This is the latest construction of Gyamboa’s St. Simon’s Church. The first was in the same location; built circa late 1930’s when some parishioners still lived ‘across the ‘Gyambo’ Bridge’. It was a simple one room construction building. Those of us might remember the ‘Old Timers’ with their ‘strict’ Anglican demeanor and aura of ‘righteousness’ that scared and intimidated youngsters. They were the ‘do what you are told’ types of Caribbean’s adults determined to keep children on their toes. Old timer, Mr, Straker comes to mind as well as the Josiaha elders. They were however, very resourceful people. Somehow they convinced the Episcopalian Diocese to invest in the construction of a new building where they would contribute their labor. And so, the second iteration of the church was built in the mid- fifties. Some of us might remember participating in the construction effort. Older folks lent their trade skills and younger folks carried water to the workers and sometimes a decent luncheon repast. The final construction topping of the bell steeple that would call folks to church on Sunday morning. Others might remember, playing baseball in the open field where the church was situated in the far center field. Hitting the ball over the church’s roof top was a momentous feat. Most often, however well hit balls would bang against the side of the church or worst break a window.

What memories of this or other churches in ‘Church Square’ bring to mind? Share them with us in the ‘Open space dialogue’.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Makeda Kamara

    I remember the old church, construction of the new one and working with my Moms and the other women to feed all and keep their thirst at bay. I could see the church from my kitchen window. Many a days I played in the field which was right next to 319 where I lived. Gorila bate? Gorila piche? Gorila 1st base…bathing in the rain (when not thundering and lighting of course)

  2. Lucía E. Scott

    My dad Amos Duncan never missed a Sunday. He loved this church and its people.

  3. Alex "Costa" Savory

    This photo reminds me of a particular day while many of us young boys was learning construction skills from Mr. French and others as they supervised us during the construction. As a permanent reminder, I have two scarces on my right leg as a result of working one hot summer day. As I attempt to go over a guideline tie to a long nail, my right leg was caught on the nail because I was thirsty going to the shed for some water and passed- out. When I was awaken I opened my eyes to see Mr. French ministering to my wound and reviving me. Thanks for the memories…

    1. Ricardo Butch Millett

      Yes Costa,
      I remember being a junior member of the construction crew working under the careful supervision of Mr. French. One clear memory was that of standing looking through our kitchen window (bldg. 319/upstairs) when the crane lifted the church steeple to put it in place. My grandmother was visiting with us that day and broke out in prayer at the sight of this event.

  4. Delia Welsh-Lawson

    I remember our church been built so many years ago. I cannot remember how old I was. St.Simon is still standing today, with the support of a few former residents like the Bonnicks, Wes, my parents and few members from the old Gamboa community. Services are held on Saturday evenings. We are a close knit breed of people, we have a special bond as Gambonians. I most say we were Blessed to be nutured by so many in our little community. Thank You for this site were our children and other family members can see the beauty in the community that now live in our memories.

  5. Francine Gilling

    My mother, Doris Gilling worked at the Gamboa Medical clinic with Dr. Senzer, the best physician I know to date. I remember, I was a 10, when the demolition and construction for the new church began. We went from “ratbat” church, to the new St. Simon; the opening day, was a day of celebration. The towns people raised the funds themselves -if I am not mistaken-the bake sales, the raffles, the donations, my goodness, how my people, my culture made me so proud!!!!! In my opinion, the township was so remote, but popular, dances, picnics, sporting events, we even had 2 major league baseball players that came from that town, Renny Stenet, and Rod Carew. Let’s not forget!

    Mr. Harris’ “sticky buns” from the cliubhouse, bun and cheese, the mango trees, the boulder that looked like a bullfrog, by the bachelor-when you passed by Mr.Small house, administrator of the theater, wow!

    Christmas preparations, and finally Christmas Day, the different scents from the kitchens, who could forget. Thank God for that blessing.

    Santa Cruz (Gyambo), will, ànd forever be the best town, with none that can duplicate.

    1. Marilyn C. Hoyte

      Francine hi its Nanny I’m looking for you my number is 239-785-6001 hope to hear from you.

    2. geno

      Do you remember the who the priest was when the church was built?

  6. Debbie Fenninger Davis

    The old rat infested church was torn down and rebuilt in the early sixties. My father was Father Eugene Fenninger. We had a class ready for confirmation which was held in the gymnasium on April 17, 1965. Some of the people confirmed that day were Yvette Green, Theda Rose,Camilla Walker(?), Ricardo Lorenzo, Mavis Grant, Amalia and Mida Sealey, Yvonne Taitt and Ternando Bowen. The parishioners did a lot of the clearing of trash from the lot. I do remember the ladies bringing food and drinks for the workers. I think the picture above is of a newer picture. Not the church we built. Thank you for the memories. Debbie Fenninger Davis.

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