Sisters Are Oldest Paradise Row Citizens

Jamaica News: Gloria Samms- Lewis and Matilda Samms- Sawyers are two of the oldest sisters living in the inner city community of Paradise Row in Montego Bay. The two born and grew up in the community for more than 80 years. They are now great Grandmothers who have produced wealthy and ambitious children.

During their early days they attended the Chetwood Primary School, where they learned much, in order to teach their children home principle. Matilda was one of the top dressmakers in the 60’s up until the 70’s. She has seven children, but it was only Joy Morris, her daughter who resides in the states, followed in her mother’s footstep of sharing similar profession. The others went on their way and did other jobs, mainly overseas.

Gloria, on the other hand, was a store clerk in the 60’s to the late 70’s. She has eight children. These ladies are well loved by the citizens of the community who respected them as long lasting community members. On Sundays they attend the Burchell Baptist Church in Montego Bay.

Their father, Oscar Samms, came to live in Paradise Row in 1910. He tied the knot with Mabel and the union produced 10 children, where four are deceased. Oscar was a fisherman at the Gi Gi Beach complex currently known as Dump Up Beach.

He cared for all his children by clothing them and sending them to school.

‘I have grown to see Jamaica change a lot. First time you could flag a child when he or she  was rude, but now you can’t do that, they have no manners to the elderly, we have seen some good and disciplined times passed by, said Gloria.

She further commented, “First time you could share a pair of shoes with your family members, but now everyone wants ten pairs of name brand shoes, I give the Lord thanks for keeping me so long on this earth.”

Three of their brothers are still living in the United States of America; they are Hubert, George and Oscar Samms Jnr, while their last sister Veronica Samms lives in Cornwall Courts


By: Alan Lewin

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