Miss Julia celebrates 101st birthday

Honour thy father and thy mother:
that thy days may be long upon the land, which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

This is Julia Hydes’ secret motto
for turning 101 on the 25 January.

She is a Caymanian music icon who
welcomes everyone with a cheery hello, never failing to speak her mind on many
issues concerning these Islands – whether it is to chastise or praise, or paint
a colourful picture of its diverse culture. 

“I have seen good days and bad days,”
she said, “but none like what it is today.

“My mother was a Godly woman who
raised 12 children and I raised my five the same way – to respect their elders,”
she said.

Chanting her favourite tune ‘Conch na
ga no Bone,’ in between recollections of childhood memories, Ms Julia said she
felt l3 years-old. “I love the Lord, and my music makes me happy.”

 She also recalled doing plenty of work to
raise her children.

“I worked for plenty people in Cayman Islands and played music to feed my children. I
think them days things were much cheaper,” she said. “Mind you, I only made three
pounds playing the drums, but that could buy a lot.

 “I remember travelling to Bodden Town
to play music, Dallas Texas they called in those days, and boy! Oh
boy! Was I scared, I played till 10pm and got out of there,” said Ms Julia.

She also remembers playing tunes
like polka, jig, round dance, and quadrille with another famous Caymanian music
icon – Radley Gourzong

‘Cayman was a holy and Godly place
with plenty music and good food to eat them days,” she said.

“Days were spent visiting friends,
tending gardens, fishing and dancing the night away. Boy! Those were good days”,
she merrily recalled.

“It is not much to Cayman today,
this place has changed a whole lot since we were growing up as children – I
will tell the new Governor that when he visits me this afternoon,” she added.

“I will tell him back then people
was loving to each other and lived in harmony with a lot of sharing going on
amongst our people. In those days you got a little dumpling and everyone was
happy.  Cayman has made a big change with
a lot of envy taking place,” she said.

Ms Julia attended the Wesleyan Holiness Church
most of her days but says she is getting too old to go these days. She has
dished out much advice and memories of her past life as she entertains many on
her old-time drums.

A special birthday party was held
for Ms Julia at the Wesleyan
Holiness Church
on Friday where she celebrated surrounded by friends and family who shared in a
century of memories as she reminisced about her past.

LOCALjuliahydesSTORY

Miss Julia celebrated her 101st birthday in style.
Jewel Levy
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