Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Cynthia Viola Harvey's spirit lives on

Published:Tuesday | October 4, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Cynthia Harvey

On September 2, two days after Cynthia Viola Harvey celebrated her 78th birthday, she made the transition to another realm.

She was born on August 31, 1938 in the Shrewbury district of Logwood, Westmoreland.

The daughter of Gwendolyn Brown and William Octavius Harvey, she attended Coke's View Elementary School. She did not tarry long at home after her elementary schooldays were over. With her uncle's suitcase, then called the 'grip', she journeyed to Savanna-la-Mar to seek employment.

Harvey found a job at a guest house at 99 Dalling Street, but soon after, the young girl was to become a mother herself, giving birth to a boy named Rowan (who predeceased her eventually). As life went on Harvey brought six more children: Clive, aka Robert; Elaine, aka Jennifer; Patrick; Cherry; Wayne, aka Paul; and Neville, aka Peter) into this world.

At her thanksgiving service on Saturday, September 17, held in the St George's Anglican Church in Savanna-la-Mar, her son, Wayne, said "Life was never a bed of roses for Cynthia. She struggled and suffered under the hands of her employers, working like a mule just to make a better life for herself and her child ... She cared for her children with the little she had, and always ensured that she would never hear them say they were ever hungry or in need."

She was also remembered as "a very clean and neat person", and as "always the last to go to bed and the first to wake up".

"She ensured that we all had a good education because according to her 'I want you all to get what I never received in school'," Wallace said.

In a tribute to her, Harvey's cousin, Dewright Johnson said, "The lady in the small house had a love that was pure. She was richer than all in the big house, she was stronger than the big house, and she had a love that was bigger than anyone from the big house could endure".

The spirit of Harvey, also known as Sister Puncie, lives on in her children; sisters, Elsa, Yvonne, Jannett, Letcie and Veta; brothers, Errol, Ripton, Linford, Beresford and Alves; 17 grandchildren, three great-grandchildren, three daughters-in-law, and one grand-daughter-in-law.