It was a grand and special occasion at the Bonner’s house on Saturday, May 23 in the Frazers Content community. Gwendolyn Robinson-Bonner, second of three children, born to Isaac Robinson and Clara-Bell Robinson on May 23, 1920 in Logwood, St. Elizabeth celebrated her 100th year.
She was joyful to be called a centenarian and recounted with much glee, a childhood memory of picking corn and peanuts. Gwendolyn Bonner, in her small voice said, “ I remember hurricane Charlie in 1952, tram cars and trains, and working at the New Yorker factory on Waltham Park Road”.
Safely practicing the new norm of social distancing, the St. John’s Seventh-day Adventist Church Pastor Christophe Bedward, along with First Elder Lenford Walton, Community Services Leader Barbara Newsome, Head Deaconess Angela Rhule, Head Deacon Guymore Williams, Rock & Come-In Club President Mary Frank, and other members surprised the centenarian, a Seventh-day Adventist for 34 years on her birthday.
They brought gift basket, sang hymns and Mrs. Bonner recited John 14:1-3. In a message read to her by Pastor Christophe Bedward from the Governor-General, Sir Patrick Allen stated in part, “Celebrating a centenary is indeed a special occasion. I trust that you will be surrounded by loved ones who will help to make it a truly wonderful time for you as you embrace life and the many blessings you have enjoyed along the way”.
Her birthday visit ended with a visit from Member of Parliament for West Central St. Catherine, Dr. The Hon. Christopher Tufton, who wished her happy birthday and said, “Long life is indeed a blessing! We celebrate with you”.
One of the things that was observed, as you look at the centenarian small frail body, is that her memory is sharp and holds lots of fond memories about her two siblings, now deceased. With pride in her voice she stated, “My favorite song is Jesus loves me this I know”.
Gwendolyn Robinson-Bonner has lived in her community since 1972 and was married to Dudley Bonner, who died four years ago. Their union produced seven of her 8 children, 21 grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren.
Though an alert mind, Gwendolyn Bonner’s frail physical health has led to her be taken care of by daughters Dawn and Pam Bonner.