Sylvia marks 100 won­der­ful years

Jamaica Gleaner - - SOCIAL -

FRIENDLY CHAT­TER and warm greet­ings filled the air as friends and mem­bers of the McNeill fam­ily gath­ered at the Span­ish Court Wor­thing­ton on Thurs­day, Novem­ber 3, to cel­e­brate Sylvia McNeill’s 100th birth­day.

It was a spe­cial oc­ca­sion as it marked the start of a year­long cel­e­bra­tion for the re­gal and strong ma­tri­arch. A mile­stone not seen by many, McNeill was glow­ing as she walked in un­aided and greeted her fam­ily mem­bers from near and far who had come out to sup­port and hon­our her.

Through­out her 100 years, McNeill has served as the editor of the New Na­tion, an or­gan of the Peo­ple’s National Party (PNP); a teacher at Ex­cel­sior High School; su­per­vi­sor of the do­mes­tic work­ers as­so­ci­a­tion; and caterer for the

three halls of res­i­dence at the Univer­sity of the West In­dies, and a coun­cil­lor for the East Cen­tral di­vi­sion of St Andrew.

With three gen­er­a­tions of politi­cians serv­ing both the PNP and the Ja­maica Labour Party, the McNeill fam­ily re­mains a tight-knit one, as de­scribed by McNeill’s nephew, Wyke­ham, op­po­si­tion spokesper­son on tourism.

The lun­cheon was noth­ing short of a very spe­cial cel­e­bra­tion as the beau­ti­ful mu­sic cre­ated by vi­o­lin­ist Paulette Bel­lamy and Carol Ball Thomp­son on key­boards cap­tured the ears of guests and set the mood for the af­ter­noon.

The Span­ish Court Wor­thing­ton took cater­ing hon­ours and they served up a fab fare. This in­cluded cran­berry gar­den salad, chicken Floren­tine and pan-seared snap­per fil­let with white wine cream sauce served with sauteed veg­eta­bles, creamed pota­toes, and ended with a dessert of fruit tart, pecan tart, rum ball and cham­pagne.

Af­ter in­dulging in the sweet de­lights and watch­ing a slide show of McNeill’s most mem­o­rable mo­ments, her neph­ews David and Wyke­ham; Olive Lewis, Ge­orge Camp­bell and Fred­er­ick Ha­maty gave tributes to the per­son they all cher­ish dearly.

David spoke of her con­tin­u­ous sup­port and love to­wards his fam­ily, Lewis spoke of their many ex­pe­ri­ences in school, and Wyke­ham ex­pressed his ad­mi­ra­tion for her out­spo­ken­ness and the love that ex­ists in his fam­ily.

The soirée con­cluded with the cut­ting of the cake with McNeill and her friend, Cather­ine March, the singing of happy birth­day, cham­pagne toasts, and a re­ply by McNeill to ex­press her ap­pre­ci­a­tion.

PHO­TOS BY GLADSTONE TAY­LOR/FREE­LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER Kim­berly Goodall GLEANER WRITER

Wyke­ham McNeill shares a laugh with his aunt, Sylvia McNeill, on her spe­cial day.

Chris­tine Steele (right) shares a ten­der mo­ment with her friend and birth­day girl, Sylvia McNeill.

Ailee Berry wishes her grandaunt Sylvia a happy 100th birth­day.

PHO­TOS BY GLADSTONE TAY­LOR/FREE­LANCE PHOTOGRAPHER

Carolyn Wright (cen­tre) is caught by our cam­era cel­e­brat­ing with her aunt Sylvia McNeill (left) and her mother, Joyce Wright.

Paula Sur­tees (right) cosies up to her daugh­ter Mi­toya.

From left: Wyke­ham McNeill with his son Jor­dan, and cousin John Wright.

From left: Olivia daugh­ters, McNeill with her Jade and Gabriella.

From left: Sylvia’s grand­niece Anna Rer­rie with Rene and JohnClaude Wright and Poppy Wil­son (front).

From left: Lau­ren Vas­sall (sec­ond left) with nieces of the birth­day girl (from left) Celina Wil­son, Frances Peter­son and Carolyn Wright, are all smiles as they en­joy a day of cel­e­bra­tion.

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