By anguillian February 27, 2017 11:22 Updated





Mrs. Jean Hodge (Photo Courtesy Mr. Wycliffe Richardson)

One of Anguilla’s long serving and beloved church women, Mrs. Jean Hodge, spouse of Methodist Supernumerary Minister, the Reverend Dr. S. Wilfred Hodge, was celebrated on Saturday, February 18, on her 80th birthday. One of the main events was a special anniversary service in her honour at the Bethel Methodist Church.

A former school teacher and a long-established church organist and pianist, Mrs. Hodge is originally from Jamaica where she met her husband who received his initial training in Theology there, and later served as a professor at the Theological College in that Commonwealth Caribbean country. She has travelled extensively with him during his various ministerial appointments, and other assignments, in the Caribbean, Holland and the United States.
Mrs. Hodge was celebrated in song by the Choirs of all six Methodist Churches in Anguilla as by well as some other joint and individual singers. The participating Ministers were Rev. Dr. Hodge who spoke in glowing terms about her and their marital life; Rev. Joseph Lloyd; and Rev. Dr. Wycherley Gumbs, the Superintendent Minister of the Anguilla Methodist Circuit.

In a poem, specially dedicated to her, Rev. Dr. Gumbs described Mrs. Hodge as “a woman of virtue”, a phenomenal woman”; someone “who gave and served without counting the cost; and a musical genius whose winning personality spoke about her inner strength and beauty.”

Responding, Mrs. Hodge said in part: “I am most grateful to all who joined in making sure that this special milestone of mine did not go unnoticed and unblessed. I have no siblings in Anguilla, though they are here in spirit. What I do have, and hold onto, even at this very moment, is the love I have for you; the experiences we have shared like the funerals I attended; and deeply mourned with you, or the weddings when I rejoiced with you. In either case, I knew fully well the circumstances leading up to our shared sadness or gladness.
“A great part of my life has also been spent with choirs and renditions for Choir Festivals, Introits and Anthems to be rendered during the collection of the free-will offering, as well as other preparations for special occasions throughout the Church year. I am eternally grateful to those of you who have dedicated your voices to the Music Ministry, and especially those of you who have participated here this evening. All the Directors and Organists are precious.”

Mrs. Hodge was particularly grateful to a number of Church musicians for their varied contributions. They included teachers Kimba Southwell, Lois Hazell-Corbon, Sisters Carlene and Joan, and Brothers Sanford Richardson, Vernon, Roy, Joseph Caines, Remieko Richards, Davaunie Richardson and Kamal Vanterpool.
About herself, Mrs. Hodge said: “From year 1 to 10 years old, I became a Christian, though at that age I didn’t quite understand it…I got married at 23 years old and started travelling to different islands and churches in the Leeward Islands.

“From 30 to 80 years, I obtained both my Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees. I played organs and pianos in all churches and sometimes in other denominations. I formed lasting friendships with other Christians in the Caribbean as well as overseas. I continue to have a great love and respect for all who work so very hard for God, especially Ministers and their spouses, choirs, men, women and children’s organisations.”

Following Mrs. Hodge’s birthday anniversary service, she was further celebrated at a delightful reception on the compound of Bethel Methodist Church. She was very much appreciative of the “two beautifully decorated tents, in her favourite colours, done by the Bethel young people, adding decorum to the event.”

By anguillian February 27, 2017 11:22 Updated


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