By Christopher Tobutt
Residents of West Bay organised a grand motorcade, with balloons and banners and posters, and honking horns, to wish one of West Bays most beloved and well-respected residents, Florie “Aunt,” Hulda Ebanks a very happy 103rd Birthday. The motorcade gathered at the Ed Bush Stadium, and then would its way past the Library, up Fountain Road, and then down through Watercourse Road before turning into Hell Road, where Ms. Hulda lives. Everyone had wonderful things to say about her, and about how she always you feel better whenever you’re around her.
One of the organizers, Charlene Rivers explained: “She’s my aunt, my mother’s sister. She’s so nice. We always used to have like a party for her every year, but we can’t have it this year (because of Covid 19 restrictions) so that’s why we are doing this.”
On the Porch Steps, Ms Hulda waved to all the friends and family who have known her all of their lives as they passed by. She was joined by her daughters, Linda and Zelda, and her sons, Roy and Archie, along with her grandchildren, Nahshon and Zephon.
One of those passers-by was Eziethamae (Zeta) Bodden who said: “I’ve known her all my life and then had a close connection with her through working with her, so it’s a privilege to be here this afternoon and celebrate her 103rd birthday and I wish her all the best, and that she may live a long and happy life.”
Speaker of the House, and West Bay MLA McKeeva Bush stopped to present a special bouquet of flowers, one from himself, and another from His Excellency The Governor, Martyn Roper, along with a letter Mr. Roper had written on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II.
Florie Hulda Ebanks was born on May 21 1917. She was the eldest child of Leslie and Buelah Rivers. She had four sisters, Francis Annette Una and Marlena and one brother, Sydney. She has children Archie, Linda, Roy and Zelda and nine grandchildren, Dwayne, Joy, Perry, Kirby, Sasha, Denver, Nahshon and Zephon, as well as 14 great-grandchildren and four great-great grandchildren.
When she worked, she was a housekeeper. She also weaved baskets hats and fans. And was the best known for making the best brooms in West Bay. She also worked in the tourism industry, in some of the first condos on the island. After retiring she traveled a lot with her son Roy, attending concerts visiting the Empire State Building as well as the World Trade Center.
Ms Hulda always loved playing football, and is known as the ‘Matriarch’ of West Bay’s Future Sports Club in West Bay, which she helped to establish, and regularly attended all football games up to 2018. Today she still resides in her home on Hell Road in West Bay where she has been for the past 70yrs, where she still takes care of all her great great grandchildren, loves to wash her own dishes and until 2019 did her own laundry, too. She is a remarkable lady who is still able to read the newspaper without her glasses. Her famous quote when asked "How are you today?" She answers faithfully "Aye my love as usual. God is good."