Gingerland –Nevis-It was a special day and indeed a special occasion, as His Excellency, Sir S.W. Tapley Seaton CVO, QC, JP, the Governor General of St.Kitts and Nevis, walked into the home of Ms. Eileen Smithen of Zion Village in Nevis.
On this day,Thursday 13th July, 2017, the distinguished Queen’s representative had come to deliver a special message from the Queen, to the centenarian, who celebrated her 100th birthday on Tuesday 20th June.
In the brief ceremony that ensued, opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Joseph Liburd who also rendered a prayer, followed by the scripture reading by Pastor Theophilus Kelly.
The proceedings was then handed to Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson, the lady in charge of the senior’s division.
In her opening remarks, Mrs. Hendrickson noted that it was customary for the Queen’s birthday card to be handed over to centenarians on the day of their significant birthday. However, she said that this one was a bit delayed and so the Governor General, despite his busy schedule had come over to Nevis in order to deliver the card personally.
Hon Hazel Brandy-Williams, Minister responsible for Social Development, once again lauded the honoured lady for her contributions to the community, having learnt and taught braille and assisted with many aspects of community life.
Permanent Secretary in the Premier’s Ministry, Mr. Wakely Daniel, delivered greetings on behalf of Premier Amory, who was unavoidably absent and wished her ‘another hundred years.’
Sir Tapley Seaton in his remarks stated that he had observed that while the scripture was being read, Ms. Smithen was repeating it from memory and he stated that that was highly commendable.
He noted that he had read and heard about the amazing life of Ms. Smithen and commended her on her contributions to the community.
He then personally handed her the card from Queen Elizabeth the second, which contained her personal signature.
In her response, Ms. Smithen thanked everyone who had assisted her in anyway, with special commendations for Pastor Theophilus Kelly.
She admonished everyone to “hook up to the higher life” and live to please God.
The ceremony also saw the honoured lady serenaded by mouth organ and guitar and the singing of hymns, choruses and the birthday song.