November 27, 2021

Happy Birthday Mrs Elizabeth Hurlston 100 Years

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Happy 100th birthday Mrs Elizabeth Hurlston. This great lady will be celebrating it  on Sunday, 31st  August. Mrs Hurlston has been a very active member of her community and church.

Over the years, Mrs Hurlston, fondly known as “Miss Elizabeth”, has taught Sunday school at her church, Elmslie Memorial; served the Girls’ Brigade for 27 years, eventually becoming Captain in George Town and Commandant of the island; served on the church mission committee; and been a member of the “In His Steps” visiting team. She is the only member of the church to have gone on every church mission trip to Haiti and the Dominican Republic from their inception in 1988 – about 15 trips in all. However, on her last trip, which was shortly before she reached 94, Ms Elizabeth cracked several ribs due to her osteoarthritis. It was after this point that her family decided that it would be her final one. It was also at this time she was finally persuaded to stop driving.

Into her late 90s, Miss Elizabeth was still helping out a couple of afternoons a week in the church office. In the wider community, she had been the chair of the Public Library Committee, and founding member of the Red Cross, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme and the Garden Club. When the National Council of Social Service (now the National Council of Voluntary Organisation) was formed in 1980, she became a Pink Lady, with her special project being visiting and serving hot drinks in the hospital. She assisted at the Humane Society due to her love for animals and for many years had a list of sick people and shut-ins to whom she made weekly visits. She was a volunteer at the Pines Retirement Home and, for many years, a teacher’s aide at the Cayman Prep School.

In 1976, Miss Elizabeth received the Queens’ Badge and Certificate of Honour for her contribution to the youth of the Cayman Islands, and in 2001 was awarded an MBE for community service. She was also one of the four Quincentennial Ambassadors for George Town in 2003.

At the age of four Miss Elizabeth first came to Cayman from Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands where she was born a few days before the outbreak of World War I. The move came as a result of her father, Hugh Hutchings, appointment as the Commissioner of the Cayman Islands in 1919. She was the youngest of eight children and received her early education at a school started by her older sisters Josephine and Dorothy.

Until the middle of last year, Miss Elizabeth was still active in a limited way. She attended church from time to time and would go for short walks, but a fall out of bed has kept her housebound since.

She has been described by her family as an “amazing and unusual lady, known to everyone as caring, generous and warm…and one whose Christian faith has been displayed in practical service to others.”

Anyone who wishes to celebrate this milestone in her life are invited to make a donation to The Village of Hope, a rebuilding project in Port-au-Prince spearheaded by her great friend, Walford Thompson, as she has had a special love for the people of Haiti for many years. Each home costs about US$6000 to build. The organisation has agreed that a plaque with the words “The Elizabeth Hurlston House” will be placed on one of the houses there. Donations may be sent to the Elmslie Memorial Church which will forward the funds.

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