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From The Archives: Seamstress makes it to 100


Andrea King

From The Archives: Seamstress makes it to 100

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“I NEVER THOUGHT I would live to see it!”

The words of Barbados’ latest centenarian, Olivia Clarke, of Mapp Hill, St Michael.

The mother of three and grandmother of nine, with 18 great-grands, 23 great great-grands and two great great-great-grands, celebrated her birthday yesterday with a big gathering of family and friends.

Though she can’t walk or see too well, she enjoys good health and good hearing and still reads newspapers.

She told the SATURDAY SUN she recently had influenza, but was getting over it.

Her eldest daughter, Lorraine, home from the United States, said her mother was a seamstress and sewed for Harrison’s and Fogarty’s stores.

“I sewed so much the doctor said he couldn’t find the vision in my eye. He put me on a diet and said I was to eat any kind of liver, except cow, and he wanted me to eat it raw,” Clarke said with a laugh.

She said her family was very kind to her, especially great-grand-daughter Arlene, who organised the celebration.

MP for the area, Trevor Prescod, was there.

“I believe many others were inspired to follow the guidelines she gave. She said she ate a lot of ground provisions, worked hard, and that is why she achieved the landmark,” he said.

Among the guests was designer of the Barbados flag, Grantley Prescod, whose first shirt was sewn by Clarke. Prescod said he still had it.

She was also visited by Governor-General Sir Clifford Husbands.

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