Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams honored retired Guyanese-American Registered Nurse, Joyce Yvonne Chase with a Proclamation on the auspicious accession of her 90th birthday on Dec. 11, during an opulent virtual celebration fit for a queen.
The jovial senior citizen accepted the proclamation that reads. “I salute Joyce Chase, who earned a Master of Science in Nursing, who have provided over 50 years of dedicated and exemplary service, and also raised funds to support various initiatives, and serving on the hospital advisory board.
“I appreciate all the care and attention Nurse Joyce Chase has provided to countless others, in a calm and helpful manner putting the minds of family members at rest knowing that they were in her capable and loving hands. I commend her outstanding, unselfish and dedicated steadfast commitment to our communities and her unshakable faith and extraordinary vitality that have allowed her to live a long and fruitful life.”
“I join with her immediate, and extended family members, friends, and admirers as they honor this exemplary member of our community on this joyous and most memorable occasion; and I thank her for all that she has done to help our communities move forward as one Brooklyn,” read the proclamation.
Born in the small village of Golden Grove in Guyana, Chase, despite having relatives living in America, when she immigrated, said she never depended on anyone to help her succeed.
The Brooklyn resident, and a life member of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Clubs Inc., quipped that her secret to longevity is eating green plantain for breakfast and lunch, skipping rice and bread.
She certainly knew how to avoid the pitfalls that comes with aging. For this, she lived to a ripe old age, and according to her, she is not wanting for anything.
“If you can help somebody as you pass along, then your living, will not be in vain,” she recited, adding that her love of giving to the less fortunate, her church and charities in her Brooklyn community, gave her the will to live a long and happy life.
She made contributions to the NAACP 100 Black Women, and is a member of Key Women of America Inc., and the American Nurses Association.
A delightful lady with an infectious laugh, mother Chase, as she is fondly called, remembers immigrating to America in 1953 without a high school education, but with a determination to fulfill her dream of becoming a nurse.
She began her career as a nurse’s aide at the Jewish Chronic Disease Hospital and the Kings County Hospital Center. Her commitment to higher education and hard work enabled her rapid progression to licensed practical nurse, registered nurse, and certified chemical dependent nurse.
Chase is an alumna of Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York, where she became one of the first graduates of the school’s nursing program. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, she studied community mental health counseling at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University.
Speaking lovingly of her late husband, Jamaican-born Keith, Chase chuckled, when she recalled him saying to her he wanted a wife not a schoolgirl, while she was attending classes to become a nurse. With this in mind, she promptly told him, “There is the door you could leave.”
However, her husband who died 10 years ago, saw the value in his loving wife and supported her throughout her education, welcoming her home with a hot meal after long days of work and school.
“I have had a wonderful life, so far, I am hoping to celebrate my 100th birthday in sound mind,” said the lady of elegance, whose 70th birth anniversary was held at the World Trade Center’s Windows of the World. Ten years later, she enjoyed herself at the Marriot Marque, and had planned to commemorate her 90th at El Caribe, when the coronavirus hit.
Chase who has travelling to Israel, Africa, Europe and many other countries, encouraged others to.
“Follow your heart and do what you can to help others. Be kind to people,” said the mother of two children, one grandson and one great granddaughter.
Her charitable works have benefited countless individual causes and community initiatives in Guyana and the wider Caribbean as well as in the United States. Her devotion and selfless service to those in need have been honored with numerous commendations and awards from diverse community and professional organizations, as well as from the U. S. Congress, New York State Assembly, New York City Council and the John Wesley United Methodist Church, of which she has been a member for more than 40 years.
Chase who said she especially enjoyed the praise dance, tributes and well wishes, thanked close friends, Claire and Charles Monah, Lorna Welshman-Neblett, Carlton Douglas, Hugh Hamilton, among others, who continues to support her needs.
She also thanked Dr. Una Clarke for the honor, and Sybil Chester for the 80th Birthday Champaign bottle etched with her name, a gift she will continue to cherish.
Joyce Yvonne Chase has devoted her life to always loving, always caring, and asking nothing in return.
Happy 90th birthday Joyce!