You are not too old to learn something new.
This was the advice given to seniors attending a celebration bash at the John Gray Memorial Church in West Bay Thursday morning.
This month, Cayman celebrates with others around the globe seniors’ contributions for the sacrifices they made for the country. In Cayman seniors were encouraged to embrace opportunities and challenges.
Close to 100 seniors, some even from Cayman Brac, attended the event, which featured music by students from West Bay schools John A. Cumber, Wesleyan Christian and Grace Academy; a devotion with the Reverend Yvette Noble-Bloomfield; greetings from the Department of Children and Family Services; and a fellowship meal.
Phyllis Carter, 92, grew up in Bodden Town. She shares her take on challenges. “The behaviour of the youth is more challenging than anything else I have seen. In my day youths were well-behaved, had manners and minded what they said to the elderly unless it got back to your parents and you got a flogging.”
With that being said, she went on to address another side of daily life. “Cayman has always been a quiet community and people lived in unity. And Oh! I loved the sweet potatoes. In Bodden Town my mother had the most beautiful produce garden you ever did see. In those days planting grounds flourished with corn fields, pumpkin patches and yam hills,” she said.
‘God has blessed me in so many ways’ was the response of many seniors chatting and engaging in lively conversations with those seeking out their acquaintances.
“I am 93 and living in a holy place with God holding my hand,” said Ersie Bush. “Without him I would not have made it. I worked in as many jobs as there was in Cayman at that time from 6 up to 6 down and God has been good to me. He helped me raise four girls and two boys,” she said relating her story with a huge smile.
Reverend Noble-Bloomfield challenged those gathered to continue to remember the seniors and encouraged seniors to embrace the opportunities and challenges offered to them. “Most of your are here by the grace of God in spite of the physical challenges,” she said.
“Challenges are gone today and come back tomorrow make the best use out of your life,” she said.
“Be like Bible character Elisha who coped with his challenges and grasped every opportunity. Sometimes you have to recognise that you can make opportunities of your challenges,” Ms Noble-Bloomfield said. She also encouraged seniors to seek out those who were going through a challenge in their lives and to encourage them to use the challenge to create a new opportunity.
Hulda Ebanks, at 94, said, “God has blessed me in so many ways with four good children. I can still cook and clean at 94.”
And what would a party be like without the ever bubbly and spirited Aunt Julia Hydes at 102. She made it firmly known by everyone that she was a hundred and odd when it was asked if there was anyone there younger than the age of 56.