Partying non stop is what the Payne family in St. James will be doing this entire week.
It will all be part of the 100th birthday celebrations of Miriam Gertude Payne. The party began this morning when Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave visited her at her niece’s home in Crystal Heights in the same parish.
Cake, presents, food, memories and a lot of laughter filled the house as her children, grands and great grands joined in the celebration. Her son, David Payne, told Barbados TODAY even though the home was packed for today’s festivities when the party concludes on Saturday it will be bigger and better.
In fact, it will be too big to hold in the house and instead will be held at the Mount Zion Mission in Rock Dundo, St. James. David said her children decided to do a big celebration because they wanted to do their best to show how much they appreciated all she did for them.
Laughing, third daughter, Dina Salankey, described the centenarian as a disciplinarian, a loving, caring, sharing, Christian woman who liked peace. So much so, she added, that her peace-loving nature sometimes caused them to be flogged even when they didn’t deserve it.
In her younger years she was a shopkeeper and managed a shop in Rock Dundo. She raised her 12 children, four of whom were deceased, off that enterprise with the help of her husband, Fitz Evester, who she was married on December 21, 1937 until he died in 1986.
Apart from a little arthritis, the senior Payne was said to be still in good health. She liked to bake cassava pone and sweet bread, but of late only kneaded dumplings.
Her age, nonetheless, has not lessened her love of food and she still very much enjoys cou cou especially, and soup with a lot of ground provisions and chicken steppers.
Payne has 10 grands and seven great grands. (KC)