SHE’S been helping people for more than 40 years.
Now community stalwart Alda Flowers has received the ultimate accolade from the country of her birth.
Alda, who came to Huddersfield from Jamaica in the 1960s, has been given the Jamaican Diaspora Award for Excellence – the equivalent of an OBE.
Alda, who worked as nursing sister at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary for most of her career, was the only person in the UK to receive the award this year.
The honour comes after decades of tireless work helping people – especially fellow Jamaicans in the UK.
She has been the driving force behind the Jamaica National Council in Huddersfield since its inception in 1979 and is also on the boards of the Women’s Royal Voluntary Service and the National Children’s Centre.
The Fartown woman was summoned to the Caribbean by the Governor General Sir Patrick Allen to be presented the award in front of hundreds of guests at a prestigious ceremony in Ocho Rios.
Alda, who is continuing her volunteering despite being in her 70s, said the award made her “very proud” but said she hadn’t set out for any recognition.
She said: “I don’t like to sit back when somebody needs help.
“If I can’t give advice I will find somebody who can.
“It’s very good to get this award but I just do things that need doing.
“If somebody benefits from it I don’t really think about it.
“It was the community both here and in Jamaica who thought I needed an award.”
Alda moved to the UK in a bid to pursue her dream of helping others as a nurse.
Originally a teacher in her homeland, she travelled to Poole in Dorset to complete her training.
She eventually ended up in Huddersfield where she met her husband Johnny, who runs Ashbrow Garage.
She intended to go back to the West Indies but settled in the area, working at the HRI for more than 25 years.
She has two daughters, Joan and Louise, son Robert and three grandchildren. Joan, who is chairman of the Jamaican National Council of Huddersfield, said: “She’s been a great servant to both Jamaica and Huddersfield.”
Huddersfield’s Jamaican community will celebrate the country’s 49th Independence Day celebrations on Sunday August 7. The celebrations begin with a church service at The New Testament Church of God, Great Northern Street, at 10.45am.
A festival will then be hosted at the Pavillion, Spaines Road, Fartown, from 1pm where the party will continue with Caribbean processions, live bands, food, dancing, singing, reggae, Zumba, children’s rides and more.