Young at Heart seniors enjoy fellowship

Seniors check over bingo scores with DCFS social worker Carol Bodden. – Photo: Jewel Levy

Seniors enjoyed a day of fellowship at the First Baptist Church on Pedro Castle Road on Monday.

The elderly citizens enjoyed singing, bingo games, fellowship and a healthy lunch of roast turkey, chicken soup and Graham cracker cake.

Members of the Baptist Church and the Department of Children and Family Services hosted the ‘Young at Heart’ event, which takes place once a month at various churches islandwide.

Pastor Steve Tillis of First Baptist Church welcomed the seniors, read words of encouragement from the Bible and shared his own life experiences of trusting God.

“Nowadays, a lot is being done for the seniors, especially through the Department of Children and Family services,” said Heather Bodden, seniors advocate for the Savannah area.

“Seniors are precious to me, and in my humble opinion, I think they need that outing where they can reminisce about the old days. That’s what they really love to do,” she added.

Senior Fred Moncrieffe thinks it’s good to have these functions to attend in the community. “I never missed one since I‘ve been coming,” he said.

The history buffs in the group shared some of their life stories with the Compass.

Ed Bodden, 90, the last living member of the first 18 seamen to join National Bulk Carriers in 1947, said he enjoyed the socials and helping one another.

Bodden left Cayman Brac at age 13 in 1942 for Jamaica and joined the ship when he was around 18. 

He was born in Spot Bay to parents Cleveland Earl Bodden and Margaret Louise Walton.

Bodden recalls very little about the few people that lived on Cayman Brac in those days, but what he does remember is the 1932 storm that wreaked havoc on the island, killing a lot of people in the Spott Bay area.

“That was a terrible time,” he said.

Roy Bodden, 83, married for the past 62 years to wife Reva, 82, said at First Baptist it’s like one great big family and he loves it.

He was surprised there were not more people at the seniors social.

Bodden said his wife’s grandfather, William E Ritch, was the first child born on Cayman Brac in 1832 – one hundred years before the big hurricane.

He said 1832 was also the year Cayman Brac was first settled with three families, the Ritches, Scotts and Fosters.

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