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Heritage Month: honouring our unsung heroes

Party time: the Bermuda Day Parade is a highlight of Heritage Month, when we should celebrate our unsung as well as our recognised heroes (File photograph)

We often applaud the people who make significant contributions to our society. We call them national heroes, or we bestow honours granted by the Queen or public organisations. In celebration of Heritage Month, I would like to highlight one of our unsung heroes, the late May Jones.

The long-serving and dedicated member of Allen Temple AME Church was one of those who gave frequently, without public recognition.

Mrs Jones served as a stewardess in the church for at least three decades.

Along with a host of close friends and members, she religiously cleaned, washed, starched and ironed the linen that adorned the pulpit and alter during the weekly service, and especially at the service of Holy Communion on the first Sunday of each month. There were other dedicated women who served as missionaries of the church. They helped many women in their local community, visiting their homes after they gave birth; bringing or preparing food for the family.

Most families grew fruits and vegetables in their own garden; the church missionaries would often supply sufficient food and daily care until the mother fully recovered from childbirth.

All of these tasks were performed without any remuneration and were done simultaneously while raising and caring for their own families.

It was indeed the church missionaries who were the backbone of the community. They were also called upon to visit and care for the sick and comfort families in times of loss.

I am sure you can still find women who exemplify Mrs Jones’d indomitable spirit in every church in Bermuda.

Where would we be without them? They are the humble servants who comprise the foundation and embodiment of community service and multitask at every level to the highest standard. They are, indeed, the cornerstone of our society.