Rachel Amelia Edith James-Lloyd was born on 18th November 1917 on Freyes Estate in the vicinity of Willoughby Bay, near Bethesda, in St Phillips Parish.
She was the only child of her mother Ann-Elizabeth Jarvis but had other paternal siblings, all of whom are deceased. From an early age, her mother instilled certain values such as respect for elders, kindness to others and “manners and behavior”, in her.
Rachel was raised in the Anglican faith where she was taught the importance of love for God and her fellowmen. She grew up in Freetown and became one of the best seamstresses in the village and also engaged in backyard gardening, and supplemented her income with the surpluses from farming.
In her early adult years she met and married David Lloyd and they had three daughters, Genevieve, Yvette and Irma.
Whilst her girls were still very young she became a single parent, amidst her struggles to provide for her family and being fortunate to have the assistance of her mother, she raised her children in the fear and admonition of God. She also instilled in them all of the same values that she herself exhibited.
Rachel insisted that her girls speak “The queen’s language” at all times. She had low tolerance for the exclusive use of dialect by small children. She was also a disciplinarian and was not afraid to re-acquaint her children with the rod of correction whenever they deviated from the teaching given at home.
She was predeceased by her second daughter Yvette Lloyd Henry in 1999. No doubt the loss was heart wrenching for her but her strong faith in God, along with the support of family and friends, brought her through those very challenging times and provided necessary comfort.
Rachel has seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She played a significant role in the upbringing of her grand-daughter, Tessa, and to this day they both share a very special bond. The other grandchildren live abroad but are equally loved.
She is kind-hearted with a spirit of always giving, gratitude, compassion and endearment. She may also be described as strong-willed with a fierce loyalty to family.
Rachel is fondly referred to as Mother, Mother Lloyd, Ms Lloyd, Cousin Edith and Goddie by most of the villagers in Freetown as well as friends of her children and grandchildren.
She enjoys the traditional dishes adopted from her mother which she also prepared for her children. Her favourite dish is fungie and shad with cassie, plenty okra and eggplant.
She resided in Freetown until late in life when failing eyesight became a challenge. She was therefore relocated to Lightfoot Estate where she resided with her daughter Irma. Being a woman who loved and enjoyed her independence, it is understandable why her change of residence was met with much apprehension.
Rachel Amelia Lloyd celebrated her 100th Birthday at her Lightfoot Estate residence on 18th November 2017, in the company of the Governor General Dr Sir Rodney Williams, family and friends.
She subsequently started showing signs of dementia and was reluctantly transferred to a nursing home facility where she has better access to special healthcare from doctors, on-site nurses and other trained caregivers.
She is very expressive and her new location lends itself to her being able to interact freely and relate to others in her age group. Notwithstanding, she looks forward to her daily visits from her caring daughter Irma, her bond-mate Tessa and other family members and friends.
Happy 103rd birthday!