Tributes have been pouring in for island icon, 'Beautiful Jersey' singer, Jèrriais speaker, cattle breeder, country music lover, and "mother of St. Saviour", Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard, after she sadly passed away.
The Constable died suddenly at the General Hospital this morning, Friday 8 April, Bailiff Timothy Le Cocq confirmed this afternoon.
Jersey flags will be flown at half-mast from 08:00 tomorrow (Saturday 9 April) until sunset on the day of her funeral, which has yet to be announced.
Constable Le Sueur-Rennard was first elected to serve the Parish of St. Saviour in 2011, polling with more than 1,700 votes, and then re-elected unopposed to the position in 2014 and 2018.
While a States Member, she served on the Comité des Connétables and was an active member of the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Panel, having attended a meeting of the latter only yesterday.
She also became well-known for her forthright contributions in the States Chamber, having recently mounted a robust defence against further large-scale development of her parish, and penchant for calling her political colleagues - and sometimes even the Bailiff - "ma luv". The latter occasionally led to a light-hearted telling off.
She is, however, perhaps best known for running her organic dairy farm, which, even in her seventies, she still rose early to manage, and, of course, her iconic performances of 'Beautiful Jersey' on Liberation Day.
Listen: Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard singing 'Beautiful Jersey', accompanied by the Band of the Island of Jersey. (YouTube)
"I was shocked and deeply saddened to hear the news this morning of the unexpected death of Sadie Rennard, Connétable of St. Saviour," the Bailiff commented.
"Sadie was a real character, who expressed her thoughts in a forthright way. She was a champion of her parish and of the island and traditional Jersey values in the Assembly and elsewhere.
"She was a friend to so many and held a special place in islanders' hearts for her singing of the much-loved essential island song, 'Beautiful Jersey', on many a Liberation Day.
"I will miss her as will so many Jersey people and my thoughts go out to her family at this time."
Pictured: Constable Le Sueur-Rennard was a States Member for more than 10 years, elected firstly in 2011, and re-elected in 2014 and 2018. (Vote.je)
Chief Minister Senator John Le Fondré commented: "I am deeply saddened by the passing of Sadie Rennard. She was an iconic figure not just in the States Assembly and her Parish of St Saviour but across our Island.
"Her deep love for her Parishioners and our Island was clear, as was her passion for Jersey's heritage and its people.
"She was utterly charming and possessed a keen wit which always brought a smile to those around her. My thoughts are with her loved ones and all her many friends at this sad time."
The Parish of St. Saviour team wrote on Facebook: "Thank you Sadie, for all you have done for your beloved Parish and island, you will be hugely missed. Our thoughts are with Sadie's family and friends at this difficult time. Rest in Peace sweetheart."
St. Saviour's Honorary Police Chief, Steven Laffoley-Edwards said the parish force would "miss her total support, her friendly smile and her friendship." The parish's Community Police Officer PC Henry Woolley, said he "enjoyed the time we spent working together", adding: "She was a great character and a champion of the Parish."
The Constable played a key role in organising the parish's Battle of Flowers entry each year.
Chair of the St. Saviour Battle of Flowers Committee Sharon Ellis commented: "Sadie was always a big supporter of us and spent many an hour in the shed with us over the years.
"We will miss her brilliant sense of fun and silliness, her sense of humour and her fierce loyalty of all things Battle. The Parish and the Island have lost a true supporter and her presence will be missed by many people we are sure."
Paying tribute to their "great supporter", the Battle of Flowers Association commented: "Beautiful Lady, may you sing forever in Heaven."
Parish Deputy Jess Perchard, whose relationship with the Constable stretches back more than two decades, told Express that her death was a "huge shock" and that the Constable would be "sorely missed".
Deputy Perchard continued: "The Parish has lost its mother.
"I’ve known Sadie for over 20 years. When I was a child, we performed at the Opera House together as mother and daughter on stage. She was a force of nature then, being firm but incredibly protective of her ‘stage children’, and that very much sets the tone for our relationship in politics. She was a stalwart of Jersey life, always putting her parishioners front and centre of her political thinking.
"She cared deeply about St. Saviour, her Jersey heritage and has been an advocate for the vulnerable, particularly more senior citizens, throughout her public service.
