Statia music man: You’re never too old to marry

SDA Church Pastor Virgil Sams blesses the wedded couple Walton Schmidt and Carmen Cuvalay.

Three Angels Band serenade the happy couple.


ST. EUSTATIUS–“You are never too old to get married,” says St. Eustatius music man Walton Schmidt. And he should know. At the age of seventy eight years, he married Carmen Cuvalay on Sunday.

The two sweethearts had a civil ceremony after which they exchanged vows at the largest wedding ceremony and reception in recent Statia history. Many of their family and friends gathered to celebrate with the couple.

Asked how he won the heart of his belle, Schmidt, also known by his calypso Lord Gene, said: “I used to hitch a lift home with Carmen after Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church service. You get to know a lot more about people once they have paid their respects to the Great Maker.”

Schmidt still plays calypso guitar in the Killy Killy Band and his fellow musicians were all present to witness him tie the knot.

Playing the organ was Schmidt’s nephew, former Lt. Governor Hyden Gittens. Gittens, who is more known for his financial notes of advice rather than musical notes, used to play regularly in church. His wife Sylvana Gittens was Mistress of Ceremonies.

Carmen Cuvalay is the aunt of former Lt. Governor Gerald Berkel.

Unforgettable were two trumpets and a sax that made for an upbeat Dixieland combo care of Dr. Gerwin Schobbe, Roland Lopes and Simon Newton. For their jazz choice, the instrumentalists delivered “Down by the Riverside.”

Not to be outdone by these swinging cats, SDA choir fired back with a chorus of “Through it all,” conducted by Rita Hassel.

Terry van Putten, long standing member of the choir, went solo with country and western singer Freddy Fender. Van Putten’s voice has a strong Shirley Bassey quality about it and it was with such gusto that she captivated wedding guests with those evergreen Papiamento lyrics: Tur dia no ta mes un dia (Every day is not the same).”

Ishmael Berkel, a close friend of the couple said, “The wedding table food was exquisite. And it was really nice to see these two people get hitched, although I am not expecting to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet anytime soon.”

As for The Schmidts, they are headed on their honeymoon trip to St. Maarten where they will visit family. They said: “Married life suits us completely. You can never be too old to get married.”

Source: The Daily Herald