Annie Bodden Looks Back at Her Adventurous Life
Mrs. Annie was the oldest of 10 children. John Alons Bodden was her father, her grandmother was Hester Diamond Flynn and her Grandfather was Hester Diamondy Flynn. “We were all family: happy, jolly people,” remembers the 1930s Mrs. Annie. “The people were poor. The clothes you had to sew them yourselves. Everybody walked, or rode horses.”
The island education was basic, but solid and provided a great starting point to a person’s life. “I was told never to forget it: “there are five things to remember. To whom you speak. How you speak. When you speak. Where you speak. What you speak,” remembers her school days Mrs. Annie.
Her subjects were taught by a Belizean. “[Honduran] government didn’t want any English to be taught here,” remembers the 1930s Mrs. Annie. Until the sixth grade the education was all in Spanish and taught by mainland school teachers and there were a few Spanish workers who migrated to the island. Utila counted around 300 souls who spoke and thought in English.
“It almost blew the house down. We were scared to death.”
Mrs. Annie ended up meeting her husband when she was 21. A letter correspondence followed, and the relationship blossomed. “There was no kissing, no courting,” remembers Mrs. Annie. Finally, a marriage date was set for December 30, 1949.
Her husband was US Navy World War two veterans. He was a mechanic and moved to Honduras to work for the Standard Fruit Company as a head mechanic in their “Taller” – workshop. “He was the first Hand radio operator in Honduras,” Mrs. Annie remembers her husband.
Life was simple, and nature was a big part of it. Sometime the biggest part. “It almost blew the house down. We were scared to death,” Mrs. Annie remembers the 1955 hurricane. “The walls were cracking. But the good God has helped us.”
The couple had three children: two boys and a girl. They moved as Standard Fruit Company required her husband’s skills all over Honduras’ northern coast. Mrs. Annie spent seven years in Coyoles, another nine years in La Ceiba and 14 years in San Pedro Sula.
Today Mrs. Annie lives in a modest one-story home in Utila Town. A photo of her great-great grandmother: Merceta Ann Werner, who came to Utila from England via Belize, hangs on a wall less than a foot from a well. That well, part of the sitting room is vital to many homes around her. It’s PVC tubing supplies water to a dozen of nearby homes.
“I am a peaceful person raised in a Christian home,” says Mrs. Annie as she sits in her armchair gazing and smiling out onto a quiet Utila street.