“It’s a girl!” This was thejoyous announcement made in Rolle Avenue, Nassau on that crisp Christmas day in1960, proclaiming the birth of the newest addition to the Hanna home. She wasthe third child and second daughter born to the union of Minister Arnold andEmerald, and they named her Margel Deloris.
She spent her early years atStephen Dillet Primary, S.C. McPherson Junior High, and graduated from C.C.Sweeting Senior High School in 1978.
Minister Hanna was determined toraise his children in the ways of the Lord. The family worshipped at the Churchof God of Prophecy, East Street Tabernacle. It was here that Margel gave herlife to The Lord, and was saved at the age of 15. She worshipped diligently formany years, and was an active member of the congregation. She was a member ofthe Junior Choir, Tabernacle Concert Choir, the Victory Leaders Band foryouths, and assisted in leading many to the Lord.
Margel would often accompany herfather and older siblings to Florida to shop for the family clothing store. Itwas during these trips and admiring the work of her brother James, a tailor,that she began to walk into her calling of being a designer. As a teenager, shebegan making dresses for her mother and older sisters, and used this as an opportunityto perfect her craft. She soon began her employment journey at the Mademoiselleclothing factory in Nassau. She loved her job as it allowed her to fully awakenher passion. She later became the proprietor of her own sewing business, and garneredclients from throughout The Bahamas. She worked tirelessly; often awaking at 4 a.m.,as she could not contain the excitement of creating another piece of art.
Not wanting to limit herself,Margel decided to explore the insurance industry. She joined the team of FamilyGuardian Insurance in 1984. This was perfect for her, as her friendly natureand bubbly personality was just what she needed to become a successfulinsurance agent.
It was during a chance encounterin August 1984 where the projectory of her life would forever be changed.Little did she know, she about to meet the love of her life and future husband.She decided to solicit additional business and travelled to Abaco with herfriend and colleague, Joan. The pair had stopped to get breakfast at Cynthia’sKitchen in Marsh Harbour and was greeted by the manager, Ricardo Oris. The twomade an instant connection. With a smile and complimentary glass of orangejuice, the Abaco man had caught the attention of this Nassau beauty. During theensuing days, they spent much time together. It was during a trip to the beachwhere he had made her a bowl of conch salad (her favourite dish) that therelationship was solidified, and the rest was history. The two continuedcourting, and Ricardo would ensure to bring her delicious seafood dishes duringhis monthly visits to Nassau. The couple were even spotted eating conch saladin the rain. They were married on 26th May 1990, and she relocatedto Abaco. The union were blessed with five children.
Margel’s roles of wife and motherwere always her top priority. She ensured that her family was always covered inprayer, and would petition before the Throne daily on their behalf. She wouldoften awaken during the night to anoint the entire household, and to communewith the Lord. It was during these hours that she would meditate on God’s Wordand bask in His glory. She made certain that her family knew the power ofprayer, and taught them the value of having a relationship with God. After thepassing of her husband, Margel remained devoted to her God and children.
Her love for Abaco and the peoplewere unmatched. She continued to refine her skills and soon became known as theisland’s designer of choice. Whether it was gowns for proms, weddings, churchevents, or the like, Margel was the seamstress that was sought after. Sheopened her store, Exclusive Designs and Sewing Center, and continued to relishin her gift. She was known for making dresses from memory without needing herclients’ measurements. She always knew which colour and style was best suitedfor them, and would execute every look to perfection. She went on to create theMa'Flo clothingcollection, which has been featured throughout the Bahamas, Caribbean andU.S.A.
She joined the congregation ofthe Church of God of Prophecy, Bay Street, Dundas Town, and held many positions.She was always willing to assist wherever and whenever necessary. She wasactive in the capacities of Lay Minister, Mission Leader, Treasurer, Assistantto the Pastor, Women’s Ministry leader, and assisted with the Youth Ministry.Margel took her roles within the Church seriously. She would regularly pick up childrenfor Sunday school and make a second pick up for those attending the divineworship services. In addition, she was instrumental in decorating, organizingevents, moderating services, and performing any other duties as necessary. Sheconsidered the congregation her family, and developed many specialrelationships. Furthermore, she also became one of the founding members andtreasurer of the Abaco Women of God.
Although Margel wore many hats at home, in theChurch, and her business, she decided to rejoin the insurance industry, and inApril 2006 sought employment with BAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd. Margelserved the Abaco community with pride, and made many friends and acquaintancesduring her tenure. She excelled at her job and ensured that everything she didwas to the highest standard. She received the award for 1st place multi-line family island agent,received numerous plaques for making company quota, attained many persistencyand collections awards, was often named In-Branch Agent of the month, quarter,and year; and met the requirements to travel on countless company conventiontrips.
