Dawn Ebanks, a pioneer of the West Bay Adventist Church, celebrated her 90th birthday on Monday, 21st October. Friends and family gathered at the home of her son, William (Billy) Ebanks, to share in this special occasion.
Dawn was baptised into the Adventist Church on May 10, 1953 by Pastor Balfour Hurst. She was among the first baptisms after the West Bay Company was organised in 1948. In 1957 she was the Mission’s delegate, to a Youth Congress, held in Cuba. She also represented the conference, overseas, to events such as Festival of the Laity. Dawn has been a faithful member for the past 65 years. Her life has taken many turns, but she thanks God for His keeping care these 90 years.
Dawn was the last child of Captain Percival and his wife, Elaine Jackson. Without any hesitation, her father decided that she should have the name Dawn since that was the time of day she was born. This beautiful baby made this family complete.
We are told that Dawn grew up as a loving, helpful and obedient girl and never gave her parents any trouble or need to worry. Her siblings dearly loved her, and in particular, she had a special bond with her two older sisters, Elaine and Rose, who were baptised along with her. These three sisters were so close that they never exchanged a harsh word with each other.
Dawn grew into a lovely young woman. At the age of 18 years, she caught the eye of a handsome young man, Earl Farrington from Mount Pleasant, and they were soon married. To this union a beautiful baby girl, Sharon, was born. Unfortunately, Dawn was left a widow before their first anniversary. Many years passed before she would fall in love again when another dashing West Bay man caught her attention. After a short courtship, she married Cleveland Ebanks (better known as Harley Ray), to whom she was married for 25 years before he passed away. To this union were born four children namely: Ray, William (Billy), Pattie and Debbie.
As time progressed, eight grandchildren were added to the family: Krista, Katrina, Joey, Justin, Hayley, Brittani, Katelyn and Alycia.
During the birthday celebration, she was asked: ‘In which departments of the church did you serve?’ She laughed and responded: ‘All, except preaching!’ She also said: ‘I enjoyed working in the Children’s Department the most’. In her reflections she shared: ‘After joining the Adventist Church my life became quite different’, but she added: ‘I’ve never regretted my decision one day!’
We owe much to pioneers as Sister Dawn Ebanks. May her life of commitment and dedication continue to be an inspiration to those of us who come behind her.