as a taxi driving, Bus Operator, Mini Bus Driver as well as a stint in the Bermuda Regiment where she stayed for three years longer than required and learnt how to drive an ambulance she also trained overseas with the United States Marine Corp. It was obvious that she was fascinated by driving. Malaika had a giving spirit and would not think twice about helping other persons in need.
She loved the water and many times could be seen with her trusty pet dog on her paddle boat enjoying the beautiful Bermuda summer time sun. She qualified herself as a top taxi operator She was so advanced in her driving skills that she was hired on many occasions to drive several dignitaries for the Government. She then moved on to get licensed as a truck driver something she paid for on her own in 1993. She had set her sights on a job at the Bermuda Government Quarry. She applied several time for a position and was denied each time she knew that this is were the advice of her elders came in if you want something bad enough keep at it and so she did. She was eventually hired as a sorter in the recycling plant in 1995 and learnt how to use a forklift and a Bob cat digger. It’s understood that being a sorter was a trying and tedious job but she stuck with it and was determined to do the job well. She was later hired as the first black female truck driver at the Government Quarry in Baileys Bay in 1998. She worked as a relief operator for the Swing bridge and Long Bay bridge in St. Georges’.
Malaika sat her sights on being a great example to young women. She was a wife a mother and true outstanding friend and her job skills left nothing to be desired. Her hobbies was telling animated stories that left her listeners in awe . She loved gardening and enjoyed tilling the soil. At age 50 she was called home to Glory. her work was done. Her teaching of being on time for the job and respectfulness left no question of the importance of the lessons learned. She handed the baton to all those that would follow her lead . Rest well my young sister you left a job well done.