OUTSIDE THE PULPIT: 91 years an Anglican
I share with you today a little about the life of a “lady” who meant so much to me. She is Gwendolyn Doreen Massiah – my mother.
Gwendolyn was born on February 7, 1921, to Edward and Miriam Trent at Lowe’s Road, Ellerton, St George, the fourth of seven children.
She was baptized and confirmed at St Luke’s Anglican Church, and educated at St Luke’s Primary and St Luke’s Girls’ School.
After leaving school her parents sent her to learn needlework with Ms Ira Simpson where she mastered the art of dressmaking, turning out to be the best seamstress in Ellerton. She sent off many a fine bride.
In 1946 she was married to Augustine “Boy” Massiah at St Patrick’s Anglican Church by vicar Father Carl Wesley Curry. That union produced six boys and two girls: Errington, Trevor, Merton, Parker, Alda, Arden and the late Jennifer Massiah-Sadler and Alicia Massiah-Cumberbatch.
My mother was a member of the St Luke’s Church for 91 years, having attended from a baby.
She never left her St Luke’s. All of her children were brought up in the Anglican faith at St Luke’s and worshipped in what became to be known as the Trent/Massiah pews.
In 1961 she, along with other women of the church, was invited by the then vicar/rector Father Walter Henry Fairweather to a meeting where the St Luke’s Mothers’ Union was formed. She was elected deputy enrolling member and later on as enrolling member.
Only two months ago she was honoured by the Barbados Diocesan Mothers’ Union Council for 50 years’ membership and service to that body, as a Mothers’ Union member at St Luke’s.
Gwendolyn, who loved to dress in the best – matching hat and shoes – used her leadership skills to promote family life in the parish of St Luke and also served on St Luke’s Church Council for a number of years.
Always a praying person, she died with one regret: she felt more of her sons ought to have been Anglican priests.
Special thanks to Liesa and Terrell Cumberbatch (raised by Granny), who looked after her to the very end.