For Margel, hurricane preparationin September 2019 began like many others. She secured her home, purchased thenecessities, and packed a bag to seek refuge at the home of her Pastor andadoptive mother, Mildred Ferguson. Unknown to her, Hurricane Dorian was aboutto be the strongest hurricane on record to hit the Bahamas. Always a woman offaith, Margel, Pastor Mildred, and others tarried in prayer during the two daysthat the storm loomed over Marsh Harbour. Though the winds howled, and thestorm raged, Margel continued to pray, and never lost hope. As the storm rippedthrough the home, she cried out to God to protect her, her family, and others.The Lord granted her request and they were all spared. Over the next few daysand having been rescued, she made the return to Nassau. She continuously gaveher testimony of God’s grace and mercy during that horrendous storm. She joinedthe congregation of Church of God of Prophecy Fox Hill and continued in herministry.
It was in the early morning hoursof 21st July 2021 that the Lord determined her assignment was completed and herpurpose had been fulfilled. She had “fought a good fight, had finished hercourse, and had kept the faith”. She peacefully transitioned at 3:37 a.m. and nowabides in the loving arms of her Lord and Saviour.
Children:Racquel, Rashad, Ranishka, Rahede, and Raniece Smith
Grandchildren:Raneisha, Reèanna, and RashadSmith Jr., and Jaiden Armbrister
Brothers:Minister Elvis, Bishop James, Berkley, Alton, Wayde, Gary, Sergeant 1829 Troy,Sergeant 2528 Sherlin, Sergeant Andy, and Adrian Hanna
Sisters: Lay MinisterSharon Bowe and Beverley Kerr
Aunts:Florence and Dedrieanna Bain
Nephews:Craig, Antonio, Anfernee, Aidan, Akeem, Wayde Jr., Wayron, Wayshad, Ethan,Sadai, Travis, Trey, Kyle and Stephan Hanna, Victor and Basil Bowe, Mackey andTeo Cooper, Adlai, Vaughn, and Dr. Kyle Kerr, Jamal, Kyle, Rudy, and MichaelSmith
Nieces: ElvisaDean, Jasma, Janessa, Jayvis, Garise, Shante, T'Andra, Troyeisha, Dr. Tasega,and Bernique Hanna, Bernishka Butler, Tara Rolle, Kenise Blenman, Barbara andMadelyn Bowe, Makeisha Campbell, Coffi Johnson, Candice McPhee, Manda andNatasha Smith, Jennifer Saunders
Brothers-in-law:Minister Franklin Bowe, George Kerr, Michael and Gary Smith, and Dorsey McPhee
Sisters-in-law:Prescola, Stephanie, Sharon, Christine, Tericita, Detrice, and Deloris Hanna, JenniferMcPhee, Suzanne, Ruth, and Bernie Smith
Cousins: PearaleeKnight, Lois, Martha, Monamae, Eileen, Jehu, Karen and Pauline Cox, Wendy Kelly,Bishop Hulan, Jeffrey, Velma, Annabel, Patrice, Leonard, and Maria Hanna, CoraColebrooke, Donnalee Minnis, Andrea, Velma, Arnette, Freddie, Lavette, Terrell,Lamont, Cecil, Harris, Hudol, Villacey, Floramae, Trudy, and Hycinth Bain, NatalieChuno, and Edell Saunders
Adopted sister:Nikita Ferguson (Charles)
Other relativesand friends: Shane Archer, Jennifer Ingraham, Melissa Minns, Caroline Young-Forbes,Nathalie Knowles, Rev. Dr. Wendy Cash, Robertha Knowles, Marsha Swain, JudithMaycock, Angela Butler, Michelle Bain, Dorcas Johnson, Christine Collie, SharonIngraham, Sophia Butler, Illiota Judith Davis-Hamilton, EvelynMaclin, Patrice Bain, Samantha Cornish, Sebastian Curry, EunittaMcBride, Lashae Anderson, Dorothea Collie, Antoinette Collie-Smith, Church ofGod of Prophecy Bay Street Abaco, Fox Hill, East Street, and Palm Treecongregations, The Abaco Women of God, The Ferguson and Kemp families, The SmithFamily, C.C. Sweeting Senior High School class of 1978, Management and Staff ofBAF Financial & Insurance (Bahamas) Ltd., and the entire Abaco community.