JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Sixty-five-year-old Marcia Wynter from St. Catherine is the National Council for Senior Citizen’s (NCSC) 2015 Spelling Bee Champion.
  • The NCSC Spelling Bee Competition is one of several activities in celebration of Senior Citizens’ month in September under the theme: ‘Healthy Ageing is the Desirable Goal: Activate Your Action Plan Now’.
  • Fourteen finalists competed for the coveted title, one from each parish.

Sixty-five-year-old Marcia Wynter from St. Catherine is the National Council for Senior Citizen’s (NCSC) 2015 Spelling Bee Champion.

She emerged the victor after successfully spelling the word “hydrangea,” during the finals of the competition held on September 17 at the St. Andrew Parish Church Hall.

“I am very excited and I feel very good about it. I sort of had an idea [but] I was not sure I was going to win, but I knew I would be among the top contestants because I studied hard,” said Mrs. Wynter.

Fourteen finalists competed for the coveted title, one from each parish.

Mrs. Wynter said she started preparations last year, after placing second at the parish level and was encouraged by the Parish Organiser to try again.

A retired accountant from the Consumer Affairs Commission (CAC), she said that joining the NCSC three years ago was an excellent decision as the various activities have allowed her to remain active.

“I think that the activities at the Council are good because most persons think that after age 60 most things are finished for you and instead of sitting at home [I] became involved in the Council,” she noted.

Parish Organiser for St. Catherine, Felecia Squire, who was overcome with jubilation, said she was proud of Mrs. Wynter.

“It’s a great feeling, especially for her, because I know she has worked very hard and she really wanted this win. She prepared herself and was very self-motivated and put in a lot of study,” she informed.

Mrs. Squire underscored the importance of the spelling competition and similar activities in keeping seniors active and delaying the onset of illnesses normally associated with the elderly.

“It’s about stimulating the brain and it helps to delay Alzheimer’s disease and so we have programmes like spelling bee and Bible quiz to get them to read and remember things,” she shared.

Valerie Donaldson from St. Thomas, who placed third, said although she did not win, she is happy with her performance. She pledged to continue to enter until she emerges national champion.

“The first time I entered I came fifth and last year I was second. I want to come first,” she said. Second place went to Esther Malcolm from Westmoreland.

Programme Organiser for Education and Media at NCSC, Zanjainie Watson Leslie, said the competition is one of many methods the Council uses to support active ageing. “This competition mentally stimulates the seniors, helping them with mental acuity,” she pointed out.

Mrs. Watson Leslie is imploring other seniors to join the Council in their respective parishes and participate in the activities.

The contestants received prizes from sponsors, the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Cari-Med, Carlong Publishers, Spanish Court Hotel, Altamont Court Hotel, Gorgeous Flowers and Gift Items, and Super Touch Aestheticians and Accessories Limited.

The NCSC Spelling Bee Competition is one of several activities in celebration of Senior Citizens’ month in September under the theme: ‘Healthy Ageing is the Desirable Goal: Activate Your Action Plan Now’.

The NCSC is a department of the Ministry of Labour and Social Security and is responsible for the implementation of the National Policy for Senior Citizens. It also advises the Minister on all matters concerning the welfare of senior citizens.