Albertha Simms

Albertha Simms

4/27/2017 12:08:11 PM
A beautiful bouncing cheery baby girl was born on September 10th 1948 in Dean’s Lane, Nassau Bahamas. She was then given the name Albertha Gertrude Simms; Albertha meaning noble, bright and famous, and Gertrude after her grandmother which means strength. She was the first child to be born to the proud parents of Rachel Margaret Demeritte and Benjamin Manassah Simms (both deceased).

At the tender age of 6 weeks, her grandmother Gertrude Simms (deceased) took her to the quaint settlement of Mastic Point, Andros, to raise her as both her parents had to work to maintain the family. In Mastic Point, Albertha obtained her early childhood education at Mastic Point All Age School but had to leave early because being the eldest, she was called upon to assist her mother and father in the rearing of her younger siblings, thus she made the sacrifice and discontinued any further education.

Albertha, at a youthful age of 14, began her career as farmer; however, her aspiration was to always become a nurse or a midwife like her grandmother. She was first employed at the S&M Farms, followed by the CDC farms and lastly at Caleb Evans farms. After years of extreme hard labor as a farmer, she retired because farming was beginning to take a toll on her health.

In her later years of employment, Albertha received maid training at the then San Andros Hotel under the tutelage of Mary Nat. Following this training, she became a house keeper for Mrs. Myrton and Thomas King, teacher and principal respectively of Mastic Point Primary School. She also had a brief stint working for Mrs. Millie Munnings.

Albertha’s love for family always showed throughout her life as evidenced by her love for her brothers and sisters whom she raised as her own. Albertha gave birth to five hearty healthy baby boys that were her pride and joy, however, her two youngest boys died in a tragic car accident. During this time, it was quite difficult for her, nevertheless, this was soon short lived. Being the nurturing person she was, Albertha took on her sister’s Shirley four children as her own. This kept her quite busy and kept her mind off the passing of her two sons. Albertha not only raised her sister’s children, but also became a mother to Durvin Munnings after his mother Theresa Bowleg passed. She also raised her first granddaughter Collette as her own from the age three months, and later on her second granddaughter Deja until this early year. Albertha also become a mother, grandmother and an aunt to many persons. Her home was a home for all: the motherless, the fatherless and the family-less. She welcomed, sheltered and fed everyone she came in contact with.
Albertha was a very active and devoted member in the MCCA Methodist church.

Albertha never missed a Sunday or any event held by the church, once she was well. She was a woman who feared and loved God, hence she instilled these godly principles in her children, grandchildren, adopted children and any other children with whom she came into contact. Her love for God showed in her unfettered loved for people known to her and strangers alike. Every Methodist Minister and even some Anglican ministers who pastored in North Andros during her lifetime were fed at her homely house on Sundays, she made sure that there was a plate and sweet treats for them and their family. Albertha was also a class leader and the chairman of the Fund raising committee at the Wesley Methodist church MCCA.

Albertha was well known throughout the North Andros community. She was famous for having some of the best tasting cuisine. People came from all over to find the person who was affectionately called ‘Big Bertha’ to try her homemade breads, her stews, her savory rice dishes, world famous stuffed crabs and guava duff. She did what she loved best and that was cooking. She worked for several years as a self-employed food entrepreneur.
Albertha was always community orientated. She held many leadership positions, such as President of the Ways & Means Committee of the Northern Star Burial Society, the first treasure of the Mastic Point Homecoming Committee and a committee member of the All Andros and Berry Island Regatta. Albertha was also a political activist who worked extremely close with the Free National Movement Association

In 2016, Albertha had to undergo surgery which led to several follow up visits with doctors at PMH. After several months of treatment, she returned home for a month. While at home, she fell ill and had to return to New Providence to seek further medical attention. On Tuesday April 11th 2017 at 10:16 am, Albertha quietly slipped away to be with her Lord and Savior.