My grandmother, Jean Gentha Catherine Rayner (nee.Minors) was born November 3 1923 in St. David’s Bermuda. She was one of eleven children born to James Frenshaw and Lottie Inthia Minors (nee. Lamb).  This photo was taken in 1945 when she was 22 years old at our old family homstead on St. David’s Road near Darkbottom.

 With the start of Second World War she, like many other St. Davids Islanders, livelihood was completely changed with the creation of the Kindley Air Force US army base. However, the one silver lining from this was that in 1939 she would meet the love of her life Maj.Srgt.M.B.E Ashton Rayner from Warwick parish who worked at the army base. They would later get married and spend majority of their lives on St. David’s Island, having 14 children of which nine survived infancy. 

My grandmother was a very hardworking woman and like many women of her time worked tirelessly to take care of not only her children and husband but also many other relatives making sure that all grandchildren, cousins, nieces & nephews were always fed. She like many other St. Davids Islanders did not have many material things but made sure to give all the love and provide all that she could could for her family.

She and my grandfather would spend 56 years of their lives together before they both passed away in 2005 and 1999, respectively. Even though I was able to only spend 6 years of my life with her, her spirit and teachings would live on through me for the rest of my life. Before she passed away she was able to see the emergence of the St. Davids Islanders & Native Community and meet with many North Eastern tribal members of North America and share her story of growing up in St. Davids and of her family genealogy, a community that I am greatful to be apart of today and hope to keep her memory alive with me everytime I step in that space.