The Woman’s Club celebrates another year
"Age is nothing but a number," states 91-year-old Monica Marsh.
The former social worker, teacher and reflexologist rejoices: "It's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years." Reflecting the joy and gratitude of the countless members of The Woman's Club, Marsh was among those who raised their teacups at the recent High Tea soiree, which honoured their continuous strength, unity and well-being, despite their ageing challenges.
With refreshing Earl Grey tea served alongside nutritious sandwiches and scrumptious cakes, the tea party signified yet another successful year for the members of the club, which was formed in 1936.
"Knowing every year counts, we at The Woman's Club wish all our friends, family, supporters - those who have donated their time and funds throughout the year and have continued to support our club year in and year out, a prosperous, healthy new year. Enjoy each moment and be happy," said Susan Scott, Woman's Club home chair. Scott said the aim is for the elderly to keep their spirits high.
"When you turn a certain age especially over 80 years of age, it is quite easy not to have any contact or communication with anybody, so it is nice for everybody to come together and have good old-fashioned tea," she said. "Some of the ladies at the home have hardly been able to move all year. They have round-the-clock nursing, so it's a thrill to see so much life, activity and a glint of the festive cheer in their eyes." Overjoyed, she added: "Happiness is priceless." Second vice-president Peju Wilson, who has been an outstanding member for more than 15 years, said the Woman's Club is special because it is dedicated to looking after every woman.
"This is very important, especially for foreign women. When you marry a Jamaican or you are here to do a job, it is important to have support, networks and friends," she said, "especially during your old age.
"Old age is most important because you can be gorgeous and successful when you are young, but when you are old, you need a lot of happiness, relationship and real satisfaction of life." The stylish Nigerian, who fell in love with Jamaica after moving here three decades ago, said, "Sisterhood is when women care and remember one another.
"Old age is one of the most important aspects of a person's life. Living in unity and community is vital for a person's well-being," she said. Looking forward to a bright 2016, Scott said her aim is to renovate the home.
"This place has been going for a long time so, in the new year, we plan to set up a whole fundraising schedule, where the club once again will welcome the support of the wider community," she said. "The Woman's Club provides a safe environment for elderly people, albeit you don't have to be elderly, but just don't want to live on your own. It's assisted living. It's an old building with an old idea. There are now big, big establishments which do this in the USA, however, we have been doing this for years in Jamaica."
"My mother kept The Woman's Club going for many, many years, and I would like to continue her legacy and make this a place a home where I would be happy for her to live in, albeit she lives at home," she added.