Ina Victoria Connor celebrated her 100th birthday at the East End Sunrise Cottage residential home with family and friends on Friday.
More than 50 people attended the birthday party, at which the East End Kitchen Band provided the music.
Among the many greetings and good wishes was a note from Governor Martyn Roper congratulating the great-great grandmother on her milestone birthday.
Ms. Connor enjoyed a celebratory cake with candles and lots of cheers in the company of family, friends and government officials, including her long-time friends Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush and the district’s MLA Arden McLean.
Representatives from the Department of Children and Family Services, which organized the gathering along with Ms. Connor’s family, also attended.
“On behalf of my ministry, I want to extend birthday wishes to Miss Ina on her 100th birthday. We have the highest respect for our elders and appreciate the foundation they have set for our country,” said Teresa Echenique, chief officer in the Ministry of Community Affairs. Ms. Echenique also brought good wishes from Premier Alden McLaughlin, Councilor Austin Harris and the entire ministry.
In short speeches at the gathering, Mr. Bush and Mr. McLean described Ms. Connor as a strong Christian woman with an unshakable faith that had seen her through life’s trials and tribulations.
Children and Family Services’ Paulina Mendoza-Williams, Residential Care Supervisor Nurse Thelma Richards and Cayman Islands Seafarers’ Association President Denniston Tibbetts added their best wishes. Mr. Tibbetts congratulated her on behalf of members and advised that Ms. Connor, widow of seaman Beltram T. Connor, was “still on their books [as an ex gratia payment recipient].”
Pastor Alice Blaire also thanked Ms. Connor for her commitment to East End and Gun Bay United Church.
Several Rankine family members, as well as Ms. Connor’s youngest son, Lowell, and granddaughter Vernice, spoke with gratitude and affection about Ms. Connor’s “exceptional care and support.”
Celebrating the “Christian lady with a wicked sense of humor,” attendees were regaled with anecdotes about the life of Cayman’s newest centenarian.
Described as a thatch worker who had turned her hand to various jobs to support her relatives and someone who had been an active member of her district, well-wishers marveled that Ms. Connor could still read her daily Bible lesson without glasses.