"Monday Was All Joy to Joy"

Monday, November 16, 2009

The above mentioned headline is a repeat of a Newspaper headline published in Bathurst thirty nine years ago exactly 8 November 1969.

The story was in connection with the silver jubilee anniversary celebration of Joy Coker. That occasion will never be forgotten. The Newspaper headline of Monday was all Joy for Joy has become a household word. It is current and circulating well. It has made its imprint in the annals of history of famous birthday celebrations ever held in this country. It has entered the Guinness record book of history and will remain there till domes-day.

As we continue to express marvels at the 1969 anniversary celebration, the star person, Joy has long graduated from the event of that date and has now entered and other startling era of diamond jubilee which she in her usual grand style observed last week 8 November 2009, attended by friends, family, enthusiasts admirers, and others and the author of this article who in 1969 was present at the silver jubilee "Monday was all joy for joy."

The joy manifested by the crowd is an indication that Joy at 60 still carries her dignity and charm and not only that she has maintained her affluence.

The invitees in response gave a fitting welcoming reception.

Joy has since her days, always been a crowd puller, exemplified in the first huge gathering of the birthday anniversary celebration of Joy held in Bathurst in the house of the Coker family at Lovell Street.

At the time there was only one Hotel, The Atlantic Hotel, wholly and solely devoted to the services of the Tubab and not accessible to the indigenous even if they could afford the cost of hiring.

Any bill could have been easily paid by  the principal host, the father of Joy who loved his family so much, a man of big heart, would have been prepared to spend the last pound in his safe to provide the money for that elaborate and sumptuously organised party.

If the party was held in the hotel, the reporter of the occasion would not have had the story to publish it, with the famous headline of Monday was all joy to joy. The event would not have been remembered. It would have been submerged by the several events that occurred from 1969-2009.

This time around the celebration of her birthday anniversary, a higher level to diamond jubilee was held at one of the most prestigious hotels, the Sheraton. It was full to the brim, food, drinks, drama plays, funs, speeches of congratulations poured in.

The prayer was led by Rev. Norman Grigg and the MC was Nana Grey Johnson and the reporter of the 1969 event was invited to say a few words in remembrance of  the circumstances of writing his story. "Monday was all joy to Joy."

Author: Alhagi Ba Tarawale, reporting from Sheraton Hotel, The Gambia
Source: Picture: Mrs Joy Coker Roberts