Pauline Reid - celebrating 104 years
There was an outpouring of love and much fanfare at the 104th birthday celebration for Pauline Reid of Content district in St James, as she was fÍted and showered with commendations from family, friends and well-wishers last Sunday.
Although her birthday had actually passed three days earlier, on December 8, the centenarian was still given the honour of a birthday party at her home in Content, and was warmly congratulated by those in attendance, including acting Custos Rotulorum of St James Claudette Bryan.
"I cannot begin to tell you how I feel, because I would not be able to stop," Reid said of the birthday celebration. "Today has been a happy day for me. To see all my kids and grandkids come together, it makes me feel very glad, and I give God thanks for sparing my life to see today."
Reid, affectionately known to her loved ones as 'Sister Reid', was born in Dumfries, St James, in 1912, the oldest of five children born to Gersham and Clementine Spence. She later married her husband of 30 years, Lester Reid (now deceased), and their union produced five sons and three daughters.
Reid, a dressmaker by profession, was initially a member of the Anglican Church and served on the church choir. In later years, she changed denominations and joined the Seventh-day Adventist Church, becoming a member of the congregation in neighbouring Chatham, where she served as head deaconess.
Her daughter, Mureen Miller, gave thanks for the care shown to her mother, who now has 24 grandchildren, 35 great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Reid is also a mother figure to many in the community.
"She has been truly blessed and so we strive daily to live in her footsteps," said Miller. "We thank her Chatham church family for the love and care they have shown her over the years, and we would also like to thank the community for their respect, love and care."
In a brief address to the gathering, acting Custos Bryan lauded Reid as an icon to the community and to the wider parish of St James.
"I am excited, my heart is filled with emotion ... just being in the presence of this woman has made my day. We are happy we were able to come and to wish this awesome woman of God well," said Bryan. "We hope that you will get all the years that God has in store for you, and that, indeed, you will enjoy your day in fine style. You are a stalwart, someone who needs to be looked upon as a great icon in this parish."