Fri | Jun 5, 2020

Sylvia marks 100 wonderful years

Published:Monday | November 7, 2016 | 12:00 AMKimberly Goodall
From left: Sylvia's grand niece- Anna Rerrie shares a photo op with Rene and John-Claude Wright and Poppy Wilson (front).
From left: This quartet of Lauren Vassall, with sisters and nieces of the birthday girl; Celina Wilson, l Frances Peterson and Carolyn Wright are all smiles as they enjoy a day of celebration.
Wykeham McNeill shares a laugh with his aunt, Sylvia McNeill on her special day.
From left: Olivia McNeill cozies up to her daughters- Jade and Gabriella.
Christine Steele (right) shares a tender moment with her friend and birthday girl, Sylvia McNeill.
Ailee Berry wishes her grand aunt, Sylvia a happy 100th birthday.
From left: Wykeham McNeill with his son Jordan and cousin John Wright.
Paula Surtees (right) cozies up to her daughter- Mitoya.
Carolyn Wright (center) was caught by our camera celebrating with her aunt Sylvia McNeil (left) and her mother, Joyce Wright.

Friendly chatters and warm greetings filled the air as friends and members of the McNeill family gathered at the Spanish Court Worthington, on Thursday, November 3, to celebrate Sylvia McNeill’s 100th birthday.

It was a special occasion as it marked the start of a ‘yearlong’ celebration for the regal and strong Matriarch. A milestone not seen by many, McNeill was glowing  as she walked in unaided and greeted her family members from near and far who come out to support and honour her.

Throughout her 100 years, McNeill has served as the editor of the New Nation- an organ of the People’s National Party (PNP), a teacher at Excelsior High School, supervisor of the domestic workers association, and caterer for the three halls of residence at the University of the West Indies, and a Councillor for the East Central, division of St Andrew.

With three generations of politicians serving both the PNP and the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), the McNeill family remains a tight-knitted one as described by McNeill’s nephew, Wykeham- opposition spokesperson on Tourism.

The luncheon was nothing short of a very special celebration as the beautiful music created by violinist, Paulette Bellamy and Carol Ball-Thompson on keyboards, captured the ears of guests and set the mood for the afternoon.

The Spanish Court Worthington took catering honours and they served up a fab fare. This included cranberry garden salad; chicken Florentine and pan-seared snapper fillet with white wine cream sauce served with sautéed vegetables, creamed potatoes and ended with a dessert of fruit tart, pecan tart, rum ball and champagne.

After indulging in the sweet delights and watching a slide show of McNeill’s most memorable moments, her nephews- David and Wykeham, Olive Lewis, George Campbell and Frederick Hamaty gave tributes to the person they all cherish dearly.

David spoke of her continuous support and love towards his family, Lewis spoke of their many experiences in school, and Wykeham expressed his admiration for her outspokenness and the love that exist in his family. 

The soirée concluded with the cutting of the cake with McNeill and her friend- Catherine March, the singing of ‘happy birthday’, champagne toasts and a reply by McNeill to express her appreciation.