"Always ready to challenge injustice, and to fiercely protect her beloved island, Sadie never held back from making her voice heard. It’s a trait that has been a huge source of strength and inspiration for others and one that I know is appreciated by her colleagues."
St. Saviour Deputy Kevin Pamplin said he was "lucky to have known her since I was nine or 10 years old", adding that she had "played a big personal support to me over all these years that of course concluded as a parish Deputy alongside her as Constable."
"The words 'national treasure' get used a lot, but in this context it couldn't be more true for the island. She was always there for those who needed her and it's now time for us to be there for those who loved her and will be grieving. But we will do her proud as we where proud of her," he added.
Former St. Saviour representative, who later became Senator and Treasury Minister, Senator Philip Ozouf, told Express: "As fluent Jèrriais speaker, she was famous for her Liberation Day renditions of Beautiful Jersey in both Jersey-French and the English languages
"From a venerable family of cattle breeders and exporters, a much loved daughter, Sadie was devoted to her farm of traditional organic Jersey cows
"She travelled extensively to places where Jersey cows has been exported and a lifelong love of American country music followed."
So very sad— Philip Ozouf ???????????????? #WeStandWithUkraine ???????? (@philipozouf) April 8, 2022
Mrs Le Sueur-Rennard was a popular mother of St Saviour, famous for her Liberation Day rendition of Beautiful Jersey, a fluent Jèrriais speaker & devoted to her farm of traditional organic Jersey cows
Her endearing way with words & manner will be sadly missed
He continued: "Elected as Constable in 2011 she had charming way with words especially when presiding at Parish Assemblies and when addressing the States Assembly a place where she will be sorely missed.
"She made a significant contribution to public life and The Parish and Jersey have today lost a unique but also courageous Jerseywoman."
Deputy Chief Minister Senator Lyndon Farnham said he was "shocked and saddened" by the news, describing the Constable as "one of Jersey's great characters, a true force of nature, straight-talking yet kind, compassionate and talented."
So very shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of the Connétable of St Saviour earlier today. Sadie was one of Jersey's great characters, a true force of nature, straight-talking yet kind, compassionate and talented. She will be greatly missed. RIP Sadie. pic.twitter.com/AqXmSzUGl2— Sen. Lyndon Farnham (@lyndonfarnham) April 8, 2022
Reflecting on the "wonderful photo" shared by Senator Farnham, Senator Kristina Moore said "Sadie was a show woman who loved to perform, but also cared deeply about people and animals. She will be greatly missed by us all."
Senator Sam Mézec said Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard was "one of the most colourful characters I've ever met and I just can't imagine the States without her."
"It doesn't feel real. Just a few days ago she was in the States Assembly (virtually) standing up for her Parishioners and making us all smile. So this is just devastating." he said.
"Sadie always stood out for her warmth towards others and her incredible sense of humour which was often so inappropriate but endearing. In the States Assembly she used to regularly address the Bailiff as "mah love" (which is TOTALLY against the rules) but we all loved it so she got away with it.
"When speaking in the States, I would often keep an eye out for Sadie's reaction. If she was smiling and nodding at me, I knew I was on the right tracks, but if she had an eyebrow raised and was tutting, I knew I had some explaining to do!"
St. John Constable Andy Jehan said she was "not just a colleague, but a lifelong family friend."
"Sadie was one of a kind and also one so kind," he added.
Not just a colleague, but a lifelong family friend. Sadie was one of a kind and also one so kind. My thoughts are with her family #RIP ???? pic.twitter.com/j6iX18TYTD— Andy Jehan ???????? (@AndyJehan) April 8, 2022
A "shocked and saddened" St. Brelade Constable Mike Jackson, who worked with her on the Environment, Housing and Infrastructure Scrutiny Panel, said Constable Le Sueur-Rennard was a "respected colleague and friend".
"...She was forthright in her opinions and passionate but realistic about environmental matters," he recalled. "She attended her last panel meeting yesterday morning and we’ll miss her."
Former Chief Minister and current External Relations Minister Senator Ian Gorst said: "Sadie was always so warm, friendly and kind. She was so proud of our island and traditions and always stood up for St Saviour. I know many people will miss her greatly, as will I."
