Charlestown-Nevis-Four beaming women, graduated from a sewing class organized by the Social Development Department. The class was coordinated by hard working Center Manager at the Franklyn Browne Community Center, Mrs. Greta Jeffers.
The graduation ceremony was held at the FBCC on Wednesday 29th July.
The program was ably chaired by the Director of the Community Development Department, Mrs. Janet Meloney who stated that Nevisian women are best known for their dexterity in cooking, sewing and household related chores but stated that they are ‘virtuous women.’
She indicated that she was reminded of her childhood when many of the little girls in the village would line up by the seamstress, as they waited to get their dresses done.
She indicated that the class started with ten persons but some dropped out for various reasons.
She commended those who had persisted in completing the course and said that the Department of Community Development is all about assisting in any way possible to aid in the development of the community
She also had special congratulations for Mrs. Greta Jeffers, Center Manager, the engine behind making sure that the class was conducted.
She further lauded Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Social Development, Mr. Keith Glasgow, who had made sure that some sewing machines were acquired for the class.
Center Manager Mrs. Greta Jeffers then gave an overview of the course.
She indicated that it commenced on 3rd March 2016 and noted that they were faced with many challenges, as some of the participants did not have any prior experience with sewing, but noted that the Facilitator, Miss Mavis Parris, was very patient and she gave her special commendations for her sacrifice and dedication
She expressed the open desire to Miss Paris that her fellow class mates wanted to learn more and go further.
She then asked the graduates to stand, along with their daughters and showed off apparel that they had made as a result of the class.
Facilitator Mavis Paris, then gave her review of the class. She noted that some of them did not even know one end of the machine from the other when they started.
She taught them basic sewing skills and showed them how to recognize good fabric from bad.
She impressed on them to collect snippets of the desired material, wash them and see what happens.
She indicated that she also taught them to know their bodies and to cut the garment to the cloth and wearer.
‘Every spoil is a style,’ she said as she explained that cloth should be used up properly to avoid wastage.
She noted that she is an educator and not so much interested in opening a business but that she is dedicated to teaching others what she knows. Next year will be her tenth year in giving back in this way and she plans to celebrate in a big way.
She was happy to announce that her nephew Javani Tyson, is the only boy in Nevis who passed Clothing and Textiles at the CXC level.
She also asked the participants and their daughters to come center stage so that they could showcase the clothes that they had made
Next in line was PS Glasgow, who in his remarks noted that sewing/tailoring is a very important skill which satisfies a basic need—the need for clothes, but also stated that the skills are extended in making other things such as cushions; bags etc.
He stated that Nevisians are trendy and love fashion and with so many occasions to showcase fashion, such as festivals; weddings; graduations, this can be very costly and so being able to make your own clothes will help in a big way. He opined that a lot of Nevisians don’t like to wear the same clothes twice.
He also stated that we need to balance our wants with our needs and not try to keep up with the Jones’.
Mrs. Meloney noted that in September there will be another sewing class at the Brown Hill Community center
The class response was delivered by Mrs. Julie Pemberton.
She indicated the class was fun.
‘Wow, we did it!’ she exclaimed.
She stated that she was one of those who had limited skills to start with but indicated that she had learnt a lot.
“I feel good that I am standing here tonight in a dress that I made,’ she stated with pride.
Mr. Glasgow then handed out the certificates to the proud participants.
All present were then able to view close up, the many items on display that were made by the participants.