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‘Sisterhood anniversary night’

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A 'sisterhood' manifested itself when the Loyal Mayflower Lodge No 9387 of the Hamilton District of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows celebrated its 94th anniversary a fortnight ago.

Much history surfaced when it became known that it was in 1919 when the brothers in the Hamilton District of the Order relented from their un-brotherly-like chauvinism, that resulted in their 'ladies' becoming full fledged Sisters, were able to receive their charter on May 12, 1920. The brothers has thrived since the late 1870s. Their lodge being Loyal Flower of Day Lodge No. 6347. Certain of those men were content having their ladies function at the preparation of their festive boards, etc, in a seen-but not heard capacity.

The year 1919 was a historic one for Bermuda's women asserting themselves for equal rights. That's when Gladys Morrell, back from service on the World War One battle fronts organised the Women’s Suffrage Movement, fighting for the right to vote, which for them was not fully realised until nearly four decades later.

The presiding officer of the subordinate Oddfellows lodges is known as The Noble Grand. Sis. Lynn Wade, nobly functioning in that office, formally welcomed guests to the dinner. She gave a brief history of the Mayflower Lodge, drawing heavily on published history by Sis. Joy Wilson Tucker, citing the names of the stalwart women using their wits in gaining recognition.

Guest speaker was Mrs Patricia (Fubler) Hall, author of the freshly published book, 'Fond Recollections of Prospect Secondary School for Girls' (PSSG). She felt it was almost providential for her to be the honoured guest because of the many sentimental attachments she had with the Mayflower Loge, although not a 'Sister.' It was her father, the late Bishop Charles Foster (Holy) Fubler who had transformed the brothers Lodge from a theatre into a New Testament worship centre (the old Colonial Opera House, later destroyed by fire).

The Bishop officiated at her marriage to young Sam Hall, and their wedding reception 49 years ago on June 11 (this past Tuesday, to be exact), was in that very banquet hall. Mrs. Hall held up her cherished wedding book, displaying the gaily decorated hall with its colourful murals as proof positive.

Also to accentuate the sentimentally of the evening, Mrs Hall noted how Noble Grand Lynn Wade was a graduate of her PSSG; her Vice-Grand Sis. Violet Brangman was a staff member; and other Sisters had connections including the Immediate Past NG, Sis. Marion Tannock; and of course so was fellow graduate Sis Sherma Calder, who holds the office of Right Supporter to the NG, who glowingly introduced the anniversary speaker. Sis. Sheila Conyers gave the vote of thanks.

The foregoing all led Mrs Hall to remark, "this has been a Sister-hood anniversary night."

HAIR-DO HEAVEN OPENS SUNDAY

The lady we have for decades esteemed as the 'Queen B' of Bermuda's beauticians and hairdressers, Dr Dorothy Matthews-Paynter said s everything is all set for tomorrow, when St John's Pembroke Church Sunday School will be transformed into what she calls "Hair-Do Heaven." .

That's the title of a play Dr Matthews first produced when she celebrated her 65th Birthday. Now she's getting in high gear for her 91st birthday, which falls next week, June 26. She loves to do something out of the ordinary when one of those milestones roll around. On her 65th she had the solid support of Walter 'Dickie' Green, the late eminent promoter who was famed for introducing the Miss Bermuda Beauty Pageants to the island. 'Dickie' provided many of his 'queens' as cast for Dorothy's play.

The story revolves around a young lady who going to bed one night, decided she was too tired to 'set her hair' beforehand. She dreamt she died and went to heaven. but St Peter would not let her enter because of her hair do. Instead he brought forward some of the stars who had made it in, by having done the right thing. And it is always a well-kept secret as to who will be depicting whom, and how in each subsequent production.

In addition to her high-powered professional work, Dr Matthews is active in her church, Vernon Temple AME Church, Southampton. Ordinarily on Sundays she is what the Holy Writ refers to as a 'Doorkeeper in the House of God,' having been on the church's Usher Board for many years its president.

Pastor Rev Castro complimented her on her dedication and long service to her church, community and profession. He said her vibrancy put his own 52 years into eclipse.

When she was in her mid-80s this columnist described Dr Matthews as a lady who has not let grass grow under her feet. She is a true globetrotter, and it is evident that just because she's almost 91 years young now, she has given every indication of her intention of living up to her reputation.

Tomorrow's event is a "Special Fund Raiser" to help send young boys without male mentors to camp this summer. A donation of $10 per person would be requested; light refreshments would be served. Raffle tickets will be sold including car wash vouchers, gas vouchers; grocery vouchers; flower vouchers, etc and many other great gift items that will be raffled off to raise funds to assist these young boys to get tutored by male mentors via summer camp.

