Charlestown-Nevis-The centenarians on Nevis were celebrated in a big way on Tuesday 17th October. The activity, which was coordinated by the Ministry of Social Development, through its Seniors’ division, was held at the Flambuoyant Nursing home.
The celebratory program was held under the theme: ‘Stepping into the future: Tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in the society.’ It was part of the activities in celebration of the month of older persons.
The eight centenarians on Nevis are: Celian Powell 105 (oldest in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis); Florence Liburd 102; Dowie Elliot 102; Rosetta Hull 101; Mary Browne 101; Artemisia ‘Ettie Jeffers’ 101; Eileen Smithen 100 and George Wilkinson 100.
Four of them were present in their resplendent wear, with three of them actually being residents at the home. The others were not well enough to attend but were well represented by family members.
The proceedings were ably chaired by Deputy Director of the Social Services Department, Miss Joyce Moven, who in her opening remarks stated: ‘We embrace their contributions to the development of our island, in every area.’
The opening prayer and scripture reading were delivered Rev. Bonny Byron and the national anthem of St. Kitts and Nevis, was beautifully rendered on pan, by Gavin Patterson.
The sizeable gathering then stood to join voices in the well-known hymn: ‘To God be the glory.’
Activities coordinator at the home, Miss Alicia Brown then gave a brief welcome and this was followed by a rousing introduction of all of the centenarians by Miss Moven and family members then spoke on their behalf, sharing interesting anecdotes of their personal experiences.
Junior Minister in the Ministry of Social Development, Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams, then addressed the gathering.
She highlighted the theme which speaks to tapping into the talents and contributions of the seniors and noted that with a combined age of over 812 years between the eight of them, they certainly have a lot to share.
She also had high commendations for the work of the employees at the Flambuoyant nursing home and for family members who care for their elderly.
Senior Minister in the Ministry of Social Development, Hon. Mark Brantley also gave some remarks.
He opined that Nevis should receive international recognition for having eight centenarians from a population of just about 12,000 persons. He indicated that Japan has the largest number of centenarians in the world-67,844, to be exact, out of a population of 127 million people.
According to his mathematics, that calculated to a percentage of 0.0053%, while Nevis has a percentage of 0.007%.
He praised the efforts of his colleague Minister, Hon. Brandy-Williams and stated that since she took over the role, the lives of the seniors on Nevis, have been more enhanced.
“Those who qualify, get free water; free electricity, free bus transportation and much more”, he said. He also had warm words of commendation and encouragement for those persons who sacrifice ‘day in and day out,’ to care for the seniors.
Special gift packages were then presented to the centenarians or their representatives, by the Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams.
This was followed by a stirring, original song, by Meredith and Sylvia Hendrickson, who paid tribute to the seniors and then sang the well-known hymn ‘We see the gleams of the golden morning.’
The vote of thanks was delivered by Miss Trudy Prentice.
Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the ceremony.