ETHLYN 'COOKIE' KINLOCKE: Centenarian who loved life, family and cooking

Sunday, February 18, 2018

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WHITHORN, Westmoreland — Ethlyn Kinlocke, popularly known as Aunt Ethlyn or 'Cookie', would have celebrated her 102nd birthday on May 16, 2018, but as God would ordain, she passed away on December 13, 2017.

She was remembered in a beautiful thanksgiving service on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at the Sutcliffe Mount Baptist church in Whithorn, Westmoreland, where she had been a member for the past 23 years and where church members expressed regret that they had not been able to celebrate her milestone while she was alive.

“Many attempts were made to ascertain her correct age so that a special service could be arranged for her, but this did not materialise,” stated Evadney Stewart, a church sister who spoke on behalf of the membership.

However, her nephew Dr Richard Grant, who read the eulogy, said her date of birth has since been ascertained.

“Ethlyn Kinlocke was born on May 16, 1916. I heard that there was some controversy about when she was born and so on. We now have her birth certificate, and I personally also did a check with the Registrar General's office, so this date is correct,” assured Dr Grant.

She was born to parents Laura and George Hooper in the cool and serene district of Beaufort, Westmoreland. Her education began at Beaufort Primary School and Beaufort Moravian Church. However, as her parents could not afford higher education for their children, she and her six siblings were taught how to cook. Cooking later became her means of earning a living.

She got married at an early age to Clarence Kinlocke from the community of Caledonia in Westmoreland, where she resided until her passing.

She loved cooking and would cook not only to earn a living, but for her neighbours' children and for others.

Former Councillor for the Cornwall Mountain Division, Bernard Vanriel, spoke of Cookie's love for cooking, and made mention of one of her favourite terms, “Oh yes, oh yes”.

These attributes were supported by Dr Grant.

“Cookie was very kind and jovial. Whenever she was in a conversation and she agreed with anything, her response would always be “Oh yes, Oh yes.”

Even though Cookie lost her sight some years ago, she was always happy to welcome those who visited her.

“Sister 'Cookie' was all over with joy. She could not see me because she was blind. She could not walk, but God has given her a heart of love and she was always a loving person,” stated Thelma Bacchas, a family friend.

Dr Grant related that he spent a school term with his aunt when he was seven years old, because she wanted him to stay with her before returning to his mother in Clarendon.

Dr Grant received his medical degree in the United States of America where he later settled and lost contact with his aunt.

After returning to Jamaica a few years ago, he tried to locate her. He was successful, and she was very happy to greet him.

Dr Grant said this was three years ago and her faculties were clear, to his surprise.

“I am a medical doctor, and of course I started to think about what sort of ailment she had and how I could help and so on. And to my surprise, she had no ailment. No major ailments, apart from ones that come with advanced age. She did not suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiac problems, or anything like that. She was very healthy,” her nephew disclosed.

Dr Grant noted that although his aunt was blind, she was able to sing well and quote Bible passages accurately.

“Aunt Ethlyn could sing well, and also quoted passages from the Bible very well. One of her favourites was Psalm 121 which in part says, I will lift up mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help,” related Dr Grant.

The sermon was delivered by Rev James Peart, who baptised Sister Cookie in 1994. He said that when he visited her some time ago, she gave him a porcelain crockery gift which he still has, although at first he was reluctant to accept the gift.

“And I remember a story back then that when somebody gives you something, take it. Because if you don't take it, you prevent them from getting their blessing. God reminded, it is more blessed to give than to receive,” argued Rev Peart.

A few years ago Sister Cookie was predeceased by her husband, known as 'Big King', as well as her siblings and her two sons. She is survived by her only daughter, Hazel.




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