Centenarian celebrates birthday with family reunion

Sylvia McNeilly and members of her family

Grenada-born Sylvia McNeilly – mamma to her three daughters, Agatha, Wilma and Shirley, her seven grandchildren and her eight great-grandchildren – celebrated her 100th birthday on Saturday with a family reunion at The Embassy Church in Oshawa.

With a lively rendition of  gospel songs, church members greeted the centenarian who was in “fine spirits, ” despite her “health challenges.”

Sylvia McNeilly

Her eldest daughter, Agatha, came from London, England where she lives, specially for the occasion.

She told the Caribbean Camera that her mother, the daughter of Alexis and Eldica Miller of Grenada, left the “spice isle” for Trinidad in her twenties with her four  children – three daughters and a son ( now deceased).

She  said her mother  came to Canada in the 1970s to join her sister, Wilma, in Toronto,” leaving behind in Trinidad an adopted son, Roy.”

Agatha spoke with great pride about her mother’s skills as a seamstress.

“Mamma turned out fine bridal outfits as well as men’s clothes and taught  us about the importance of  quality work and fine detail.”

She described her mother as ” a loving, caring person who taught us to put God first.”

” Mama knew how to love. If  she ever taught me and my sisters anything, she taught us  about love and living,” said Agatha.