Vera Kissoon, owner of a popular roti shop in George Town, died Sunday at the age of 54 at the Cayman Islands Hospital.
“She was a very vibrant, flamboyant and generous person who had hundreds of friends,” said her daughter Ariana Seales. “She was well known, well loved and well respected in the community.”
Mrs. Kissoon was born in Trinidad and grew up there. In 1992 she moved to Cayman and spent most of her working life contributing to the community, including her volunteer efforts for Batabano and Pirates Week.
Many know her for her involvement in her family business, Singh’s Roti Shop, which opened in 2000. She was instrumental in bringing authentic traditional Trinidadian cuisine to the Cayman Islands.
Singh’s, on the corner of Dr. Roy’s Drive, specializes in one of Trinidad’s favorite dishes, the roti, a flour dough based wrap filled with curried vegetables or meat and a popular dish among locals.
Mrs. Kissoon not only had a flare for cooking, she was also a professional in the life insurance industry.
“One of the main things she did was insurance. She was one of the top producers of life insurance and managers in the Caribbean,” said Mrs. Seales.
She worked in managerial roles at various insurance companies over the years, including British American Insurance, British Caymanian Insurance, Colonial Life Insurance Company, and then after Colonial Life Insurance closed its Cayman branch in 2009, she became a private life and health insurance consultant.
Leader of the Opposition McKeeva Bush said he first met Mrs. Kissoon, who later became a supporter of the United Democratic Party, at the West Bay United Church.
“I became acquainted with Vera when she first came to the island. With her outgoing personality she jumped right in and started to help out in the community. When she met me, she assisted me with my community projects, and so I became friends with her,” said Mr. Bush.
“I knew she came from a good Trinidadian family and she proved herself to be a good citizen of these islands, making contributions to the community in various ways.”
In her free time, Mrs. Kissoon was involved with various community projects. She was pivotal in designing and manufacturing Batabano and Pirates Week costumes, a supporter of woman’s cricket, and a member of John Gray Memorial Church.
“She’s been an outstanding figure in the community, very religious. She was just an all-around very sweet person,” said Paul Akal, a Trinidadian radio personality who used to deejay on Friday nights at the roti shop.
“She was a very kind, selfless kind of person. She helped as much as possible wherever she could. She was a very good friend,” said fellow Trinidadian and friend Gaston Maloney.
Mrs. Kissoon battled breast cancer, and the disease later spread to her bones.
“I saw her several times through her struggle with this illness,” said Mr. Bush. “We prayed for her often in our church, and while I didn’t get to visit with her often, I will certainly miss her friendship, her support, and I want to extend mine and my wife Kerry’s condolences to her husband Don, her sisters, and other family members.”
In addition to her husband and daughter, Mrs. Kissoon is survived by a son Dannel Rahamut.
The funeral service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at John Gray Memorial Church in West Bay.