Tue | Oct 17, 2017

Footprints: Euphemia Hamilton - Beautiful alto rests her notes

Published:Tuesday | June 30, 2015 | 12:00 AMPaul H. Williams
Euphemia Hamilton

On February 2, 1925, in Cornwall Barracks, Portland, Katherine White gave birth to Euphemia, fathered by Archibald Bartlett. She was their third child, who would eventually attend Moore Town Elementary.

At 18 years old, Euphemia moved to Port Antonio, where she subsequently set up a haberdashery business, which became successful. She gave birth to three children - Cherry, Pauline and Anthony - before migrating to England in 1954.

There, she became a seamstress, who made a variety of things. She had a special gift for making turbans in various styles and colours.

The hard-working single mother instigated the migration of her children and several relatives to England, where she acquired several properties.

Five more children - Mervyn, Martin, Danny, Lorna, and Julie-Ann - were born in England, from where Euphemia, who liked to travel, would journey to places such as Holland, Germany, Luxembourg, France, and the United States.

In 1966, Euphemia got baptised in the Brixton Seventh-day Adventist Church in England and became very interested in the work of the church. She was a colporteur and attended various conferences and retreats. The woman who could sing a 'beautiful alto' was also a member of the church choir.

"She was a strong, determined, and dedicated woman who maintained full-time employment, while looking after her eight children, doing her colporteur work, and remaining active in the church," her daughter Julie-Ann Hamilton recalled.

Euphemia's long sojourn in England came to an end in 1989 when she returned to Jamaica, where she built a house in Green Acres, St Catherine, and became a member of the Bendon Seventh-day Adventist Church.

Euphemia, affectionately known as Ma, was also "a loving, kind, affectionate, incredibly funny, and very hard-working woman", Julie-Ann told Footprints, but her jokes ended, and her hard work ceased recently when she commenced her eternal rest.

"We are all better people today because she was part of it - eight children, 20 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren. She has left an incredible legacy and I am honoured to be her daughter," Julie-Ann said.

Have you recently lost a loved one whose footprints you want documented in this feature? Please send tributes, eulogies and photographs to footprints@gleanerjm.com