Stitches in Time

Not long before she passed away, my grandmother, Lurey Albury, gave me this photograph. I recognized her in the picture, of course, and her sister, Virginia, but as time went on, I grew more curious about the group and the other ladies in it. Green Turtle Cay Knitting Class circa 1940Once again, my generous and trusty sources came through. Shirley Roberts, Floyd Lowe, Joy Lowe Jossi and Joy’s sister-in-law, Betty Lowe, helped identify all the faces (including my grandmother’s youngest sister, Belle, whom I’d never have recognized.) Betty – who’s actually in the photo – provided details about the group.

These ladies were members of a knitting class taught by a Canadian missionary, Gladys Jones. Miss Jones was a single woman from Hamilton, Ontario who lived in the apartment above what is now the Native Creations gift shop in New Plymouth.

Betty Lowe was just seven years old when Miss Jones took this photo in 1940, and she recalls many happy hours spent with the group. The women and girls bundled the garments they created (that’s what they’re holding in the picture) and sent them to soldiers serving in World War II.

Betty, her sister, Merlee, and her mother, Minnie, continued knitting for years afterward — in fact, Minnie made blankets for seniors until she was well into her 90s. Kathy Saunders Cohen was especially well-served by Miss Jones’ lessons, says Betty, as she was able to knit warm clothes for her family when she later married and moved to New York.

Though most of these girls and women went on to live full, happy lives, the same cannot be said of Miss Jones. Several years after she took this picture, she fell ill and left the cay for medical treatment. On November 8, 1943, Miss Jones died of uterine cancer at the Bahamas General Hospital in Nassau. She was just 38 years old.

BACK: 1. Merlee Lowe Key, 2. Belle Curry Lowe, 3. Olga Roberts Churchill, 4. Leona Curry Evans,
5. Jennie Roberts Sweeting, 6. Virginia Curry Carey, 7. Kathleen (“Kathy”) Saunders Cohen,
8. Ismae Saunders Lowe
FRONT: 9. Madge Lowe Roberts, 10. Viola Saunders Lowe, 11. Pauline Lowe Sands, 12. Roberta Cash,
13. Minnie Roberts Lowe, 14. Roselyn Roberts Curry, 15. Lurey Curry Albury, 16. Betty Lowe,
17. Doreen Saunders

Related: Putting Names to Faces, Faces in Need of Names

8 thoughts on “Stitches in Time

  1. Thanks, Ann, though the credit rightfully goes to Joy Jossi, Betty Lowe, Shirley Roberts and Floyd Lowe. I just asked the questions – they provided the answers. Are any of your family members in the photo?

  2. HI! I ran across your blog (can’t remember how) and have been catching up on some posts I have missed. You don’t know me but I am actually kin to a few of those ladies pictured above. I am the grand-daughter of Carl and Minnie Lowe. Carl Lowe is the brother of Betty and Merlee Lowe and of course his mother was Minnie Roberts Lowe. Floyd Lowe is my grandfather’s uncle. Unfortunately, my grandfather (Carl) passed away almost 12 years ago and my grandmother Minnie passed this past March. My parents and I were just at the Cay for the Church of God celebration in May. My grandmother was one of the first people to accept Christ there and then become a member. I like you have many fond memories of spending my summers at the Cay. Our family actually owns the Native Creations shop and apartment above as well as the house next to it where Uncle FLoyd has his office. That is where I lived when I spend the summers with my grandparents. I would love to do as you did and buy the house and restore it. Maybe one day. How I love and cherish my Abaco heritage! 🙂
    MARNI

    • Hi, Marni. Thanks for your post! So your great-grandfather would be Harold? If that’s the case, then you and I are distantly related. My great-grandmother, May Curry’s great-grandfather, William Lowe and Harold’s grandfather, John Lowe were brothers. This would make us about fifth cousins, twice removed, or something like that. 🙂 I believe our paths may have crossed in GTC in May, as the Church of God celebration had already begun when we left. Sorry we didn’t get a chance to meet – hopefully we will on another trip. Please feel free to send me an email so we can keep in touch.

      Amanda

      • Hey Amanda! I am so sorry it has taken me almost 2 months to reply to this. Where does time go? I was just talking to my mom and she said she and my dad spent some time talking to you last night and identifying people in pictures. I had sent them the link to your blog when I saw you were looking for people to help identify people. My grandmother (Minnie Lowe) LOVED to look at all of her old pictures. That is one of the things that gave her such great joy. She also talked often about the 32 Hurricane. It was such a life changing event for all of those who lived through it. I read your blog with the excerps from John Lowe. Granny and John were first cousins and were like brother and sister. He passed about a month or two before her. I wish I had taken the time to write down all the things that she told me about the Hurricane. I remember some of them but wish I had it on paper. I loved hearing her stories about farming “over to the main”. Sure do miss both her and Granddad. So, yes to answer your question (which you probably already have the answer to) my grandfather was Carl Lowe. He was the brother of Betty, Iris, Elaine, and Merlee. And of course Uncle Floyd was his uncle.

        Thanks so much for blogging about our heritage! Love reading it. Let’s keep in touch. I’d love to buy our family house over there and fix it up but money does not grow on trees and it would cost quite a bit to fix it up. Makes me sad! Take care and have a great weekend!

        Marni

      • Hi, Marni. Thanks for your note! Yes, I’ve been corresponding with your Mom and Dad… turns our your Mom and mine are distant cousins, and spent time together during their summers at GTC Your Mom explained to me about the two Minnie Lowes – that must have been confusing! I’m so happy that you’re enjoying the blog, and yes, we’ll definitely keep in touch. 🙂

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