Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Footprints | Joyce Alberga, Community matriarch gets massive send-off

Published:Tuesday | July 18, 2017 | 7:00 AM
Joyce Alberga

The large turnout for the service of thanksgiving for the life of Joyce Aberga at the Sommers Town Road Seventh-day Adventist Church in Port Antonio, Portland, on Sunday, July 9 said it all. She was a very popular and well-loved community matriarch, who took her motherly qualities elsewhere on Saturday, June 17.

The stories of Joyce Alberga's benevolence and good deeds are many, and it seems like she lived a fulfilling and blessed life, which started on July 24, 1937.

On that day, Joyce became the first of two children for George Alberga and Dressilda Brown. Bernel was the second. George Alberga eventually gave them eight other siblings.

Joyce, who attended Titchfield Elementary School, was herself to become the mother of nine children: Jerist, Patrick, Carson, Paulette, Hugh, Horace, Colin, Omar and Jermaine. Their father was Sony Roberts, who made the transition in May 2008.

Yet, she was the caregiver and provider for many more, some of whom took up residence in her home and never left. "There were other transitory living arrangements for a number of other persons who needed a place to stay until they could get their lives together," her daughter Paulette Roberts-Dowe wrote in the eulogy printed in the programme.

On July 9, in church, eight of her children reflected on the life of the woman they had loved beyond words. In tears, her sons recalled the moments they best remembered of her, and amid the sorrow there were hilarious anecdotes, stories to cherish for a lifetime. But it was the dramatic and comedic reflection by her only daughter that brought the church down at stages.

Aside from the drama and comedy that Roberts-Dowe served up, she used her time to reflect on the lessons that she and her siblings had learned from their mother, a woman who was kind and caring, loving and forgiving, but who was also strong, tough, resolute, disciplined and stern.

Joyce Alberga's life was rich, replete with joy, and challenges in the latter parts as Parkinson's disease took over. She is now at rest in the Prospect Cemetery in Portland.