Mary Phillips celebrated her 100th birthday yesterday, but says she feels like 25.
And she is quite serious about that. As she celebrated her milestone with relatives and friends at the Roy Wardeen Caring Home at Friendly Hall in St Lucy where she is a resident, Phillips, dressed in her finest, calmly allowed Governor General Sir Elliot Belgrave to know: “I feel young and good.”
“Oh no! I ain’t a hundred; I am 25,” she told Sir Elliot.
“You mean you are 125 –– or 25?” the Governor
“Yes, I am 25,” she replied.
Phillip’s opinion about her age is hardly a fact, but it shows in the way she moves at times, according to workers at the caring home.
At her age, the St Lucian, who was raised in Barbados, is in “fantastic health”, alert, reads on her own, and remembers the lyrics of many hymns she sings throughout the day quite well.
“Oh, Lord, I didn’t thought I would live to be 100 years old. The Lord is a good Lord. But I feel like 25, you know. I feel younger than a 100,” she said.
And while she hopes to live as long as her Saviour allows her to, Phillips said it must
be noted that she travelled a long road.
“I did not get here so. I use to go to St Lucia with my mother and bring back mangoes on a boat. Then when I stop doing that, I start doing the general work,” she indicated.
She had some advice for those who wanted to reach an old age.
“Try and live as good as you should and you will reach the age that I am reaching today. If them don’t live good and treat themselves good, then things would go bad with them and them won’t make it. I lived a good life, worked hard to raise my two children and everything,” she said.
Monica West, Phillips’ granddaughter, indicated that she was privileged to be raised and nurtured by the hands and values of the centenarian whom she described as a reliable, independent trustworthy woman with a great sense of loyalty and a very giving nature.
But most importantly, West said her grandmother was the strong tower of the family.
“She was very keen for me to be educated and did everything possible to ensure that I was.
“I think that is because she didn’t get to go to secondary school herself as a result of having to leave school early to help her mother work,” said the granddaughter.
The centenarian has seven grandchildren and six great-grands.