Seniors treated to lunch at Pedro Castle

Cayman seniors enjoyed a lunch hosted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the Department of Children and Family Services at Pedro Castle on Monday. The celebrations included food, music and fellowship.

Some 300 seniors from all walks of life and religious affiliations attended the event.

Among those gathered under the two big tents was 103 year-old Hilda McLean. “I thank you, Lord, for this day here today and I hope the Lord will spare me for another 103 years,” she said.

Ms. McLean and Clinton Whittaker each received a special bouquet from Community Affairs Minister Osbourne Bodden for being the oldest people at the event.

Minister Bodden told Ms. McLean, “It is wonderful to be on Earth so long and to have your sense of humor, that is a blessing.”

Josie Solomon also enjoyed the gathering. “Everything went well, the food was good and the entertainment nice,” she said.

She shared a table with Bodden Towners Gloria Solomon and Sharlene Minzett.

While attendees enjoyed the food and festivities, Cayman Academy students walked through the crowd stopping to chat, shake hands and share a memory or a warm hug. Carla McGarvey and Jewel Meikle from the Seventh-day Adventist Church kept seniors laughing with jokes and stories.

Twice a year, the Children and Family Services department brings the seniors together to celebrate and to honor them. This year, the department decided on a public and private partnership with some of the churches, said Cassandra Parchment, acting deputy director of the department.

“The Children and Family Services sees that we must have programming for the older persons because they have to be active within … society. We have to be able to recognize them and provide opportunities for them, that they can have self fulfillment and still participate in society,” Ms. Parchment said. She added that the Seventh-day Adventist Church funded the event.

Reinaldo Dracket, executive secretary for the Cayman Islands Conference, said the Seventh-day Adventist Church considered it a privilege to participate in this year’s celebration and recognition of the seniors.

“Considering the role they have played over the years in contribut[ing] to these islands … many times when they reach this age they are kind of forgotten, but it is important that we keep them in mind and let them know how much we care for them,” he said.