87.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchives106-Year-Old Honored for First V.I. Grandparents Day

106-Year-Old Honored for First V.I. Grandparents Day

Sept. 7, 2008 — "You gotta have joy" was the theme Sunday as Grandparents Day was celebrated in Emancipation Gardens, the park filled with the smiling faces of grandparents surrounded by their families amidst decorations of silk flowers and red, white and blue banners.
This was the first time that the holiday, which was started during President Jimmy Carter's administration in 1978, has been celebrated as a recognized territory-wide event. Government officials say they hope to make it an annual celebration. First lady Cecile deJongh was a driving force behind the organization of the day, following its official proclamation by the government.
"Nothing had been done," she said. "We needed to as a community honor the grandparents …who have helped shape and mold our families, our society and our consciousness as citizens of this great country."
The administration spent two months planning for the event,which occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day, as well as five hours making box meals that were passed out to the audience.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. presented a plaque to the oldest grandparent in the St. Thomas/St. John area, who was found through a Human Resources survey of the islands. The 106-year-old honoree, Ursula Krigger, could not be there to receive the plaque, but one of her four grandchildren, Sean Krigger, accepted on her behalf. He spoke of "that joy" his grandmother exhibits.
"She loves to talk and she laughs," he said.
Ursula Krigger, who is also a great grandmother, spoke to the Source by phone.
"I can't see, but I enjoy the TV," she said. "I listen to the radio and the news every day. I don't miss anything."
In regards to the award, she said, "I am very glad, thank you."
Iyvonne Moolenar, an old friend of the centenarian, spoke of how Krigger often watched her third daughter, Lillian.
"She raised a lot of children," Moolenar said of her friend, who she also noted is affectionately called Aunt Sullie by those who know her. "She was a teacher and is very sharp. She knows everything and remembers everyone. She has a strong spirit."
Mistress of Ceremonies Lisa Smith-Jones conducted the event with inspirational speech and song. Also featured was local entertainment by singers, dancers and choirs, as well as a reading of Maya Angelou's poem "On Aging" by National Recitation Contest winner Shawntay Henry.
The Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers also performed, and invited some of the grandparents in the audience to get up and join them to dance the mazurka and the seven-step. Eighty-seven-year-old Amy Griffin and 59-year-old Genevieve Hyacinth Francis danced exuberantly along with the group.
The governor also spoke of the landmark upcoming presidential election, in which an African American, Barack Obama, is the leading candidate of a national party. He also noted the importance Obama has placed on grandparents, as his often took care of him when his parents could not.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.




Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

FROM FACEBOOK

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons
Load more
Sept. 7, 2008 -- "You gotta have joy" was the theme Sunday as Grandparents Day was celebrated in Emancipation Gardens, the park filled with the smiling faces of grandparents surrounded by their families amidst decorations of silk flowers and red, white and blue banners.
This was the first time that the holiday, which was started during President Jimmy Carter's administration in 1978, has been celebrated as a recognized territory-wide event. Government officials say they hope to make it an annual celebration. First lady Cecile deJongh was a driving force behind the organization of the day, following its official proclamation by the government.
"Nothing had been done," she said. "We needed to as a community honor the grandparents ...who have helped shape and mold our families, our society and our consciousness as citizens of this great country."
The administration spent two months planning for the event,which occurs on the first Sunday after Labor Day, as well as five hours making box meals that were passed out to the audience.
Gov. John deJongh Jr. presented a plaque to the oldest grandparent in the St. Thomas/St. John area, who was found through a Human Resources survey of the islands. The 106-year-old honoree, Ursula Krigger, could not be there to receive the plaque, but one of her four grandchildren, Sean Krigger, accepted on her behalf. He spoke of "that joy" his grandmother exhibits.
"She loves to talk and she laughs," he said.
Ursula Krigger, who is also a great grandmother, spoke to the Source by phone.
"I can't see, but I enjoy the TV," she said. "I listen to the radio and the news every day. I don't miss anything."
In regards to the award, she said, "I am very glad, thank you."
Iyvonne Moolenar, an old friend of the centenarian, spoke of how Krigger often watched her third daughter, Lillian.
"She raised a lot of children," Moolenar said of her friend, who she also noted is affectionately called Aunt Sullie by those who know her. "She was a teacher and is very sharp. She knows everything and remembers everyone. She has a strong spirit."
Mistress of Ceremonies Lisa Smith-Jones conducted the event with inspirational speech and song. Also featured was local entertainment by singers, dancers and choirs, as well as a reading of Maya Angelou's poem "On Aging" by National Recitation Contest winner Shawntay Henry.
The Mungo Niles Cultural Dancers also performed, and invited some of the grandparents in the audience to get up and join them to dance the mazurka and the seven-step. Eighty-seven-year-old Amy Griffin and 59-year-old Genevieve Hyacinth Francis danced exuberantly along with the group.
The governor also spoke of the landmark upcoming presidential election, in which an African American, Barack Obama, is the leading candidate of a national party. He also noted the importance Obama has placed on grandparents, as his often took care of him when his parents could not.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.