Her Life

Queen Veta's Memoir

Her siblings were named Idianna, William, Martel, Mabel, Irene, Annie and Arthur they were all born before, during and after World War One.  This war that had such an impact on the world stage was not so much a part of everyday life in rural Jamaica.  What was significant was that on January 12, 1919 one hundred and two years ago, in the little district of Schoolfield in rural St. Elizabeth,  Miss Ann Stewart and Mr. David Brown welcomed their 5th child named Veta Brown.  This was a year after the First World War ended and like those before her this meant nothing to her.

What was significant to  Mrs.Veta at that time was that her mother later told her that she had chosen the name Emma for her fifth born child.   As Mrs.Veta would tell you there was another young lady whose name was Emma.  She may have made questionable decisions who knows.  As far as the registrar was concerned she had a bad reputation and naming this child Emma would curse her with that bad reputation.

Mrs. Veta grew up in Schoolfied District where she was born before moving to live with her Aunt Sue in Braes River.  This was nothing new or unusual, kids moved around with relatives as their parents saw fit.  Back then boys were better educated and taught the fine art of being men. Although Mama Veta will unequivocally tell you it’s an art some of them never learnt.  Education was never a priority for females the lucky one maybe learnt dress making, their art was more geared to homemaking and becoming wives and mothers.

In 1946 love broke the horizon when Mrs.Veta met the handsome and dapper Mr. Edward Honeywell who resided in Brighton District not too far from Braes River.   They stepped out together for two years and no doubt a sweet tongue and a twinkle in his eye the dapper Mr. Honeywell convinced Mrs.Veta to move to Brighton in 1948.  Together they produced 10 wonderful children Vicky, Vivian, Zello, Leo (rip), Joseph, Ernest, Edith, Gena, Pauline and Vincent.  Ten children today’s translates to a lot of kids but remember this was before television, electrical and even the radio.  Mr. Edward and Mrs. Veta join in matrimony in1965. Mrs. Veta or Mama Veta lived to see her third generation as she is now a great great grandmother.  Not only that, she is the original ride and die chick as she never remarried since Edwards death 1978.

Mama Veta became well known for her phenomenal memory and her ability to recall events as they occurred. The things her eyes have seen and the tales her lips would tell.  Those eyes have witnessed planes, trains and automobiles, they have seen the rise and fall of political leaders.  She is a simple woman whom we all have felt awed and inspired in her presence.  We can only aspire to be inheritors of her longevity.

Her journey on earth came to a stop when she peacefully slept into eternity on May 16th 2021. At the time of her death, she was the longest living member of Brighton District and maybe all of St. Elizabeth. We celebrate her life that was well lived. Sleep in Peace Our Queen.