St. Ouen Constable Richard Buchanan described her as a "true Jersey woman who loved our island. One of a kind and I will miss her greatly." "Rest in peace Sadie," he added.
she was forthright in her opinions and passionate but realistic about environmental matters.— Connétable Mike Jackson (@mikejackson1952) April 8, 2022
She attended her last panel meeting yesterday morning and we’ll miss her. RIP Sadie. MJ.
Deputy Carina Alves recalled: "Sadie was always so kind and caring, she'd check in on me to see how I was doing when I didn't sound great, as I too did the same with her and her contributions in the States Assembly debates often bought a smile to my face."
Like his Reform Jersey colleague Senator Mézec, Deputy Rob Ward explained that he would always seek out the Constable after giving a speech in the States Chamber for her reaction.
"A smile, perhaps a frown and sometimes even a wink of the eye. But always an honest response. My thoughts and love with her family at this time."
This is very sad news. Sadie always welcomed us. I would always look across the chamber for the reaction to my speeches. A smile, perhaps a frown and sometimes even a wink of the eye. But always an honest response. My thoughts and love with her family at this time. ❤ https://t.co/7anipAeUfC— ????Deputy Rob Ward (Reform Jersey)???? (@deputyrobward) April 8, 2022
Deputy Mike Higgins said she was "one of a kind" and "a true character." "I will always remember her for her repeatedly addressing the various Chairs of the Assembly with the Jersey expression 'my love'," he added.
Deputy Lindsay Ash said her rendition of 'Beautiful Jersey' "will always be unequalled" and that "her cheery smile will be much missed by all."
"Lovely woman, good friend, great Connetable," summarised former Education Minister Rod Bryans.
Members of the Jersey Farmers' Union said they were "shocked and sad to learn of the passing of fellow farmer Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard."
The Earl of Jersey, William Child Villiers, said he was "devastated".
Goodbye Sadie! Lovely woman, good friend, great Connetable. xx pic.twitter.com/zkTsJbVXoZ— Rod Bryans (@RodBryans) April 8, 2022
"A great person, a legend to Jersey dramatics, an honest hardworking figure in politics but most will remember her as the wonderful voice singing 'Beautiful Jersey'," he commented.
Record-breaking island swimmer, St. Saviour parishioner and friend of the Constable, Sally Minty-Gravett MBE, shared a smiling photo of her wearing a "glorious" bonnet for a "Mad Hatter's Tea Party" event on Twitter with the caption: "Our last very fond memory with Sadie."
Town Centre Manager Connor Burgher, who said the Constable was always "supportive" of him, commented: "I'll miss shouts of 'hello ma darling' across King Street, the Town Hall and anywhere I saw her! It's safe to say you'll be sorely missed."
Our last very fond memory with Sadie our Connetable in her glorious Easter Bonnet. Photo Courtesy of Ali Johnson . pic.twitter.com/KLJqLKoCCw— Sal Minty-G. MBE (@Dolfinsal) April 8, 2022
St. Saviour-based Jersey College for Girls said it was "sad to hear of the loss of our Connétable", and sent its condolences to her family and friends.
Highlands Principal Joanne Terry-Marchant remembered her as a "great Jersey lady", who was "all about serving her community."
St. Paul's FC said it was "deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our Constable Sadie Le Sueur-Rennard", who they described as "a great friend and supporter to the club", who will be "sorely missed".
In a tribute on social media, local Twitter personality 'Binky' (@TheOnlyGuru) said: "Sadie told it as it was, in her own inimitable style, unmovable, but fair.
"A true, proud Jersey gal, a delightful lady, a beautiful human."
Connétable Sadie Le Sueur Rennard my favourite of the @StatesAssembly— Binky (@TheOnlyGuru) April 8, 2022
Sadie told it as it was, in her own inimitable style, unmovable, but fair.
A true, proud Jersey gal, a delightful lady, a beautiful human.
Rest In Peace Sadie, mah love, condolences to her family #jerseyci❤️ pic.twitter.com/Qpg7brAviL
Constable Le Sueur-Rennard leaves behind children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and her beloved Irish Setter, Jackson.
Bailiwick Express would like to extend its sincere condolences to Constable Le Sueur-Rennard's family and loved ones.
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Thank you for all your help over the years, it was greatly appreciated.
A St Saviour Parishioner.
Sadie brought cheer to my life
Sadie was the real jersey way of enthusiastic welcome to anyone
Who made jersey better for all of us without exception