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At least once a week, Caroline Sawyer (whose family owns Sundowners Bar and Restaurant) walks the shores of Green Turtle Cay, picking up trash.

Often, during these outings, she spots unusual items that have washed up onto the sand. Recently, however, she came across what she describes as her most interesting discovery by far.

Near Pelican Point on the ocean side of the cay, Caroline noticed a canister nestled between the rocks. Thinking it was empty, she retrieved it to toss it into her trash bag.

But something inside the container rattled. Caroline opened it and found some papers and a small vial. Without her glasses, however, she couldn’t be sure what the items were, so she tucked everything into her backpack and carried on with her walk.

Only later did Caroline realize what she’d found. Inside the canister was a letter, which read:

Dear World,

I say goodbye for a second time to my wonderful, caring and loving Mom, Rev. Miriam (Eileen) Gordon.

The enclosed program for a memorial service in Buff Bay, Portland, Jamaica in her honor speaks to her life. A similar memorial service was held in Peekskill, NY on December 11, 2013.

My mother traveled the world and wanted to see more of it. My wish is that these waters of the Caribbean Sea will take her ashes contained herein to new and wonderful places. I know that she will enjoy the journey.”

Along with the letter was a program from Reverend Gordon’s funeral, and of course, the vial containing her ashes.

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The contents of the canister
Photo: Caroline Sawyer

Caroline rang the enclosed phone number and spoke with Reverend Gordon’s daughter, Margo, who lives in Jamaica. Having set the canister afloat six months ago, on April 26, Margo was thrilled to learn how far it had traveled.

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Reverend Miriam (Eileen) Gordon

Her mother lived a full and interesting life, she said. Reverend Gordon was born in Jamaica, and later moved to New York. According to her online obituary, she worked with IBM for nearly twenty years, and prior to that, worked with the Mental Health Association of Westchester County. She was active in civil, social and religious organizations throughout her life.

Caroline, who says she’s honoured to be the one who found the canister, promised Margo to return her mother to the sea. She’s added a couple of Green Turtle Cay postcards to the container, along with a letter asking the next person who finds it to contact Margo and let her know where it was discovered.

Brian Sawyer, Caroline’s husband, plans to take the canister out to the ocean on his next fishing trip, so he can place it into the current and give the Reverend a head start on the next part of her journey. Happy travels, Reverend Gordon.

bahamas, abaco, green turtle cay, jamaica, reverend miriam gordon
Reverend Gordon’s funeral program.
Photo: Caroline Sawyer

8 thoughts on “The Travels of Reverend Gordon

  • November 3, 2014 at 8:28 am

    What an amazing story. It really raised my day. Thank you for sharing.

  • November 3, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Wow, that was so wonderful to receive and read and experience. Thank you for sharing. We pick up littler in our little town, and while we have found “things”, nothing so significant…maybe someday…

  • November 3, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Wow….how interesting and a very I inspiring lady.

  • November 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Amazing story!!

  • November 3, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    My husband’s ashes were scattered at Green Turtle in 2008. We were long-time island homeowners and he included the request in his will. He loved Green Turtle and it will forever be in my heart that he is where he wanted to be.

  • November 4, 2014 at 6:11 am

    i hope Brian takes the container out to the Gulf Stream- what a head start for the next leg of the journey!

  • November 4, 2014 at 8:52 am

    What an interesting story. May she continue to sail the seas.

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