Happy 80th birthday, Cynthia
“Splendid. One of the best affairs I've attended!” That's the essence of a special delivery letter Mrs Cynthia Postlewaite of Deep Dale, Pembroke found in her box the day after more than 150 guests from near and far, joined in celebration of her 80th birthday.
The party was lively in the Gazebo of the Hamilton Princess Hotel, highlighted by Gombey and ballroom dancing and other entertainment and her two daughters, Donnae and Myrna being the MCs. Guests from as far away as Texas, Chicago and New York joined friends from all over the Island in toasting to the new Bermudian Octogenarian.
Cynthia is now without question the matriarch of the family of Nevis-born entrepenuer Charles Stevens and his Bermudian wife Dorothy. However she has always had special status in the Stevens family, being the youngest of their four children and only girl. He came to Bermuda from Nevis, joining other West Indians, principally from Jamaica attracted during the early 1900s, the boom years of the CW Walker Works, modernising the Dockyard.
Charles and Dorothy settled in Angle Street, Hamilton. The grocery store they owned and operated in the building directly opposite the First Church of God was a great centre of influence for generations of post First World War black Bermudians sparking their religious, cultural, political and social interests.
A deeply religious man, Charles was one of the founding members who purchased the land on the corner of Dundonald and Court Streets and built the Emanuel Baptist Church more than 80 years ago. He became a Deacon in the church. His entire family, wife, sons Leon, Bernard had leading roles in church programmes.
Cynthia was educated at the Central School, now named after its legendary principal Victor Scott. and at Sandys Secondary School in Somerset. Like other privileged girls of the era, she was sent to Alma College in Ontario, Canada. Returning home she eventually changed her name through marriage from Stevens to Postlehwaite and bore a son (now deceased) and named Donald, Jr after his father, and two daughters, now Rev Ms Donnamae Postlehwaite and Mrs Myrna Outerbridge. The latter has the distinction of being an Equine Dentist. Donnamae is pastor of Emanuel Baptist Church.
Mother Cynthia became a Civil Servant, working in the General Post Office in Hamilton. She was promoted to various sub-post offices and then for more than a decade as Post Mistress of St George's Post Office, when she retired.