CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS, July 18, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — The Senior Citizens Division in the Nevis Island Administration’s Ministry of Social Services, in preparation for a break of seniors’ group meetings that coincides with the schools’ summer break, treated seniors on Nevis to a movie outing on Thursday July 14 at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre (NEPAC).
“Today it is our close-out meeting as we usually take a break in July when the schools take the long summer break,” said Coordinator of the Senior Citizens Division, Ms Trudy Prentice. “The seniors also go on break and then come back out at the beginning of the school year, or maybe a week before.”
According to Ms Prentice, individual seniors’ recreational group meetings for the five parishes on Nevis only recently resumed in March this year after a break that was occasioned by the Covid-19 restrictions from 2020.
“We have not been meeting as a group since 2020 in April, and so I felt that we should get the seniors together again,” she noted, “I called the COVID Task Force and they told me to check with the police to get permission which I did. I then said, let the seniors go out for a movie at NEPAC, ‘put on your movie clothes and come on out and have a good time’. That is what we did, and yes they came out for that!”
Through a partnership between MSR Media (SKN) and Convergence Entertainment of Nevis, the seniors gathered at the Michael Herald Sutton Auditorium at the Nevis Performing Arts Centre in Pinney’s Industrial Site where the much acclaimed movie ‘A Week in Paradise’, which was largely shot on Nevis, was screened.
“MSR Media loves to participate in the community, as we find it part of our mission being here as pioneers of a new industry in Nevis,” said Mrs Megan Martinez, Marketing Director and Associate Producer at MSR Media SKN. “We have been here for about 18 months, and we feel very blessed and fortunate to be here and to have made Nevis our home.”
The film, A Week in Paradise, was the third movie shot in the Federation by MSR Media SKN under the direction of Mr Philippe Martinez. In the last eighteen months the company has made six movies and they are currently in pre-production for the seventh film, to be shot in St. Kitts and Nevis which will start on August 17th.
“We think it is very important to give back to the community that we are so blessed to live in, so we tend to sponsor local government events, something like this where the Nevis Island Administration has invited the seniors to come and watch one of our films,” noted Mrs Martinez.
Currently taking place on Nevis is a Summer Movie Festival (SMF) being rolled out by Convergence Entertainment, whose CEO Mr Jermaine Stapleton noted that the festival runs in the period July-August. Summer Movie Festival’s first event was on Saturday, July 9 at the Malcolm Guishard Recreational Park.
“On Thursday, July 14 we partnered with MSR Media SKN and Social Services to show a film made on Nevis to the Seniors of the island,” said Mr. Stapleton. ‘On Friday, July 15 we partnered with Community Development to show a film to the children attending their camps across various communities. Also on Friday, we screened a film in collaboration with the Department of Youth for school leavers.”
The seniors who were welcomed at NEPAC by Manager, Mrs. Deslyn Williams-Johnson, thoroughly enjoyed the movie taking into account that they saw familiar places and supporting actors that are known to them. A scene in a garden where the actor pulled out from the ground a large sweet potato tuber elicited much joy and laughter from the seniors most of whom would have been farmers.
“We thought of a movie because I know they love outings, they love touring, they like to be out,” observed Ms Trudy Prentice. “I said, young persons are always going out and going to the movies, why can’t they? And so instead of bringing them out in the evening where there is a risk of them taking a fall when they are going back in the house, I said it will be in the day in the morning so that we take them back home when they can see where they are going for their safety.”
Returning national, Ms Linda Powell, was among the scores of seniors who turned out for the movie. She was born in Butler’s Village and moved to England at age sixteen and lived there for 64 years, but would come back and forward to visit her family. She noted that she and her husband moved back to Nevis in 2005 after they built a house.
“This outing is very good because it has taken us all out of our ordinary life in our own atmosphere, as a lot of us here are on our own,” said Mrs Powell. “We are actually here and well entertained, and the staff is very helpful. At first I didn’t believe it but so far every time I go out, I am well entertained and I enjoy it.”
Mrs Powell, however, noted that a lot of the seniors live by themselves, and fears that if anything happens to them at home it would take time for others to know. She suggested that a form of alarm system be installed at such homes where one could press a button to seek for help, noting that since her husband passed away six months ago she is now on her own.
Among those in attendance included Reverend emeritus Mrs Eunice Griffin who at the end of the movie offered a prayer to thank God for His mercies even as she thanked the seniors who took time to come out, and the Ministry of Social Services for hosting them.
Coordinator of the Senior Citizens Division, Ms Trudy Prentice who said that their next such meeting should be held on the first Monday in September or the last Monday in August, thanked the Police who would have assisted in their getting permission to hold the meeting, and the Education Department for providing buses to transport the seniors.
She also thanked MSR Media and Convergence Entertainment for screening the movie, Mrs Deslyn Williams-Johnson for making NEPAC available, Mr Jerome Rawlins who is in charge of the Nevis Cultural Development Foundation, and staff from her department for making the outing the success it was.