Charlestown –Nevis– Long serving Educator and Music Teacher, Mrs. Iona Edgings, was deservedly saluted on the evening of Tuesday 1st January, on the occasion of her 90th birthday.
A lengthy but very significant ceremony, complete with a dinner, were held at the Lyn’s Deli, situated in Charlestown.
Family members, friends and well-wishers, along with representatives from the Ministry of Social Development, led by Minister, Hon. Eric Evelyn, assembled to pay tribute to the outstanding former Teacher.
The proceedings were ably chaired by one of her former students at the New River Primary School, Mr. Curtis Morton.
Preliminary items included: A rousing welcome by one of her sisters, Ms. Euna Todman; an accompaniment of music by the Advent Minstrels String band, as the honoured lady made her way to the head table and the invocation by Pastor Stanton Adams.
Thereafter, the program was allowed to flow smoothly and included the following:
‘Iona’s journey,’ which was a summary of the life of the celebrated stalwart, which included her teaching career, her contributions to music and handicraft; a song by Meredith and Sylvia Hendrickson; steelpan selection by the Burke sisters (twins); reflections by former student Augustine Merchant; video reflections by former teaching colleague and cousin, Pastor Roosevelt Daniels; reflections by Dr. Izben Williams; a duet by two of her sisters, Ilena and Melvina; reflections by former teacher colleague-Franklyn Browne; reflections by the children-Ian; Eloise and Carolyn and reflections by sister – Euna Todman.
Interspersed with all of these items, there was a break for a sumptuous dinner, which was duly blessed by Pastor Cecele Browne and real entertaining music by the Advent Minstrels, during that period, which certainly got a lot of the family members all excited and ‘jiggy.’
Additionally, Mrs. Sharon Edgings, read the words to a rap tribute, penned by her son Amboki and later read a tribute penned by no other person than the writer of the national anthem of St. Kitts and Nevis, Kenrick Georges.
There was also a tribute read by Cherie Pryce, before the floor was opened briefly for additional tributes.
All of the tributes spoke to a loving, caring, but firm disciplinarian, who tried to get the best out of her children, students and community members generally.
A self-assured Seventh Day Adventist Christian woman, who not only taught the precepts of the three ‘R’s” (Reading, Riting and Rithmetic) but also taught many persons to play the piano and taught many others to make a wide variety of craft items.
One of the crowning moments of the evening, was a presentation of a plaque and fruit basket, by the Hon. Eric Evelyn, who lauded the celebrant for her monumental contribution to the federation of St. Kitts and Nevis and pointed to the fact that if she taught persons like Augustine Merchant, then she would have taught him as well, because Mr. Merchant was one of his former teachers.
He wished her well and opined that the gathering would be back when she celebrated the century mark.
The vote of thanks and closing prayer were done by Dr. Eloise Edgings –Pryce and then many persons stayed around a while longer as they mingled and renewed old friendships, to the strains of the Advent Minstrels and SNOWFLAKES and Oland Vaughn.