100 – despite a hard lifeIONA Morris sharing a hearty laugh with Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave as aide-de-camp Captain Carlos Lovell looks on. (Nigel Browne)
Thu, July 12, 2012 - 12:05 AM
BARBADOS’ LATEST CENTENARIAN Iona Morris endured a hard life.
Very early, she became an orphan and was forced to face numerous challenges.
Nevertheless, yesterday she gave thanks to God, hard work, bush tea and healthy eating for helping her to celebrate the milestone with family and staff at the Geriatric Hospital where she resides.
Dressed in a blue flowered frock and white hat, she also received a visit from Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave.
“I had no parents, my mother gone, my grandmother gone, my father gone long time,” she said.
After her immediate family died, she was “abandoned” by a family into whose care she was placed.
Morris, who worshipped at St Mary’s Church, had limited education, but took jobs as a domestic servant, shop clerk and a market vendor for 17 years. On retirement, she sold sweets to children from her Belfield Land, Black Rock, St Michael home.
The mother of two, grandmother of four and great-grandmother of three had lots of stories to share about her life.
The centenarian, who is known at the hospital for being meticulous, neat and tidy, and engaging in conversation, encouraged the youth to respect the older generation.
“My mother and my grandmother always tell me to be good to the elderly and the old people. I followed that; that was good advice. Be good to the old people, children.”
Daughter Beverly Morris told the DAILY NATION her mother was a very strict and at times stubborn individual who did her best as a single parent to raise her two children in very hard economic times.
“She really enjoyed cricket and loved politics. She would get into a conversation with anyone on the two. She didn’t have an education but she understood what it could do for you and that is what she instilled in both of us,” Beverly said. (AH)
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