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Families celebrate centenarians at Parish Church’s 200th Anniversary Banquet

Published:Thursday | July 21, 2016 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey
Honoured centenarian Muriel Swimmer.
Guest Speaker, Ronald Thwaites during his address.
Honoroured centenarian Amy Darby cutting the anniversary cake with the Reverend Barrington Soares.
Karen Smith and the Harold Davis Band providing entertainment.
A section of the audience present for the 200th Anniversary Celebration Gala Banquet of the St Mark’s Anglican (Mandeville Parish Church) at the Golf View Hotel recently, where six centenarians were honoured.

Mandeville, Manchester:

It was a grand event hosted recently by the St Mark's Anglican Church's (Parish Church) 200th Anniversary Celebrations Committee, which honoured six members of the congregation, for reaching the milestone of 100 years or older.

The honorees were Winifred Bell - 100 years old; Amy Darby - 100 years old; Cynthia Evans - 100 years old; Verbena Smith - 102 years old; Muriel Swimmer - 103 years old; and Hilda Wright - 107 years old. However, only Darby and Swimmer were present.

"It's a celebration of a lifetime. I am anxious, I'm proud, I'm elated to be at this point at the St Mark's Mandeville Parish Church to celebrate with our centenarians as we celebrate this the 200 years of our church - influencing a future of hope and vibrancy, " said the Reverend Barrington Soares.

Guest speaker the Reverend Ronald Thwaites lauded the church for not only shaping minds and adding to the growth of the country and of individuals, but its continued involvement in education.

"Recognise tonight that what we celebrate is not just the anniversary, the bicentenary of a structure, a tabernacle. Rather, we draw in the sand a marker of success, a marker of faithfulness, a marker of holiness in the task of building institutions for the glory of God and the good of his people."

He continued: "The school is the first mission of the Church. The roots of our Jamaican civilisation lie in their Christian tradition. We are not marginal to what Jamaica was, is, and is to become. Our children have been, and must be, taught who it is that made them, who it is that redeemed them, and whose spirit it is that can take them through the good times and bad of their lives. It is the Christian Church and its teachings that constitute the ethical heartbeat of Jamaican nature."

Thwaites added that as Christians, it was imperative that we uphold the values and morals once upheld by the Church.

"Today, we reaffirm that truth - that the fibre of our beings lies in the faith that has been incarnate in St Mark's for over 200 years. Today, we pledge ourselves for cohesion, for inclusion rather than exclusion, for this is the way that our Master has taught us - that that which unites us is far greater than that which divides us. I challenge this good congregation and all of our goodly churches and people of goodwill everywhere. We need once again to let down our buckets in the traditional historical wells of Christian education in Jamaica."