By Mirella Santillo
The Evergreen Mortuary officially moved to their new premises located at the corner of SC Bootle Highway and Airport Road on July 5.
Many people from New Providence such as Commissioner of Police Ferguson, The Member of Parliament for Bain Town and Grants Town, Travis Robinson, Shonel Ferguson, MP for Fox Hill as well as local dignitaries such as Former Prime Minister Hubert A Ingraham, Permanent Secretary Chavez Montez, Superintendent of Police Kevin Mortimer, Pastor Edgburt Tinker, President of the Abaco Christian Council, as well as friends and relatives had gathered on a hot Friday morning to support and congratulate Damalee Penn-Mackey, Manager, Owner and CEO of Evergreen Mortuary.
Monitored by Emcee Darrold Miller, the ceremony was held under a tent in front of the building and proceeded with prayer by Bishop Johnny Lowe and the National Anthem beautifully rendered by Savion Bethel. A prayer sung by Gentry Morris and Basil Bain in duo, brought applause and Pastor Jackie Robins read the Scripture.
Evergreen Mortuary Manager for Abaco, Ms. Sylvia Poitier, welcomed the assembly before a series of many-mostly humorous-remarks from acquaintances of the owner who praised her for her vision and determination to succeed.
MP Travis Robinson reiterated his support by saying that Mrs. Penn-Mackey was only a phone call away.
“It’s a privilege to be here to celebrate with all of you,” he assured.
The MP for Fox Hill praised Mrs. Penn- Mackey for her success as a woman who came from nothing and achieved so much.
Dmalee Penn -Mackey was also praised in Creole for taking special care of Haitian departed.
A childhood friend, Tommy Rolle made the owner’s introduction, reminiscing on their childhood time in Crown Haven.
Damalee Penn-Mackey then welcomed the audience acknowledging Former Prime Minister Ingraham, her uncle, her mother and her husband.
“Growing up on Abaco in the seventies was hard,” she said. She was eventually sent to Nassau to live with her grand-parents. There she was given the opportunity to go to Mortuary School in Dallas , Texas.
“Today, I am proud to give you, Abaco, your own Funeral Home”, she said, explaining the services she offered, room, clothes for men and women and a body refrigerator. “Gone are the days when the dead had to be sent to Nassau or Grand Bahama. I have brought dignity to that profession”, she concluded.
She acknowledged her property’s previous owners, Ruby Rolle and Courtney Chandler who facilitated the purchase of the property.
The ceremony ended with a blessing from Tommy Rolle before the assembly making their way to the building for the ribbon cutting by Dasia and Teajae Mackey daughters of the owners.
A visit of the mortuary followed after which the guests were invited to partake in refreshments.