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Pauline Owens

My mother, was the sixth child of my grandparents. She was very close to her father Alexander. While Alexander loved all of his children very much, Pauline and her father had a very special bond. She looked exactly like him. They were so close, that everyone at home and in the Richmond district called her Miss Alex.

Early in her teens, Pauline stayed for a couple of years with her father Alexander in Montego Bay, there she took dressmaking and music lessons. Her teacher was Miss McFarlane.

After returning to Richmond Green, Pauline had two daughters, Cynthia and Gwen. Cynthia became very close to her grandparents. Cynthia and Gwen made beautiful memories on the farm with their grandparents, aunts, uncles and the neighbors in the district. They and their aunts were quite mischievous as most children are. So they got into trouble sometimes.

There was a lady in the district - Ms. Lide who had an Avocado Pear tree, she also grew sugar cane. Cynthia, Gwen and also Elsie, Lena and Ellen could not resist picking pears from this tree and breaking the cane without permission on the way to school. They would eat the cane on their journey, but hide the pears in the bushes and get them on their way home from school. They loved to torment Ms. Lide, and so, though she would complain about their behavior and they would be punished, they persisted in their actions.

Alexander fell ill some years later, and Pauline became his personal nurse. She remained his nurse until he died in her arms.

Pauline left Richmond Green to live in Richmond soon after her parents' death. She took Cynthia with her. Gwen however, stayed with her father Stanley and aunt and cousin in Richmond Green. She was raised by them in a house not too far from the Owen's farm.

Richmond was a bigger town than Richmond Green; Pauline hoped to find a job there. She did find a job. She took care of the son of the Catholic Bishop of the district. Her charge grew up to become the president of a catholic organization devoting itself to working tirelessly to better the lives of poor people globally.

A few weeks later her sisters Elsie, Lena and Ellen joined Pauline in Richmond. But this did not last. They wanted to stay in the same place, but they all couldn't find good jobs in Richmond. So they moved to Kingston.

Sometime later, Pauline met and married Neil Godden. Together, they had three children, Evelyn, Hector and Delta. Pauline found a good job in Kingston at the Ministry of Finance, Department of Supply. She worked there for many years. Pauline was also a seamstress.

Cynthia and Gwen went back and forth between Kingston and Richmond Green as they grew up. Then as young women, they both went to London, England to study nursing. Elsie who was by this time an established seamstress made the dresses the sisters wore to embark on this great adventure. As everyone waved them good-bye, Pauline was teary-eyed to see them go; they had grown into such fine young ladies.

Pauline migrated to Baltimore, Maryland in 1971. She got a job as a nanny for the children of an affluent pilot and his wife. When that job ended, Pauline like her sister Elsie, decided to work in health care. She became a certified nursing assistant and secured a position at Crownsville State Hospital in Maryland from 1973- 1975.

Her children Evelyn, Hector and Delta who had been living in Jamaica, joined her in Maryland in 1973. Couple years later, Pauline relocated from Maryland to Brooklyn, New York with the children. She dedicated herself to caring for the homebound in New York until she retired/ became ill in 2000.

Pauline attended church frequently at the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Catholic Church. In her spare time she enjoyed reading, traveling, gardening and cooking various Jamaica dishes for her family.

Image by Pedro Monteiro

The Owens Family 

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