In Loving Memory & Tribute to Mable Ellen Walker Hines, Maurice Bernell Hines and Elizabeth Hines Blair

HINES, Mable Ellen Walker

HINES, Bernell Maurice

BLAIR, Ernestine Hines

Photos Courtesy of California Historical Society, MSP 3800

My heart and my mind was deeply troubled when my mother called to tell me that she, her husband and her sister-in-law were going to Jonestown, Guyana in August of 1978. I couldn’t get rid of the feeling that I had, that I was never going to see them again!! At the time I thought that they would die of old age, but even so, I didn’t think I would be able to afford a trip to Guyana to come together for a funeral.

I talked to anyone who would listen to my fears regarding this situation. And pretty much they listened patiently and were kind and tried to reassure me, to put my fears at rest. It wasn’t long – not long at all, months instead of years – before my fears did come true.

I will never forget the day I came home from work and my children were arriving home from school, and the television came on with the news of the horror unraveling in front of my eyes. There wasn’t anything I could do, There wasn’t anyone to turn to. I remember standing in front of the kitchen sink and praying for the soul of everyone who died that day.

I have never gotten over this horror, this tragedy that thrust itself on our lives. Screaming in the shower was just not enough. The realization of “WHY” haunts me continuously, day by day…

I grieve and I will never forget the way so many precious souls were taken from their families and loved ones on that day, November 18, 1978…

Bonnie Goosby, Daughter

Sean Lee Hamilton, Grandson

Dionne Du’borea Goosby Fields, Granddaughter

Rashawn Daniel Goosby, Great Grandson

(Bonnie Goosby can be reached at, and appreciates any memories anyone might have of her relatives.)