Family and friends assembled at Sunset Drive, St Peter to celebrate the life of the matriarch of the Frederick family, Enid, who was born August 13, 1918, and sold a wide array of fruits and confectionaries as a vendor at the Coleridge and Parry school.
Speaking to the media, her son Keith Frederick, who along with his wife Viola are Enid’s primary caregivers, said his mother was hardworking and strict.
“Mother was a very hardworking woman and she used to give you her all. Her strictness, I am sure, is what caused all of us to strive,” he said.
Keith gave a humorous account of the time he got in trouble at school because he foraged for English apples and oranges for his mother to sell.
“She used to send me for English apples and oranges, but mostly English apples every morning before school opened. I attended Speightstown Boys School and would get to school late every morning. One morning when I went to the headmaster Mr McClean, he said, ‘Why are you coming in here so late?’ I told him what I had to do, and he said, ‘Go back home and tell your mother to write a letter.’ I went back home, told my mother, and she said, ‘Go back and tell Sir she cannot write.’ She had me in trouble because he knew that my mother could write… To make a long story short, she went but she was dropping sugar cakes at the time and said she would go when she was finished,” he recounted smiling.
Keith added that his mother was not one to hug and kiss him but she walked from their family home each day to ensure that he had lunch while he was learning to be a boat builder.
“My mother walked with my food every afternoon. [If] she was selling, she would stop, cook my food and bring it. She would walk to Sherman every afternoon because she said the boat training was very hard and it would kill me. [Plus], someone told her that if you don’t feed that boy [she] would lose him,” he said.
Enid’s granddaughter, Kay Ellis, said that although Gran, as she was affectionately called, was strict you could always count on her to be there for you in any situation.
“The way she showed you [love] was to make sure that she was always there for you. She did not allow us to run around or to mix with other children, but she was always there for us. Wherever she went, we were there with her,” Ellis said, adding that one of her fondest memories was being at the Speightstown Esplanade with her grandmother.
“I have very fond memories of Gran, [of her] walking with us and taking us to the Esplanade, with her watching Dark Shadows,” she said.
Governor General Dame Sandra Mason was also in attendance and urged the members of the Frederick family to allow Enid to fully enjoy the rest of her years.
“All of our elderly persons are deserving of our honour. I say at every single visit I make to a centenarian that it is our honour and our privilege to meet with persons like Gran here because it is on their backs that we have arrived and reached where we are today. I am sure that when Gran was growing up, she was not living in a house as splendid as the one she lives in today. But because of her hard work, it allows you [referring to Keith and Viola] to be able to live in a house like this,” she said, adding that we need to teach children where they have come from.
“We need to let our little ones know where we came from. We tend to be ashamed of it but there is absolutely no shame in where you come from. The shame comes if you do not get anywhere, not from where you come from. The benefit of being down is that you can rise like those balloons there but if you don’t recognize where you come from, you are always going to be down there because that is where you think you should be at. But because you did not have anything at all, you can work to achieve something,” Mason told members of the Frederick family.
Enid is the mother of six children, two of whom are deceased. She was never married and is currently suffering from ailments, one of them being memory loss. (LG)