Tue | Apr 7, 2020

Eva May: 99 and counting

Published:Friday | August 16, 2019 | 12:13 AMBarbara Ellington/Contributor
Eva May Wright is flanked by grandson-in-law Daryl Vaz and granddaughter Ann-Marie Vaz.
Eva May Wright is flanked by grandson-in-law Daryl Vaz and granddaughter Ann-Marie Vaz.

Grandma Eva May Wright has much to celebrate. She has surpassed the three score and 10 years given to man by an additional two scores, she is in possession of her faculties, and she is enjoying the loving care and respect of her family in her twilight years.

And on Sunday, August 11, two of her granddaughters – Trisha Williams-Singh and Ann-Marie Vaz – threw her a party to mark the occasion at the former’s Graham Heights residence in St Andrew. Several well-wishers, including former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, joined in the festivities.

Many guests journeyed from Mandeville and Duff House in Manchester, Dunder Hill in St Elizabeth, and Vaz’s East Portland constituency. The birthday girl was resplendent in white lace and was in an upbeat mood as everyone greeted her with hugs and kisses.


“I am enjoying a good life, and I say to people, do all the good you can to all the people, and God will help you,” Granny Eva told The Gleaner. She said that her grandchildren keep her going with love and that care and she was very proud of their achievements and still savouring Vaz’s success as a new politician.

“I did my best for them ­throughout the years, and now I am reaping the benefits from them,” said the senior from her comfortable air-­conditioned bedroom following the celebrations. She had been wined and dined, there had been ­numerous photo sessions with the various branches of the family tree, and she had cut her magnificent birthday cake.

Among those who made bus trips for the event was Granny Eva’s only living sibling, retired pastor Phillip Neil, 92 years old from Dunder Hill and two busloads from Vaz’s East Portland constituency, who have now adopted her as their grandma as well. It is no wonder that Grandma Eva May says she does not miss Duff House, only her great-granddaughter, Christiana Stephenson, and other relatives.

“Friends drop by to ask about me, and I appreciate that. This party is wonderful. All the excitement has made me tired, but I enjoyed it,” she said.

Williams-Singh said that the family had been marking all of Granny Eva’s birthdays with a party since her 89th.

“I am happy that I was able to entertain everyone who came, including Pastor Neil from St Elizabeth and our sister from Canada.”

Meanwhile, Vaz told The Gleaner that she was giving thanks that her role model was still alive, having recently survived a massive heart attack and a bout of pneumonia.

“All that I am, I owe to Grandma. She is my rock. She made me believe that anything I set my mind to and worked hard for, I could achieve. She made me dream big. She has given me an unshakeable sense of self, which has carried me through the trials and tribulations in my life,” Vaz said.

The scrumptious buffet included curried goat, chicken, jerked pork, escoveitched fish, rice and peas, white rice, roasted breadfruit, garden salad, pasta salad, and an assortment of sweet treats. And the well-stocked bar, with hard and soft options, kept everyone happily hydrated.

Among the guests who attended the event were grandsons-in-law of the celebrant Daryl Vaz and Nari Williams Singh, Senator Matthew Samuda, Member of Parliament Floyd Green, Agriculture Minister Audley Shaw, Saleem Lazarus, Pamella Redwood, John O. Minott with Kerry and their daughter, Douglas Vaz, Ricky Vaz, Adam Vaz, Amanda Vaz, Gabrielle Wood, Vicky Vaz, Diana Stewart, Jackie Lechler with her husband and their ­children, and scores more.