GARP Honourees for Month Of Older Persons

Alma Adams De Bellotte, GARP President Carol Vazquez, Esther O’Neale

The United Nations Day of Older Persons theme for this year is ‘Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.

With this in mind, on Sunday, 1 October the Grenada Association of Retired Persons (GARP), recognised and awarded 2 honourees as unsung-hero seniors for their community service: Esther O’Neale and Alma Adams De Bellotte. Their individual profiles are detailed below:

PROFILE: Esther O’Neale

Please join GARP in recognising and acknowledging Esther O’Neale’s tireless and inspiring contributions to the art of Storytelling and keeping alive the true essence that is Grenada and its people.

Esther O’Neale was born in Grenada and has been an educator for most of her adult life. She is a graduate of Concordia (formerly Sir George Williams) University in Montreal and Manhattan College in New York. She has lived and worked in Canada, and has served in several Caribbean islands as a classroom teacher and a teacher educator. She has also taught English and Creative Writing at St George’s University and TA Marryshow Community College in Grenada. She has published a book of folk tales and is the senior author of Caribbean English, a language text for primary schools.

Her titles are many and varied…

  • MA Education
  • BA Sociology and Applied Social Science
  • Former Teacher- Educator and Lecturer in Communication Studies, English and Creative Writing Founding Member of the Writers’ Association of Grenada (WAG)
  • Director of the Young Authors’ Programme (1993-1998)
  • Facilitator of workshops in Business Communication and the Teaching of Reading
  • Teacher of English to foreign students
  • Teacher of Remedial Reading and Writing to children and adults
  • Editor of large and small documents – handbooks, annual reports, theses etc.
  • Storyteller – Traditional Folktales

In addition to her titles, she has written and produced a number of books such as:

  • Colours Painted with Words: A teacher’s guide with students’ examples
  • Caribbean English: A Language text for upper primary/lower secondary students (published 1991)
  • De Red Petticoat: A Selection of Caribbean Folklore (published 1998)
  • Sunday Morning: An Anthology (published 2013)
  • Under the Tarpaulin: Survivors Speak of Hurricane Ivan (Editor) (published 2013)

PROFILE: Alma Adams De Bellotte

Please join GARP in recognising and acknowledging Alma Adams De Bellotte’s tireless and inspiring contributions to the art of Seamstress and keeping alive the true essence that is Grenada and its people.

Presently 86 years of age but since the age of 16, Alma Adams De Bellotte, more fondly known as ‘Sister Alma’ has been a seamstress. Throughout these years, she has acquired the skills, knowledge and expertise to design and do alterations to anything from day-to-day garments, uniforms for businesses right up to bridal gowns.

A staunchly independent soul, Alma Adams De Bellotte has worked tirelessly and selflessly to bring joy to many people both in Grenada and abroad. She has also trained many of her ‘serving girls’ in the art of designing, sewing and alterations and we are sure to this day, there are many mini ‘Sister Almas’ carrying on her legacy.

One such example of her unique talents was regarding a recent problem that arose around her niece’s wedding dress. A very special day we would all agree where everything needs to go just as the bride dreamed it would be; none more so than the bride’s wedding dress. Suffice to say, a problem arose with the dress that threatened to spoil the bride’s day of her dreams… the dress was too big! When it arrived, the measurements were incorrect. The dress was way too big for the bride. Let’s remind ourselves of how intricate and delicate a wedding dress is. To attempt to alter such a dress with little time to spare before the big day would have most of us pulling out our hair and running for the hills in despair.

But not so for Alma Adams. As those who know her can testify, she was the epitome of calm. She assessed the dress and recognising that it needed to be significantly adjusted to fit the bride’s correct size, she took to altering the dress. Despite the intricate and delicate details of the dress, she was able to alter the dress in such a manner that on the day, her niece walked down the aisle in a dress made fit for a Queen…thanks to the tenacity, skill and workmanship of Alma Adams De Bellotte.

A truly generous and selfless woman who still today finds the time, effort and commitment to help those in the community who are most in need. Offering financial assistance where she can, providing uniforms to local children so that they can go to school dressed accordingly and always on hand to offer and impart her knowledge and expertise.

Truly remarkable…and inspiring!


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