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Matriarch Phyllis Somersall marks milestone 100th

Phyllis Somersall celebrates her 100th birthday on October 3 (Photograph supplied)

A great great grandmother celebrated a century of life with a special motorcade past her home.

Phyllis Somersall was visited by four generations of descendants, including her two great-great granddaughters, and friends, who joined the cavalcade.

David Burt, the Premier, and Jache Adams, the MP for her Pembroke West constituency, also took part in the special event.

Annette Simmons, one of Ms Somersall’s daughters, said: “The celebration went very well.

“We had a police officer who was there to assist with the traffic, because in the area where my mom lives there’s a very dangerous corner, so we made sure that we had everything well organised.”

Ms Simmons, 77, added: “Mommy was really excited with the family and friends who stopped by.

“Naturally, we had to be very cautious because of the social-distancing so only a handful of people came to see her.”

The drive-by event was held on October 3.

Ms Somersall, born Phyllis Pearman, is the oldest of five girls and the only survivor born to Dolly and Charles Pearman.

She grew up on Lover’s Lane in Paget, with her aunt, Clara Smith, and became a housekeeper after she left school.

Ms Simmons, from Sandys, said that Ms Somersall married her first husband, Coleridge Franks, in 1943.

The two had three daughters – Pat, who died earlier this year, aged 81, and Annette and Astoria Edwards, 73.

Ms Simmons said the couple bought their first home in 1956 when they took over the house Ms Somersall worked in from the owners, who were leaving Bermuda.

She explained: “Mom worked for the owners of the residence, the Carringtons, as their housekeeper and when they indicated that they were leaving the island she asked if she and daddy could be given first preference to purchase the property.

“The rest is history.”

Ms Simmons said that her mother had many “great neighbours” and that two of her former neighbours, Anthony Lumsden and Calvin Steede, had become like adopted sons.

Ms Somersall became the manager of the City Drug Store in Hamilton in 1965 and manned the soda counter for more than 20 years.

Ms Simmons said that everyone at the store, including the owners, knew her as “Momma”.

Ms Somersall spent her evenings working at the Dime and Fun arcade on Bermudiana Road, now the Lobster Pot restaurant.

Ms Simmons said that her father died in 1968 and that her mother married Sinclair Somersall in 1972.

She added that the two loved to travel and that Ms Somersall had fond memories of visits to Europe, Japan, North America and the Caribbean.

Ms Somersall served on the committee of the Sunshine League in the early 1960s and was involved in the Helping Hand Savings Club for more than 50 years.

But Ms Simmons said that, in spite of her mother’s kind heart, she was also known for being blunt and no-nonsense when required.

She added: “Today, at 100 years old, she is still very loving but quick with her tongue.

“In fact, she has been nicknamed ‘Spicy Mouth’ by a friend.”

Ms Simmons said: “She’s just been a role model to all of us – she carried the family and we still look up to her today.

“We are just so thankful to still have mom in our lives.”

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Published October 26, 2021 at 7:48 am (Updated October 26, 2021 at 8:10 am)

Matriarch Phyllis Somersall marks milestone 100th

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