Dr Matthews has the distinction of having been Bermuda’s first certified trichologist, which is one who specialises in hair and scalp diseases. For many years it has been her practice to take off from work the entire month of August and travel. She has been to Australia and New Zealand, Japan, Egypt, Russia, London, Germany and all over the US and Canada. among many other places including the Caribbean. Her most extensive journey was to Seoul, Korea for the World Olympics of Hairdressers. Those Olympics are held every two years. When the one and only time the event was in the US she took a big delegation of Bermudian colleagues and friends there.

Dr Matthews has a close affinity with the six decades-old Atlanta-based cosmetology Bronn Brothers Corporation. In August of 2011 they singled her out for special recognition at their Annual International Beauty Show in Atlanta. When she got her PhD in Cosmetology in 1996 they sent her to Brazil for three weeks teaching their universal hair cutting and styling.

Her children and grands have made Dr Matthews feel she's been blessed by her offspring. A number of them are outstanding achievers in their own right. She makes every effort to keep up with them. She wen to Boston for the graduation of her great-granddaughter Jusmin Tatum, who became the first black woman in 100 years elected president of the Bar Association of Worster, Massachusetts where she lives and practices.

Dr Dorothy flew to Dubai where her Bermudian-born granddaughter Julie Matthews has become a superstar in the radio and television realms of Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) state that has become known among the rich and famous as the ‘Pearl of the Persian Gulf. Dubai’s leading newspaper, The City Times” in a cover story and two page feature on Julie headlined her as “First Lady of the hit talk show CITY WOMEN”

Her ‘great screen presence, intelligent, witty, charismatic style; her bubbly personality and ability to think on her feet, spontaneously' were just some of the accolades used to describe Julie as host of a daily talk show on City 7 rated as the UAE’s premier language TV Channel.

The City Times stated, “Julie, the First Lady of City Women and supervising producer, has been with the channel and the show since City 7’s inception. Her strong opinions and charming screen presence make Julie a formidable talent on the region’s television screens.”

Julie is the daughter of Lynn (Matthews) Phillips and Walter Matthews. After graduating from the Berkeley Institute she went to Paris, France in 1990 pursuing her love for languages, first at the prestigious Sorbonne University and later at L’Institut d’Interpretation et de Traduction. She stayed in France enhancing her comprehensive communications skills and exceptional command of both English and French as a freelance translator, copywriter and business English -language instructor.

Julie returned home to Bermuda in 2003 just in time for Elmore Warren to engage her in helping to launch the Island’s newest television channel, FRESH TV. as an on-camera presenter. She later moved to ZBM as a radio news journalist and presenter. It was her marriage to German national Stefan Borchardt who was on staff at Cambridge Beaches resort in Somerset that took her to Dubai, where he was a manager at the five-star Ritz Carlton Hotel.

As much as Dr Dorothy has travelled, she said when she arrived in Dubai she was ‘blown away’ by the wonders there. “I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” she added. She was excited seeing her granddaughter Julie, and being whirled around the city by her; enjoying the best of the best, food, shopping and the celebrity works. Also on the trip was Julie's mother, Berkeley Institute teacher, Mrs Lynn Matthews Phillips.

JACOB'S LADDER FINALLY STRADDLED

The cathedral of African Methodism in Bermuda, St Paul AME Church in Court Street, Hamilton proved to be the most fitting locale for the final of the five productions of "We Are Climbin Jacob's Ladder".

The church was packed to overflowing. And the home-grown star-studded cast took full advantage of the opportunity that was theirs to outdo themselves, bringing to life interesting facets of Bermuda history, singing familiar old Negro spirituals, backed up by the Giant Steps Band.

As we stated earlier, Dale Butler and his co-producer Darlene Hartley translated the familiar old biblical story of 'Jacob Climbin' into a modern-old-fashioned church service calculated to be an inspirational, motivational spiritual mystery. Many in the audience had seen two or three of the previous productions. But they could never be certain how the producers would give a variation of their basic theme.

Again it was a fantastic effort. The opening scene was a celebration of Bermuda history in song, paying tribute to the famous Talbot Brothers. Decked out in colourful Talbot Brothers hats males in the cast gave a religious interpretation to some of the songs the Talbots made famous in the night clubs, such as 'She's Got Pimples on her. But! She's Nice', sung this time to "We Love the Lord Jesus Christ".

