Fond memories of Jaikuwar Prasard from family friend Sir Anand Satyanand
Standfirst: Jaikuwar Prasard, mother of Prem Prasad and mother-in-law of former Member of Parliament (Labour), Chief Families Commissioner and Race Relations Commissioner Dr Rajen Prasad on Friday, September 17, 2021 at the North Shore Hospital in Auckland. Please read our report here. Following is a tribute by a long-time family friend and former Governor-General Sir Anand Satyanand.
Jaikuwar Prasard was a caring wife, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, great grandmother, and most notably a friend, to a great many people spanning at least four generations. She was 97. She died at North Shore Hospital on Friday, September 17, 2021 in the presence of her daughter and son-in-law, after admission to Hospital on the day before.
Tributes and fond recollections, of someone known respectively as ‘Jai,’ or ‘Auntie Jai’ or ‘Nanna Prasard,’ have already flooded into her family members in great numbers, from New Zealand and further afield.
Tradition of hospitality
Jaikuwar came to New Zealand from Fiji in the early 1940s and married Shiv Narayan “SN” Prasad, a well-known shop proprietor in Wellington Street, Freemans Bay Auckland. The couple had two children, Prakesh and Prem, and the family lived above the shop.
They were visited over time by a great many people from Fiji, who came to make the Prasard shop and home a first port of call. Many of these people were students, public servants on sabbatical leave, or friends and acquaintances of the wider family. These people were invariably plied with hospitality, friendship and advice. This tradition was so strong that it continued for a long time notwithstanding the death during the childhood of Prakesh and Mr Prasard’s own untimely and unexpected death in 1957, after which Jaikuwar kept the shop in operation.
In the 1960s, the Freemans Bay area was cleared of older housing and replaced with townhouses, Council flats and a commercial precinct. Jaikuwar then shifted to Glendene in West Auckland, where for more than fifty years, she carried on a busy life connected with family, Church and social activity with friends. Her house retained a special brand of welcome and joy. She remained a warm-hearted personality with an unwavering positive attitude towards life and progression. In very recent times, she moved again to be looked after by her immediate family on the North Shore.
Family of achievers
She was particularly proud of her daughter, Prem, who has many of her mother’s finest qualities, and who has built a career as an educator and primary teacher.
Prem’s husband, Rajen, has plied careers as a Social Worker, University Educator, Race Relations Conciliator, Families Commission Head, Member of Parliament, and currently as a Council Member of the University of Auckland.
In addition to Prem and Rajen, Jaikuwar is survived by two grandchildren: Pramen and his wife Alini, resident in New York, and Indra and her husband Ronil, who live in Wellington. There are also two great grandchildren, Shalina and Shaam living in Wellington.
Her legacy is that of living an interesting and fulfilling life, despite early widowhood and financial hard times and being a shining example of a person with a simple and abiding faith who continued to support and encourage those around her despite many challenges.
A Funeral Service of any ordinary kind will constitute a difficulty because of the restrictions on numbers due to the Covid pandemic. When Covid restrictions return to Level 3, the family will conduct a private cremation. When there is a return to greater normality an occasion will be arranged celebrating her warm and well lived life.
Sir Anand Satyanand is a lawyer by profession. He was the Governor-General of New Zealand from August 23, 2006 to August 23, 2011. He was earlier a District Court Judge and Ombudsman. He lives with his wife Lady Susan Satyanand in Wellington.