By:Curtis Morton

Charlestown-Nevis- As the matriarch of her family, it was obvious that Celian ‘Martin’ Powell is not only very much loved and respected but that her sterling contribution to the Nevisian society, is truly appreciated.

On Thursday 12th October, as part of the celebrations being held for older persons month, the Ministry of Social Development on Nevis, hosted a special ceremony to honour Ms. Celian ‘Martin’ Powell, who incidentally is the oldest centenarian in the federation of St.Kitts and Nevis.

Surrounded by adoring family members, friends and officials from the Ministry of Social Development, the resplendently attired Celian Powell, remained calmly seated, seemingly oblivious as to what was going on, but it was noted by one family member, that she is still pretty much alert.

The invocation was done by the Rev. Moreland Williams and the scripture reading was presented by Senator, Hon. Carlisle Powell, one of the grandsons of the celebrant. In reading from Psalm 37, from a revised edition of the bible, he stated:

‘I have been young and now am old and I have not seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.”

The proceedings were ably chaired by Mrs. Kim Singh, Deputy Director of the Social Services Department, who took time out to name the six centenarians on the island of Nevis as follows:

Celian Powell-104-January

William Douglas-102-October

Doris Claxton-102-June

Dowie Elliot-101-July

Florence Liburd-101 -February

Rosetta Hull-100 –May

She also noted that in November, Mary Browne and Ettie Jeffers will celebrate their one hundred birthday milestones.

She referred to Ms. Powell as a ‘champion of champions.’ She stated that Ms. Powell achieved the signal honour after Ms. Ismay Sweeney of St.Kitts, passed away earlier this year, at the age of 105.

She noted that Ms. Powell’s zest for life has left an indelible mark on all with whom she made contact. She referred to her as a national treasure.

All present then joined in the singing of the well-known song: ‘Your Grace and Mercy.’

Mr. Gary Pemberton, the Hospital Administrator, in his remarks, state that it was always a good thing to honour the older persons.

He opined that she has been blessed with long life because of not only her strength, but due to a number of factors: Her healthy lifestyle which included eating right and hard work. He also commended the workers at the Flambuoyant Senior Citizens home and the Ministry of Social Development, for their great work in caring for the seniors.

Hon. Hazel Brandy Williams, Minister of Social Development, in her address, noted that Ms. Powell is living a long and fulfilling life.

She described her as a no nonsense person; a disciplinarian and one who sought to ensure that her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, were well educated.

She indicated that even after she lost a part of a leg, she still continued to work hard.

She wished her all the best and asked her to live one day at a time. She also opined that ‘we are doing something good in Nevis,’ as people are living longer and saluted the other centenarians as well.

She then made a presentation of a fruit basket to Ms. Rosetta Hull who made 100 earlier this year and is also a resident at the Flambuoyant home and then on behalf of the Champion lady of the day, Celian Powell, she presented another fruit basket which was accepted by her great grandson, Allan Powell.

She also expressed appreciation to the Nurse in charge and staff at the Flambuoyant home and the Caregivers on Nevis, for the wonderful job they are doing.

Allister Dore then sang the well-known song: ‘I’d rather have Jesus,’ which was well received.

The floor was then opened for persons who wanted to pay tribute to the lady of the hour and during this period, two of her precious grandchildren and one great grandchild in Marie; Glenda and Sharane, all called from overseas to extend best wishes to ‘MAMA.’

Carlisle Powell also singled out Mrs. Vernarine Isaac for her contributions to the family and referred to her as an ‘honorary Powell.’

Great grandson Allan, was put on the spot and was asked to say something and he used the opportunity to thank everyone for coming out to support her.

He spoke of her as a ‘reflection of the society—everything goes back to her.’

One of Glenda’s friends and Godmother of her daughter Sharane, also spoke on their behalf and singled out Hon. Carlylse Powell for his support of the matriarch, in the absence of the others who are overseas.

First grandchild of Ms. Powell, Kathleen Rawlins then spoke on behalf of the family and took time out to thank the Caregivers at the Flambuoyant home for their great care of ‘MAMA.’

The official vote of thanks, was delivered by Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson, the Coordinator of the Seniors’ division.

The ceremony ended with wonderful entertainment, featuring the drummers and masquerades of the Nevis Cultural Foundation and Frank Mills extending his melodious voice, while accompanying himself on guitar.

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