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Sally has a grand tea party to celebrate 80th birthday

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We have no compunction about listing as one of the really big social events of the season, the 80th birthday party laid on by Sally Perinchief at St James Anglican Church Hall, Somerset. Sally is a live-wire (whatever that is) in her church, community at large and the idol of a big family of relatives and friends in Bermuda and abroad.

Everybody calls her Sally, when in fact her true name is Myrtle. She's the one and only, noted for her charitable initiatives sponsoring hat shows for the Paskwood Seniors Residence, backing the Women's Auxiliary of Somerset Brigade Band and the St James Stage Group among others in their social and cultural programmes.

She was the 11th child and youngest daughter in a family of 13 children born to Hilgrove and Mary Brangman. Back in the early days of the Somerset and St George's Annual Cup Match, ‘Hilly' Brangman was one of the most genial and loudest of the thousands of spectators at the Royal Naval Field. He got your attention when he ‘opened up'.

Sally and her brother Maxwell Brangman, a master mason by trade, are the only two of the Brangman siblings surviving. She's the mother of three, Lydia, a specialist in the Ministry of Education and sons Collington, junior, and ‘Ed'. She was the wife for 56 years of prominent Freemason Collington ‘Collie' Perinchief when he passed away.

She has had a lifelong fascination for hats. When her 80th birthday was on the horizon, Sally made up her mind she would celebrate it with an old-fashioned English afternoon tea party. Over 150 invitations went out, with a clear RSVP deadline, and an even clearer stipulation that “Ladies' hats and gloves are required for entry”. Being aware of the jibes from some of her friends who told her point blank they did not even own a hat, Sally, in order to avert any possible challenges, had a box of hats from her own expensive collection in reserve at the door.

The hats that kept falling off when one or another of ladies tried to greet Sally with a friendly embrace, were subject of much friendly banter during the tribute period, following the serving of hot tea, of course, and an assortment of finger sandwiches, home made cookies, pastries, gingerbread, cornbread and other delicacies her nieces, in-laws and other family had stacked up.

Mistress of Ceremonies was daughter Lydia. Among those paying tribute to Sally were St James Rector Archdeadon Emeritus Dr Arnold Hollis; Rev Dr Carl Williams, friends Uriel (Talbot) Yopp and daughter Pettina Harris from Connecticut; Pam Davis and daughter Michelle Smith of Baltimore. Pam made it clear she was originally from Bermuda, and one of the daughters of Cup Match legend ‘Sam Porgy' Smith; also Cathy Warner from Atlanta. Also speaking were the young ladies Sally says have been her special daughters for the past decade, Henria Brooks and Chinesha Lee.

Sally, pictured with some of her many nieces, fashionable in their fancy hats. (Photo by Ira Philip)
Sally Perinchief

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Published October 12, 2013 at 9:00 am (Updated October 11, 2013 at 8:13 pm)

Sally has a grand tea party to celebrate 80th birthday

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