The 'show' climaxed in a tribute to the socio-political crusader Marcus Garvey who was not allowed to come ashore by the authorities when his ship, en-route to Jamaica from the US, docked in Hamilton. Garvey said he just wanted to come ashore to have a cup of tea with his many followers who were members of his international, United Negro Improvement Association, The local oligarchs ruling Bermuda regarded Garvey as a dangerous rebel, and took no chances.

Actor Denny Richardson, depicting Garvey was given a royal welcome as he strode down the aisle of St Paul to give a speech.

Our pictures show scenes from the finale of 'Climbin Jacob's Ladder' at St. Paul AME Church. Giant Steps musicians depicted the famous Talbot Brothers. Super-star, actor -preacher Glen Iris, Toni Robinson, members of the 'A-Men Corner' including mother June Caisey, daughter Phiemma, Lavette Fuentes, Nashunte Bailey; Cleveland 'Outa-Sight' Simmons, Gerald Simons and John Holdipp. Above Darlene Hartley as she was wheeled into the church by Denny Richardson depicting singing beautician Clara Thomas who was notably pushed around Harrington Sound in a wheelbarrow by her adoring husband Fred Thomas to highlight their anniversaries.--photos by Ira Philip.
Our pictures show scenes from the finale of 'Climbin Jacob's Ladder' at St. Paul AME Church. Giant Steps musicians depicted the famous Talbot Brothers. Super-star, actor -preacher Glen Iris, Toni Robinson, members of the 'A-Men Corner' including mother June Caisey, daughter Phiemma, Lavette Fuentes, Nashunte Bailey; Cleveland 'Outa-Sight' Simmons, Gerald Simons and John Holdipp. Above Darlene Hartley as she was wheeled into the church by Denny Richardson depicting singing beautician Clara Thomas who was notably pushed around Harrington Sound in a wheelbarrow by her adoring husband Fred Thomas to highlight their anniversaries.--photos by Ira Philip.
Our pictures show scenes from the finale of 'Climbin Jacob's Ladder' at St. Paul AME Church. Giant Steps musicians depicted the famous Talbot Brothers. Super-star, actor -preacher Glen Iris, Toni Robinson, members of the 'A-Men Corner' including mother June Caisey, daughter Phiemma, Lavette Fuentes, Nashunte Bailey; Cleveland 'Outa-Sight' Simmons, Gerald Simons and John Holdipp. Above Darlene Hartley as she was wheeled into the church by Denny Richardson depicting singing beautician Clara Thomas who was notably pushed around Harrington Sound in a wheelbarrow by her adoring husband Fred Thomas to highlight their anniversaries.--photos by Ira Philip.
Officers of the Loyal Mayflower Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows celebrating their 94th Anniversary. Sis Lynn Wade, presiding as Noble Grand of the historic lodge holds the book 'Fond Recollections of Prospect Secondary School for Girls', presented to the lodge by its author and anniversary speaker, Mrs Pat Hall, on the left of the NG. (photo by Ira Philip)
Our pictures show scenes from the finale of 'Climbin Jacob's Ladder' at St. Paul AME Church. Giant Steps musicians depicted the famous Talbot Brothers. Super-star, actor -preacher Glen Iris, Toni Robinson, members of the 'A-Men Corner' including mother June Caisey, daughter Phiemma, Lavette Fuentes, Nashunte Bailey; Cleveland 'Outa-Sight' Simmons, Gerald Simons and John Holdipp. Above Darlene Hartley as she was wheeled into the church by Denny Richardson depicting singing beautician Clara Thomas who was notably pushed around Harrington Sound in a wheelbarrow by her adoring husband Fred Thomas to highlight their anniversaries.--photos by Ira Philip.
Our pictures show scenes from the finale of 'Climbin Jacob's Ladder' at St. Paul AME Church. Giant Steps musicians depicted the famous Talbot Brothers. Super-star, actor -preacher Glen Iris, Toni Robinson, members of the 'A-Men Corner' including mother June Caisey, daughter Phiemma, Lavette Fuentes, Nashunte Bailey; Cleveland 'Outa-Sight' Simmons, Gerald Simons and John Holdipp. Above Darlene Hartley as she was wheeled into the church by Denny Richardson depicting singing beautician Clara Thomas who was notably pushed around Harrington Sound in a wheelbarrow by her adoring husband Fred Thomas to highlight their anniversaries.--photos by Ira Philip.

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Published June 15, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated June 14, 2013 at 7:00 pm)

‘Sisterhood anniversary night’

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