Charlestown-Nevis-It was a regal celebration.
Small wonder, grandson Carlisle Powell, in explaining why the family members were decked out in African garb, noted that a trace of the family roots, had linked them to Ghana and the Ivory Coast.
The date was Friday 19th January, 2018 and the venue was the Flambuoyant Seniors’ home, located at the premises of the Alexandra hospital and dozens of dignitaries, family members and friends of the family, had turned out in their numbers to celebrate with Ms. Celian ‘Martin’ Powell, her 106th birthday.
She too was splendiferously attired in her African outfit, which as per usual, was created by a family friend in the USVI, who had never even met her but has been outfitting her for the last few years on her birthday.
The ceremony was chaired by granddaughter, Mrs. Irma Glenda Skelton. She advised the speakers to limit their speeches to a maximum of three minutes.
Family member, Pastor Theophilus Kelly delivered the invocation and this was followed by the singing of the beloved chorus, ‘Jesus Loves Me, This I know,’ ably led by family member, Ms. Ionie Swanston.
The speeches then took center stage.
Hon. Joseph Parry noted that persons need to be satisfied with the lives that they live and need to be more like the celebrant and in spite of everything that is happening, should all be satisfied with their lives.
Hon. Eric Evelyn took great pride in noting that he was wearing two hats: One as the St. George’s representative, where the celebrant originated and the other as Minister responsible for Social Development. He was quick to point out that Gingerland has the most centenarians in the federation and the longest living one, in the person of the celebrant.
He then presented the celebrant with a fruit basket on behalf of his Ministry and the City Drug store.
Premier Mark Brantley, was quick to state that although he was the representative of St. John’s, his origins are really from Gingerland.
He stated that the fact that the family roots were traced back to Ghana, is demonstrative of the fact that just as is the case in the African countries, family members are celebrated, honoured and respected and we need to follow suit, as well.
Marie and Glenda, two of the grand-daughters of the celebrant, then teamed up in a dynamic dramatic presentation, which saw them mimicking their grandmother, in hilarious fashion, much to the enjoyment of the spectators.
Senator Wendy Phipps of the federal cabinet informed the gathering, that there are 18 centenarians within the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis, with one James Pemberton (number 19), recently passing, who incidentally was always proud to state that he was a “Nevis man.’
She also stated that Gingerland definitely has the most centenarians in the federation, per capita and jokingly said ‘as Konris would say, must be something in the water.’
Deputy Governor General, her honour, Mrs. Marjorie Morton, also addressed the gathering and stated that ‘our time is in God’s hand and God has blessed Ms. Powell with longevity of life.’ She also quoted Psalm 121: ‘He will preserve her going out and her coming in…..’
The birthday song was then done by all, in the lively version of Stevie Wonder’s popular tune.
For once, the celebrant was unable to respond and the response was given by great granddaughter, Miss Charaine Skelton, who has been the master mind in coordinating the activity for the last few years.
Grand-daughter, Claudette MARIE Ishmael, then eloquently delivered the vote of thanks and Mr. G. Sydney Newton then said the benediction.
All present were then invited to partake in some delectable finger foods prepared, as is the tradition, by Mrs. Vernarine Isaac.