Gingerland –Nevis—In previous years, the Seniors’ division Nevis, under the guidance of Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson, would have treated the seniors to what was termed as a ‘gala event,’ as part of the celebration of older persons’ month.
However, Mrs. Hendrickson, speaking at the inaugural tea party, held in honour of the seniors, on Friday 21st October, stated that every year they try to come up with new and innovative ideas, keep the seniors happy and so the tea party idea was a novel one but if the seniors enjoyed it, then there will be a repeat in years to come, but if they did not like it, then they may revert to hosting the GALA.
The event was held at the historic Heritage Village at Fothergills Estate and was ably chaired by the energetic Eric Evelyn.
Prior to Mrs. Hendrickson’s welcoming remarks, brothers Lanny and Allister Dore, featured in the singing of the national anthem and the opening prayer, respectively.
Younger brother Wrenford then joined the other two in thrilling the large audience with their majestic voices in rendering three items of special music.
The feature address was delivered by an enthusiastic Hon. Hazel Brandy-Williams, Minister responsible for Social Services on the island.
In her remarks Minister Brandy-Williams noted that it was a case of ‘going back to our roots and remembering our heritage.’
She thanked the Manager of the facility, Miss Patricia Thompson and her entire staff for the wonderful ambience created for the benefit of the seniors.
She noted that it was a time for the seniors to mix and mingle with each other and with loved ones and a time to rekindle old friendships and make new ones. She referred to the tea party as a trial. “If you like it, we will give it to next year and still give you your dinner and fashion show etc,’ she said.
‘When we honour our seniors, we are honoring a decree made by God himself,’ stated Minister Brandy-Williams.
She again reiterated the point that Nevis has six centenarians and two more are due to make the milestone in November. She also especially saluted the oldest person in the federation, Ms. Celian Powell.
She gave special commendations to the care givers, family, friends and neighbours who all unite to look out for the seniors.
A senior for each Parish, was then specially honoured, with the caregiver responsible for the area, giving a brief profile:
- Paul’s Parish-Vanessa MACKIE Phillip
- Thomas’ Parish-Allison Herbert
- George’s Parish-Selian Webbe
- St .John’s Parish-Ruth Thompson
- James’ Parish-Josephine Maynard
A special award was also made from the Ministry of Social Development to the City Drugstore for their partnership over the years, in the celebration of significant birthdays for the seniors.
The award was made by Minister Brandy-Williams and graciously accepted by Miss Latoya Webbe of the City Drug store.
Mrs. Garcia Hendrickson then made the grand announcement of the worker of the year, as Care giver, Angela Challenger.
A surprise award was also made by Mrs. Hendrickson, to her very supportive co –worker, Mr. Frank Clarke, who stated that he was honoured to be so appreciated.
The masquerades from the Nevis Cultural Foundation, then truly lit up the afternoon’s proceedings, as they entertained the seniors and even involved some of them in their dance presentation, much to the delight of the receptive audience.
Newly appointed steel pan tutor at the Social Services Department, Gavin Patterson, then wowed the audience, as he beat out beautiful notes on pan.
The popular Sugar Hill String band then literally took the place by storm, so much so that they encouraged MC Eric Evelyn and Minister Brandy –Williams to unite in one break down dance, which took the audience by storm. Both individuals demonstrated not only their dance but gymnastic skills, which served to have the seniors on the edge of their seats.
Maybe the biggest moment yet for the afternoon, was the entrance of the participants in the hat parade.
Hats of various colours, styles and sizes were placed in focus, as the seniors modeled their way in front of the appreciative audience.
All the while, the workers at the Social Services Department, served a delicious meal to those present.
The vote of thanks was done by Mr. Frank Clarke and from the look of things, the seniors will be beseeching Minister Brandy-Williams for a repeat next year.