The grand finale to October’s seniors’ recognition activities by the Adventist Community Services Department took place on Sunday (October 31, 2021) at Pedro St. James Castle. Some 50 seniors, assembled among some 16 large tables, were treated to an evening of lively entertainment and refreshments.
The event was hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Community Services (ACS) Department of the Savannah Adventist Church under the leadership of Mrs Angela Hall, Assistant Director of the ACS.
In her brief welcome to the assembled seniors, Mrs Hall borrowed a quote from the late president of the United States, Ronald Reagan, who initiated National Senior Citizens Day in the US in 1988, proclaiming that “Throughout our history, older persons have achieved much for our families, our communities, and our country.” Mrs Hall said that that was what has inspired her each year to reserve a special day in honour of our seniors “who have done so much towards nation-building and the overall development in these islands.”
The October 31 seniors’ fete, usually hosted jointly by the Department of Children and Family Services Department (DCFS) and the ACS, has been a fixed item on the annual October Older Persons Month calendar.
In brief remarks, Mrs Cassandra Fearon, a social work manager at the DCFS, paid tribute to the commitment of Mrs Hall, who was once again, despite the challenges, demonstrating her passion for seniors.
“Older persons still contribute actively to the Cayman society,” Mrs Fearon said, adding that this initiative shows the value that the community places on them as an important nation-building resource.
Mrs Fearon continued that the DCFS had hosted several small special events during the month, culminating in a luncheon on Friday (October 29) when five seniors were selected as Older Person’s Month Ambassadors: Mr James “Dale” Ramoon (George Town), Mr George Walton and Mrs Lynne Walton (Cayman Brac), Mr Denniston Tibbetts (Bodden Town) and Ms Alice Mae Coe (West Bay).
During the evening’s programme, Ambassador Tibbetts regaled the seniors with stories from his youth in Cayman Brac, where he fished before breakfast for the family’s evening meal. He continued to describe his family’s relocation to Jamaica when he was 11 years old and his return to Cayman at 25. Tibbetts has served in many capacities in the Islands’ business and civic affairs. He is a former seaman, also, and currently serves as president of the Cayman Islands Seafarers Association.
In keeping with the evening’s theme, “Aging Gracefully in a Digital World”, Pastor Keven Danvers, who shepherds the Savannah Church, encouraged the seniors to take advantage, particularly in these difficult times, of digital technology to cope and to enhance their lives, in the financial, medical, community and spiritual spheres.
Pastor Danvers, too, commended the seniors for their contributions to the development of the Cayman Islands. He said that the opportunities enjoyed today by the range of professionals and business leaders across the Cayman Islands were largely due to the hard work and determination of the Cayman Islands’ parents of yesteryears— today’s senior population.
Among other aspects of the evening’s entertainment, a group from the Newlands Adventist Church produced two plays written by two senior members of the church, Ms Omilin Campbell and Ms Idalee Gayle. In addition, the group “Revelation”, part of the Savannah Male Chorale, entertained the seniors with lively music.
The event was made possible, Mrs Hall said, by the generosity of a range of businesses, church groups, and individuals.
The donors included Pedro St. James for the venue; the Kings Seventh-day Adventist ACS leader Ms Marlene Smith and her team, for decorations; Tillie’s Restaurant, caterers; Mr Trevor Blake, transport; Government’s PWD, erection of tents, and individual donors such as Bodden MLA Mr Dwayne Seymour.
Meanwhile, the Savannah Gideon Pathfinders, under the leadership of Director Merl Watkins, assisted in serving the seniors during the meal and in the presentation of gifts. Rochelle’s Salon and Spa and the Morritt’s Tortuga Club and Resort donated gift certificates.