By:Curtis Morton

Charlestown-Nevis-It was a glorious morning-Thursday 19th January, 2017 when family members, friends; parliamentarians and people from all walks of life were at the Flambuoyant Senior citizens home in Nevis, as Celian ‘MARTIN’ Powell celebrated her 105th birthday.

An august occasion, which once again saw her honoured as the oldest centenarian in the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis.

Indeed, it was a ‘high day in Zion’ (no pun intended), as the celebrated matriarch of the Powell’s clan, is originally from Zion village in Gingerland.

The proceedings were ably chaired by granddaughter, Mrs. Erma Powell-Skelton who was quick to note that among the distinguished persons present, she was taught by Premier Vance Amory and she in turn, taught Prime Minister Timothy Harris. She stated that because of their efforts, she still possesses ‘the gift of gab.’

Rev. Moreland Williams delivered the opening prayer and this was followed by a chorus of celebration, led by Ms. Ionie Swanston and sung by all present.

One of the celebrant’s family members paid tribute and then a member of the men’s fellowship from St.Kitts, also added his unique touch as he expressed the hope that eventually, men will pay more respect to women and children will pay more respect to parents, so that one day, our young boys and girls can look forward to longevity of life, like Celian Powell.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, also paid tribute on behalf of Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams who was unavoidably absent.

He noted that no man or woman is an island and paid tribute to the very supportive family of Ms. Powell. He then presented granddaughter Mervette, a fruit basket for the celebrant.

Minister, Hon. Wendy Phipps, of the federal cabinet, also took time out to congratulate Ms. Powell on achieving the significant milestone and pointed out that she was the oldest of some 18 centenarians in the federation. Eleven are from St.Kitts and seven from Nevis. She further indicated that by year end, once God spares lives, the total will get to twenty.

Premier Vance Amory also delivered brief remarks and saluted the family members for their dedication to duty, in looking out for best interest of the celebrated matriarch and singled out the Hon. Carlisle Powell for his stellar efforts on a daily basis, to look out for his grandmother.

He also noted that people offer varying views on the causes for the longevity of life but noted that in Ms. Powell’s case, he was convinced that her caring and loving attitude over the years, would have enhanced the extension on her life.

Prime Minister, Dr. Timothy Harris, went over his allotted three minutes time limit by ’30 seconds,’ but was not chastised by his former teacher, as he spoke profoundly to the historical value of the centenarians within the federation, noting that research work must be effected immediately, so that their stories can be told to generations to come. He noted that they possessed a wealth of knowledge and history, be it about world wars one and two; the Christena disaster and a host of other memories that have to be captured in writing. He also saluted the matriarch and her family members and other care givers for the tremendous work they have put in to assist her.

Celian ‘Martin’ Powell for her part, in a brief response said: ‘Thank God and thank all are you.’

Mrs. Erma Powell-Skelton then spoke on behalf of the family and highlighted the testimony of Celian in three phases:

  1. Deep faith based life
  2. Strong family connections
  3. Don’t take life too seriously. Be able to sing, dance and joke

She then concluded with acknowledgements to the many players who made the important event such a success and then everyone present mingled, chatted and took photo opportunities, while enjoying the delectable items of food and drink available.

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