July 2020 Volume 16

Sylvia May Demetrius-Walters – Centenarian

Michael O. Walters
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Mother of Old Boy lived to age 104

Yes, my mother (Sylvia Walters) passed on at 104.5 years on July 9, 2020. She was the oldest living St. Hugh’s girl and an Anglican who was instrumental in getting me into KC.

Sylvia was born on December 21, 1915 at a home on Bray Street in the Brown’s Town section of Kingston to Henry and Ellen Jane Demetrius. She is the youngest of four children and she lost her mother when Sylvia was about 2 years old so she has no recollection of her. She grew up with her grandmother and her dad. (Note the name Demetrius as she was the aunt of a famous KC Old Boy Lloyd Demetrius).

Rectangular Callout: Sylvia at St. Hugh’s After leaving Mico Practising School (Primary school), she attended St. Hugh’s High School (Class of 1933), formally known as Deaconess House, located on Hanover Street. After passing her Junior Cambridge exam, she left school to work with the Post Office. Her father remarried, to Edna Murray and had one daughter Yvonne, Lady Richardson, also a St. Hugh’s graduate.

Sylvia married Noel Boyd Walters on December 29, 1943 at St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Kingston. Noel was teaching in Toll Gate when they met. Sylvia attended a function at Rock River with her father, his wife and one of her sisters, which Noel also attended. There she “drew” Noel’s “special attention and Cupid had his way”. The marriage produced six children, Memory, Desmond, Dalsett, Michael (KC Old Boy), Marcia and Noel Jr. Both her daughters are graduates of St. Hugh’s High School. Sylvia has seven grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren.

Noel’s teaching took them to St. Thomas but when he took a job with Jamaica Agricultural Society’s 4-H Clubs, Manchester became their new home. They lived in Wesley Mount, Blue Mountain, Chudleigh and Hatfield while he was Organizer for the Manchester 4-H. Denbigh Show Grounds in Clarendon became their new home as he was now Senior Organizer and Sylvia continued in her role as wife and mother. Life changed from rural to urban for all of them when they moved into Kingston but Sylvia faced the city like the stalwart ‘Kingstonian’ she was and life was wonderful. Noel subsequently became the Secretary of 4-H, and the years of moving ended. Sylvia worked at the Ministry of Education until she retired in 1980.

Noel passed away in 1996, her first child Memory Dawn passed away in 2009, her youngest, Noel Jnr. in 2014, and second child Desmond in 2017.

She always found time to pursue her love of gardening and is known for her roses and her ferns. She could be found up at 4 am watering plants before going to work. She also was an avid stamp collector and passed her collection on to her first grandson.

Sylvia was the oldest Past Student of St. Hugh’s, and in 1999, she participated in the St Hugh's High School's 100th Anniversary Walk, starting from Hanover Street, the original site of the school to Leinster Road, the current location.

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