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Church stalwarts appreciated

Church stalwarts appreciated

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We often neglect to say thank you to persons who have served us faithfully and well. This accusation cannot be leveled at the Anglican congregations of St. Paul’s Calliaqua and St. John’s Belair, who on Sunday, July 3, honoured four of the pillars of their churches.{{more}}

Gwendolyn Eileen Viola Jack nee Scott of Ratho Mill has been a member of St. Paul’s church since childhood. She was an enrolling member of the Mothers’ Union, a member of the Guild of Good Shepherd, the Guild of St. Paul’s and a Sunday School teacher. She was also a music teacher, and used her skills to assist with Harvest recitals.

In 1916, young Gwendolyn was presented with the book – “The Acts of the Holy Apostles #1” for regular attendance at Sunday School. She still has this much treasured volume. She is the mother of five children, five grand children and three great grandchildren.

Now 96 years old, Mother Jack still sews, gardens and does light housekeeping. She is also a member of several prayer groups and recently taught one prayer group “the Prayer of the Chalice.”

It can be said that Rev. Canon A. Hoskins Huggins has celebrated most of the significant milestones of his life at St. Paul’s Church in Calliaqua. He was baptized, confirmed and married there. He was the first person from the parish to be ordained priest. As a priest, he worked in several parishes of the Diocese of the Windward Islands and in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Now retired, Father Huggins has returned home to the parish where he was baptized in 1928.

While working in the North Windward area of St. Vincent in the 1960s, Father Huggins recognized the need for a Secondary School in the area, and started Bishop’s College Georgetown to address the deficiency. He also gave 12 scholarships to needy students in the area to make it possible for them to attend school. One of Father Huggins’ greatest joys is the number of young men he influenced to enter the priesthood: Leopold Baynes, Ulric Jones, Everton Weekes, Gregory Stephens, Peter Williams (deceased) and Carver Israel.

Father Huggins is married to the former Anne Richards. They have three children and five grandchildren.

Eighty-six-year-old Owen Hope has spent most of his life in the service of his church parish, St. John’s Belair. His father was the church sextant, and as a result young Owen was baptized and confirmed there. He spent many hours at his father’s side learning the art of preparing the church for mass. He was a Sunday School teacher, Acolyte, Lector, rang the bell and assisted with cleaning the church.

A building contractor by profession, Skipper Hope as he is affectionately known because of the many years he captained cricket teams from the Belair area, is the person responsible for changing the church roof at Belair from the old felt roof to the beautiful mahogany structure which exists today.

Today, a youthful looking Owen is enjoying his retirement surrounded by his 15 children, 34 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren. His favourite hymn is “Jesu lover of my soul”

Ruth Joyce Haynes nee Milligan was born on June 7, 1932 in Belair, close to her parish church, St. John’s. Mrs. Haynes, the mother of eight children, 23 grandchildren and six great grandchildren has, over the years, served the church in various capacities.

She is a member of the choir, and was praised for expertly executing many complex solos accompanied by G.C.H. Thomas on the organ. She was also a member of the Prayer Group, Social Outreach, a Lector, Parochial Church Council, the Island Church Council and a member of Synod.

This stately lady, whose favourite hymn is “Love Divine, All Love excelling,” gives thanks to God for “the opportunity to serve Him and my fellowmen.” She adds, “may His blessings rest upon us all.”

According to the souvenir booklet published for the occasion, the criteria used for choosing the honorees were (i) someone in the evening of his/her life (ii) a life of dedication and devotion to the congregation (iii) an example for others to follow (iv) a peacemaker (v) someone identified with a special act of service in Jesus’ name (vi) a person of prayer.

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